TALLAHASSEE, FL (Aug.24) – With just 8 days remaining until kickoff of the 2013 football season, the Rattlers had quite the eventful day. Starting with breakfast at 8 a.m. and the team photo shoot immediately after, the team took care of some appearance obligations, all the while fine tuning their game for the season opener.
After the team photo shoot, the Rattlers had their final scrimmage of the pre-season, going all out as the coaches had their eyes on every detail. “The offense started off fast in last week’s scrimmage, and today it was the defense. What we’ve go to do is put it all together, and that’s what the coaching staff and I will be working on,” Head Coach Earl Holmes said.
While the defense dominated the scrimmage, All-American kicker Chase Varnadore split the uprights from 48-yards out, bringing an unusual smile to Holmes’ face. “My nickname for him is Matador and he is a guy we can depend on. He just doesn’t miss,” Holmes said.
With all the hitting going on, one of the biggest hits of the days was former Rattler and Oakland Raider offensive tackle Henry “Killer” Lawrence, who stopped by the scrimmage. Lawrence and Holmes had a lengthy conversation between sessions. Both played at FAMU and several years in the NFL. Lawrence was impressed with the caliber of athletes he saw. “From what I saw today, they’ve got some athletes to work with,” he said. Holmes invited Lawrence to be with the team at one of the games this year, which he accepted.
After the scrimmage, the team took a much-needed break for lunch and a bit of rest. At 5 p.m., the team was welcomed to Bragg Stadium for Fan Day. With nearly 1,000 people in attendance, the team signed posters, took photos and greeted faithful Rattler fans. There were several give-a-ways assembled by the FAMU Athletics Marketing Department, as the staff had a full lineup of activities for the day. With music playing, the players got an opportunity to see up close and personal, who would be in the stands rooting for them on Saturdays.
FAMU Vice Pres. For Advancement, Thomas Haynes, Director of Alumni Affairs, Carmen Cummings and Director of Governmental Affairs, Tola Thompson, were among the administrators, faculty and staff who showed up to support the team.
At the conclusion of the Fan Day, the team rushed up to the university quadrangle to take part in the President’s Welcome Pep Rally, put on by FAMU interim President Dr. Larry Robinson. The event featured several campus groups, step teams, cheerleaders, the Marching “100” and the recording group Jagged Edge. Sunday will be a day to review film, Monday will be the first day of classes and before you know it, it will be game day in Orlando.
The MEAC-SWAC Challenge presented by Disney is Sun., Sept.1, at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is 11:45 a.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN. The Rattlers will open their home season on Sept.7, as they take on the “Big Blue” Tigers of Tennessee State at 2 p.m. in Bragg Memorial Stadium. Season tickets, tickets for the MEAC-SWAC Challenge, Florida Classic tickets and single game tickets are available at the FAMU Ticket Office. They can be reached at (850)599-3141.