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Bethel gets opening day of ESPN3 airing 2018 KCAC football

Thresher football

Bethel kicks off their 2018 season Sat., Sept. 1, with kickoff at 7:05 p.m. – and with this game being featured as the “ESPN3 Game of the Week” for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

This marks the first year that every KCAC member institution will get to host a game on ESPN3. The Threshers being given the first of the season means excitement is in the Bethel campus air.

“This Saturday’s game is much anticipated for so many reasons,” said Tony Hoops, Bethel athletic director.

“Coach [Terry] Harrison takes the field for his Thresher debut, the Booster Club will hold their membership drive with a free meal for all current and interested members before the game, Hellas Construction will dedicate the new turf – plus ESPN3 covering the event. It’s going to be fun-filled night our fans do not want to miss out on.”

What exactly does it all mean for fans?

Those able to be in the stands for this historic event are asked to wear their maroon and gray proudly, although those who forget may still be covered – the first 150 fans entering the stadium will receive an iconic “ESPN Gameday” T-shirt, customized for the Threshers.

Those unable to attend can of course watch the game through the camera lenses of a real-life ESPN production. Fans can access the broadcast online at bit.ly/OUvsBCespn3

These links will also be found on the schedule for Thresher football on the Bethel athletics website, at www.bethelthreshers.com/schedule/16/4. Please note that the Thresher Sports Network will not be live for this game, since it is an ESPN3 broadcast.

Thresher athletics is planning “a grand event,” in addition to the game being on ESPN3.

“Saturday will be a day filled with Thresher activities,” Hoops said, “beginning with softball starting at 11a.m. at Allen Wedel Field, an alumni volleyball scrimmage at 3 p.m. in Thresher Gym, and finally the football game festivities. It will be a great day to preview several of this year’s Thresher athletic teams.”

The Bethel College Booster Club will hold a membership drive before the game, beginning at 5 p.m.

Fans are invited to come by and grab a complimentary hamburger or hot dog – or even join in on the fun by tailgating themselves. There will be a designated tailgate location in the stadium parking lot, on the east side next to the grass by the tennis courts.

Hoops said he hopes fans will “bring their trucks, grills and outdoor games to make Thresher Stadium come alive all afternoon.”

The Office of Student Life will also be out in the grass near the tailgate area, beginning at 5:30 p.m., with cornhole competitions and other “yard game” options. There will also be ESPN Gameday (Thresher) T-shirts for the first 150 students to arrive for this event.

Other special features of the evening include:

  • A tent along the home-side sidewalk, where fans can claim a piece of the old, original turf from Thresher Stadium. A donation of any amount gets a piece of Thresher history, dating back to the installation of the turf in 2005, the stadium’s first year of existence.
  • “Rally Rags” being sold by the Bethel softball program (located next to the turf tent)
  • A nationwide broadcast by ESPN3 means media time-outs and longer break periods to allow for commercials. There will be live performances by the Bethel cheer squad and Threshold Athletic Band during these periods, which will be indicated by the timeout media coordinator coming out onto the field intermittently during the game.
  • The halftime show will feature the turf dedication, completed in mid-August just in time for the 2018 fall season. Hellas Construction, the contractor, will have representatives at this ceremony.

Bethel College is the only Kansas private college listed in Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section for 2018-19. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

In sports, Bethel competes in the 13-school KCAC and the NAIA. For more information, see bethelthreshers.com.

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to TitleIXCoordinator@bethelks.edu.

--Joshua Booth

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.