Washburn football game crowd

Columns by Ernie W. Webb III

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Lunch with Washburn coach Craig Schurig
Washburn football coach Craig Schurig

Join us at noon on July 30 for our Top of the Tower luncheon featuring football coach Craig Schurig, who will discuss the upcoming season, including the Nov. 15 game at Arrowhead Stadium. The cost is $10 for a soup and salad buffet at the Bank of America building in downtown Topeka.

Register for the luncheon

Ichabods at Arrowhead: A chance for the Washburn community to shine

Arrowhead Stadium

Ichabods at Arrowhead. Don’t you love the sound of that?

It reminds me of a moment my senior year at Washburn when many of us hoped a day like this would come. In the midst of a 4-7 season, the Ichabods hosted arch-rival Emporia State on Oct. 29, 1998, in a televised game at Moore Bowl.

Though Washburn was a .500 team at that point, more than 6,000 people attended the game, which the nationally-ranked Hornets held on to win 35-27. The environment was electric. I remembering leaving that night hoping it would become a typical game day experience for the Washburn community.

What I didn’t see coming back then was a perennial football contender at Washburn, which coach Craig Schurig has built since arriving in 2002. Few of us imagined our University would have the opportunity to play arguably the best Division II college football program in a National Football League stadium.

“I wasn’t sure how long it’d take to get there, but I knew we’d be playing in these types of game at some point,” said Schurig, whose team will serve as the road squad during a Nov. 15 game against Northwest Missouri State at Arrowhead. Kickoff time and ticket information will be announced soon. “I hadn’t thought about playing at Arrowhead Stadium, though. To get to be a part of a game like this, in an NFL stadium, what a great opportunity for our team and the University.”

It’s also a great opportunity for alumni and friends, including those in the Kansas City area. What better way to show our Ichabod Pride then to fill our half of the stadium against the defending national champion in a game that likely will have postseason implications?

“This is tremendous for Washburn,” said Jerry Farley, president, Washburn. “This will be a great experience for our student-athletes, as well as our alumni, friends and fans.”

The Washburn community has done a wonderful job building a vibrant, exciting environment on game day, from tailgating hours before the game, to the marching band and team walking through the quad moments before kickoff, to creating a an intimidating home-field advantage at Yager Stadium.

Now, it’s time to take our show on the road. Order your tickets early and plan on a day that begins with an Alumni Association tailgate at Arrowhead and concludes with a showdown against the conference powerhouse in the house the Kansas City Chiefs built.

Also, check back here in the upcoming weeks, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, for information about bus trips to the game from campus.

In addition to playing at Arrowhead this season, Washburn and Northwest Missouri State will play in the stadium in 2015, with Washburn serving as the home team.