Back to school again, parents at OU relive their younger days

Every year, hundreds of Ohio University parents prepare for a weekend throwback to their college days. One of the many, many, weekends geared towards families. The University ensures that there is plenty to do around campus to keep the elders busy by things other than booze.

So, what were parents up to this weekend?

Many families opted to check out the football game. Some students stayed to watch the whole thing, even after they saw Marching 110 perform. If you missed the game, never fear, tons of reporting was done because everyone loves sports. In short, OU won and Garden-Webb lost.

Ohiobobcats, a CBSi affiliate do an excellent job of serving up exactly how the game played out and offers readers a chance to go in-depth or just stick with the basics.

Sticking with some outdoor fun, Outdoor Pursuits offers students and their families activities such as zip lining, and campfires!

Some families prefer nightlife at Ohio University choosing to check out special events and shows. The Union featured Athen native musicians, check out some cool photojournalism done by WOUB’s Joe Votaw.

Maybe, you were looking for a laugh or wanted to see a professional illusionist, parents weekend was filled with shows right on campus. Including a magician from Broadway and a famous improv group from Chicago. Ohio University event services break down all the events on an easy to use calendar. So, no excuses missing anything else that’s coming up!

For a complete list of events that occurred this week the best site, is actually the most generic coming straight from Ohio Universities Compass. Listing loads of events, prices, and details it’s easy to find what went on this weekend.

Of course, some parents still opted to relive their rowdy college days and ignored all school functions…

If you’re like me your parents probably didn’t even know it was their weekend. Don’t worry, there’s three other designated weekend for family fun. Up next, dad’s weekend (Nov. 4-6)! In 2017, siblings and moms are invited up during February and March respectively. Luckily, no planning goes into these weekends because OU won’t fail to have plenty to choose from.

7 Reason’s Why OU Athletics Will Not Be What You Are Expecting

Rufus fighingBrutus
Rufus fighting Brutus

Whether you’re signing on the dotted line of your Letter of Intent, or, as it is less glamorously referred to, if you are a “normal” student, not a student-athlete; submitting your nonrefundable deposit reserving your spot in the year’s freshmen class. It means the same thing either way. It means that you are committing to be a member of Ohio University and #BobcatNation for the next four….or five…or even six years as a student, and as an alumnus every year thereafter. Before doing so, there are a few things you should know. Most importantly, you should know that we are Bobcats, not Buckeyes. No matter how many times you say, “I go to Ohio University in Athens,” your family and friends will inevitably believe that what you are saying is that, “I go to Ohio State in Columbus.” This is a common misconception that sadly every Bobcat can relate to. Although both are public institutions just over 70 miles apart, a drive of less than two hours, the schools could not be more different in terms of culture, specifically sports culture. Case and point, Ohio University has strong athletic programs, but if you are looking for a Division I school where the entire student body spends the weekends at the athletic fields singing our fight song, “Stand Up And Cheer,” regrettably that is not something you will find at Ohio University. If a “sports school” is what you desire, Ohio University is not the school for you. Here’s 7 reasons why:

1  The marching band (The Marching 110) is more popular than the sports teams.

 

If you journey to Peden Stadium to watch Ohio football, you will probably see a fairly hardy crowd around 20,000 strong. Unfortunately though, that crowd that was once 20,000 strong will likely dwindle to a crowd of less than 10,000 after the Marching 110 has completed their halftime performance no matter how close the game may be. The reality is, sad as it may be; people come to see the famous Marching 110, not the football team, a tradition that has been in place for decades.

Free Shirt Friday Giveaway
Free Shirt Friday Giveaway

2  Free merchandise and free food giveaways can dictate student support of athletics.

Just as fans tend to only come out to sporting events to watch the band, fans, students in particular have a tendency to venture to Penden, the Convo and Bob Wren only with hopes of getting free gear or free food. After the giveaways, crowds usually shrink.

3  Students would rather buy beer than a hockey ticket.

2015-16 Ohio Men's Hockey Team
2015-16 Ohio Men’s Hockey Team

For all varsity sports student admission is free with a student ID. Club sports on the other hand require a $5 student fee because they are club sports and thus not university sponsored. Ohio hockey is a powerhouse program with four ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championships over the last 20 seasons. When you have more than 25 home contests a season at $5 a person, it doesn’t matter how good the squad is, students are not willing to spend upwards of $125 to go to every hockey game when that same $125 can be used to cover weeks’ worth of bar tabs. Students would rather spend money on beer than sports tickets, plain and simple, it gives them more “bang for their buck.”

