MOUNT PLEASANT - More than 1,750 first-year Central Michigan University students participating in Leadership Safari got their first taste of gameday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium Wednesday afternoon at the annual Traditions Day, which featured pep talks from coaches and student-athletes and the participants’ first performance of the fight song.
Soccer head coach Neil Stafford, volleyball head coach Erik Olson and football head coach Dan Enos addressed the new Chippewas on various leadership topics as it related to their sports, and encouraged the students to come support their teams once the academic year began. Senior football captains Cody Wilson, Jahleel Addae and Joe Kinville also spoke to the crowd.
Following the presentations, Dr. Jim Batcheller, director of the CMU Marching Band, and the football team led the students in the fight song. Though Batcheller said the first run-through was pretty good, he wanted the students to sing as if the Chippewas had just won a MAC Championship, and asked senior Caesar Rodriguez to lead the band for the second time through.
The Leadership Safari participants then made their way down to midfield, where in conjuction with the band they formed a large “C” spanning one-third of the field.