By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
The Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds are set to face the West Texas Buffaloes Saturday evening at Greyhound Stadium in the 20th annual Wagon Wheel rivalry game, an exclamation point to a day full of music and meat.
The ENMU Associated Students Activities Board is hosting a pre-game show, at the stadium, beginning at 3 p.m. The bands set to perform are: Kacee Lavoto, The Kene Terry Band and the Allie Brooks Band.
ENMU Communication Services Director Wendal Sloan says this will be something the University can be proud of.
“I’m sure that the student body will appreciate having entertainment before the game, and from what I understand these are very good bands,” Sloan said.
Sloan also says along with the pre-game entertainment, the public is invited to bring food and grills to participate in tailgating festivities.
“(The students) I’ve talked to definitely say they’re going to participate, and bring out their grills and have a cook-out, and basically have a good time.”
Second-year ENMU head football coach Mark Ribaudo, getting ready for his 15th Wagon Wheel game between the two teams, says it’s good for the community and the football team to have an event like this.
Ribaudo has been on both sides of the rivalry, having spent five years as WTAMU special teams coach before coming to ENMU.
“This means a lot to us, we want to play good for the community, we want to give back to the community, we want to be the community’s football team, just like the Rams are,” Ribaudo said. “For them to support us they way they have been, it means a lot, it makes us play harder.”
In addition to the pre-game festivities, the game will also be broadcast live on Amarillo’s NBC affiliate, KAMR.
“That’s pretty cool for a Division II school to be on TV,” Ribaudo said.
“You can’t pass up on something like that, and to our kids, it makes it more special.”
ENMU student government is also providing a free shuttle service from the Campus Union Building, with the first van leaving at 2:50 p.m. and running until the beginning of the game. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.
West Texas is in possession of the prized Wagon Wheel, winning a thrilling overtime game last year in Canyon 52-51 over the Greyhounds. ENMU holds a 11-8 edge in the series.