4  You need sports jerseys……but for parties, not sporting events on campus.


At Ohio University, the highlight of spring semester for most students is fest season. The coming of fest season means that for about a month, from mid-March- mid-April, there will be various street fests each weekend around town. At these fests you can expect two things. 1) Drunken debauchery and 2) A plethora of sports jerseys. The irony rests in the fact that all OU students act like huge sports fans when it is fest season, yet they won’t support the Bobcats at sporting events on campus.

5  Student-athletes are relatively unknown on campus.


At bigger Division 1 schools high profile student-athletes like a Johnny Manziel or a Cam Newton find themselves on Sports Center on a weekly basis and carry the status of a celebrity on their college campus. Other students routinely ask these future professional athletes for pictures and autographs alike. At Ohio, we don’t have that problem.  Our student-athletes are not fawned over by the rest of the student body. In fact some of Ohio’s best athletes go unnoticed as they walk up and down Court Street. Even 6’10, 260-pound forward Antonio Campbell, who was recently voted MAC Player-of-the Year, went unnoted by my two roommates as we passed him on the street walking to class earlier in the semester. How two self-proclaimed and knowledgeable sports fans did not recognize a 6’10 basketball star complete with a signature mustache as he passed them on the street, I do not know, but at Ohio, where sports aren’t a big deal…..it happens.

6  At Ohio, you are at the mercy of #MACtion.


Being an avid fan of the Mid-American Conference means two things. 1) Be prepared for the unpredictable. Where the best team in the MAC can either kill or be killed by the worst team in the MAC any given week in any sport. 2) Be prepared for inconvenient game times. As a member of the MAC teams are forced to play at times that are less than great for fans and athletes alike. MAC schedules are riddled with mid-week night games late in the season when the temperatures are blustery, balmy and bitter cold. Why? Because that is the only time ESPN will put a mid-major school like Ohio on national television. What can be done about this? Absolutely nothing. What is typically done though is that students do not attend the games. For some the weather scares them away, for others it is class and homework that prevents them from attending the event. Any way you look at it, #MACtion, as great as it can be hurts the Ohio athletics culture.

7  PLAYOFFS?!?!…….Mostly just a pipe dream for a MAC school.


Ohio athletics is fairly strong across the board it has seen success in all major sports fairly recently, it has seen professional athletes come through its programs as well. Despite all of the recent success’s the Bobcats have had on the athletic fields there is one thing that we must keep in mind. That is, we are a mid-major MAC school. This means that although we may have success, although we may make it to the post-season, we will never have certain athletic experiences like a “sports school” like Ohio State will have. An appearance in an historic game such as the College Football Playoff, the Men’s Basketball Final Four, the Men’s Hockey Frozen Four, among others just isn’t feasible for a smaller school like Ohio. For this reason, athletics aren’t as crazed here. Deep down, all Bobcats know, whether we want to admit it or not, we seldom if ever have the opportunity to play in the biggest game on the biggest stage.

 

 

 

 

 

A Field of Dreams: Peden Stadium

When I first came to Ohio University in 2008, I was just taking a weekend trip with my family to visit my parent’s alma mater for the first time. The brick roads, the smell of the Burrito Buggy, the exhausting hills, the trees. Everything in Athens to me was picture perfect.

But then I stepped foot inside a football stadium, but this was not just a football field with some bleachers. This football stadium had a spirit like I have never seen at any sporting venue. There was a hill that stretched behind one of the endzones, there was a view of the rolling hills just over the Hocking River, but there also was history written since 1929 stored inside every brick.

My first trip to OU in 2008 included my first trip to Peden Stadium.
My first trip to OU in 2008 included my first trip to Peden Stadium.

This was Peden Stadium.

I stepped foot on the field (though I was not supposed to), and felt a chill down my spine. If that chill was the spirit of Athens hitting me like a ton of bricks or just a cool breeze I will never know. But I realized at that moment that I too will become a Bobcat, just like my parents were 20 years earlier.

This may be considered the moment when I realized that I would become a Bobcat,
This may be considered the moment when I realized that I would become a Bobcat.

Fast forward five years, and it was my first week on campus as a student at Ohio University. I was overwhelmed by all the activity on campus, and I had a hard time becoming friends with my roommate. I decided to go to a football game with my learning community to celebrate my first week surviving college. Was it awkward? At first, yes, but as the night went on I bonded with my new friends about football, art, Billy Joel, Stephen Colbert and Big Mamma’s. By the end of the night, we all decided to go to games on a weekly basis and maybe hang out a time or two at James Hall.

 

This was during my first OU football game, where I met most of my best friends that I've kept at OU.
This was during my first OU football game, where I met most of my best friends that I’ve kept at OU.

Today, two of those guys are my roommates in our apartment on Court Street, and a few others from that night are still some of my best friends.

I still go to games on a weekly basis, even if it means sitting in freezing temperatures just to get a two-second cameo on ESPN. I have sang the national anthem with the Singing Men of Ohio on homecoming, and watched my friends play with the Marching 110. Every week in the fall is a new chance to make another memory at Peden Stadium.

