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Lions ‘mix and mingle’ with fans

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Lion Athletics welcomed students, faculty and staff to join them for “Lunch with the Lions” to kick off Homecoming Week 2012.
The University’s student athletes lunch was served on Monday at 11 a.m. and provided free hamburgers and hot dogs, music, prizes and an exclusive opportunity to “mix and mingle” with the students and coaches of Lion athletic teams.
Lion Athletics collaborated with the Student Government Association (SGA) to provide students with SGA water to supplement the hot dogs, hamburgers and potato chips that were served.
“Lunch with the Lions” is funded through student athletic fees, which are included in students’ tuition.
“We planned for 1,000 students,” said Carley Cryer, athletics marketing and promotions coordinator. “In the spring, we didn’t promote it as much, and we definitely ran out of food. This is student athletic fees hard at work.”
Students appreciated having the opportunity to interact with the faces of Southeastern athletics in a positive atmosphere. The event stimulated excitement about Homecoming Week and Lion athletics.
“I’m having a great time,” said Todd Kepper, a senior majoring in engineering. “It’s nice to meet the football team and mingle with each other.”
While the football team celebrated Homecoming Week, several members of other athletic teams in attendance prepared for events that took place during the week. The volleyball team was approaching a big game versus Lamar. Stephanie Mueller, member of the volleyball team and junior biology major, explained that their game against Lamar would determine whether they would have the opportunity to play in the conference tournament.
“Even though it is away, it will be a big game,” said Mueller. “If we beat Lamar, we will probably have a spot in the conference tournament. ‘Lunch with the Lions’ is a great way to promote our games, encourage students to support us and interact with our biggest fans.”
Head coach Ron Roberts made an appearance to thank everyone in advance for supporting the Lions in their quest for a Homecoming victory over the University of Central Arkansas and for attending the luncheon. Roberts assisted the athletics staff in serving the food and was able to meet and intermingle with students personally.
“I thought it was great,” said Roberts. “Sometimes we’re so busy that we don’t get to meet and talk to students and fans. I’m very excited about the game. It’s obviously Homecoming, and we’re hoping for a big crowd. We’ll have a great opportunity to perform for our fans and alumni and show them what we can do.”
Devan Walker, a senior linebacker, encouraged attendance at the game.
“It’s good to see people happy and see the positivity around campus,” said Walker. “I enjoy meeting people and seeing new faces. I encourage everyone to come out and support us.”
 “Students get in free,” continued Walker. “There’s no excuse not to come.”

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