I don’t love Peden because our football team plays well enough to go to a bowl game or because the Marching 110 is the most exciting band in the land when they play halftime (which is true). I love Peden because I felt that chill almost eight years ago to join OU, and because I met some people that would change my life all inside the brick walls of Peden Stadium.

Once I graduate from OU, I hope I can go back on the field and feel that chill one more time.

Hang up the uniforms, the Marching 110 has a free weekend

Like other sports organizations, Ohio University’s Marching 110 gets a small2015-10-02 00.24.14 break every now and then during the season. Even though they can be seen rehearsing every day of the week and often times performing over the weekend, sometimes the members of the 110 are lucky enough to get some free time. This coming weekend is their first free one of the semester, so they have their uniforms hanging up and staying in their bags for this Ohio University extended weekend. What do they do with that free time?

 

  1. Rest: As an organization that practices a few hours a day every single day of the week, those kids need some time to relax. So of course, if they get a weekend that they don’t have to march, they rest.
  2. Study: Sure, that may not be everyone’s idea of what down-time looks like, but with this weekend off and the “reading day” for all OU students, some members of the 110 are indeed cracking open their books. It’s midterm season, and understandably so, it can be difficult to balance schoolwork and marching band. So while some of them might be taking this weekend just to relax, some of them are taking advantage of the time to crack down on some homework.
  3. Watch football: Although this may sound counter-productive, there are indeed 110 members who watch football if they get the time. Usually their Saturdays are filled with watching the Bobcats play, not that watching them isn’t exciting, but then they miss out on a lot of other big-deal college football games. This Saturday, they don’t have to miss out.
  4. Visit home: There are a lot of Bobcats going home for the extended weekend, even some marching Bobcats. This is especially significant for 110 members because they haven’t had a weekend free yet this semester in which they could go home, while other students at OU have. However, this weekend, all Bobcats get the chance to go back to their stomping grounds. Sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka said, “I’m spending time with my family and going to the high school football game.” She, like many other 110 marchers, is spending her time this weekend living it up back home.

Even though the Marching 110 won’t be seen out anywhere this weekend, they will be back in action very soon. Next weekend (October 9-11) is homecoming weekend at OU and the Bobcats will face the Redhawks of Miami University that Saturday, October 10, at 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium.

3 competitive sides to OU’s Marching 110

When thinking about college organizations that compete, the marching band isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind, but at OU that’s a little different. The Marching 110 of Ohio University has a long history of performing seemingly unforgettable shows, which makes sense considering they are the “most exciting band in the land.” With the level of talent and attention the 110 gets, competitions in various forms are inevitable. Here are a few glimpses into them.

  1. Between fellow band members: The name Marching 110 is a little deceiving because there actually are 250 members of the band. The “110” comes from how many members are on the field. But in the stands, all 250 members blast their horns and beat their drums. How do they narrow it down to 110? They compete. According to sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka, “We have to compete for our spots on the field for each show based on a marching and music score.”  Placing only the best members on the field ensures the band lives up to its reputation.
  2. Marching 110 logoWith other bands: The 110 has a unique style. This puts pressure on them to consistently perform at a high level.  This also presents another way the band competes — the Marching 110 is not the only notable band around. First off there is OSU’s band, and then there are the bands from the other schools in the MAC conference (the conference of OU). For example, at the OU vs. Marshall game a few weeks ago (Saturday, Sept. 12), Marshall’s band came to Athens. There is a little competition there already with two bands playing in the stands, but it escalated when, at halftime, OU and Marshall both performed songs by Bruno Mars. To compete with these other bands, especially Marshall at that game, the 110 sticks to its unique style.
  3. Offseason competing: Marching bands are in action during the fall football season. So what do members do when it’s not marching season? Some join other music groups around campus, some play music on their own, and some join a competitive marching band for the summer. There is something called DCI (Drum Corps International), appropriately called “marching music’s major league.” In a sense, DCI is like a professional marching band. What does this have to do with the 110? There are quite a few members of the 110 who, when they aren’t marching as a Bobcat, are marching professionally over the summer as a member of a DCI group. Drum Corps International is a competition-based league. Corps from around the world travel to a new place almost every week to compete. They do this until they all come together in early August at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN to compete in the DCI World Championships World Class Finals.

The marching 110 may not be the first Bobcat organization that comes to mind when thinking about competition, but they definitely compete. The marching 110 will be in action again at the Jackson Apple Festival in Jackson, Ohio, this Saturday, Sept. 26 and will be back home at Peden Stadium at OU for the homecoming game against the Miami University on Oct. 10.


The marching 110 during halftime of the OU vs. Marshall football game.