Big Saturday Highlights Grove Bowl Week

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April 13, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. – The festivities of Grove Bowl Week 2012 begin Monday and will culminate with a jam-packed Saturday surrounding the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, which benefits the M-Club's scholarship fund.

April 21 will kick off with tailgating at 10 a.m. in The Grove with children's games.  A commemorative poster and Grove Bowl t-shirts can be purchased as well as catfish, barbecue and chicken tenders. At 10:45 a.m., Rebel football players and coaches tread the traditional Walk of Champions as they head to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

At 11 a.m., Eli Manning headlines a group of former Rebels set to take part in an awards ceremony and panel discussion on the National Football League. “NFL & Beyond” will be held on the Grove stage, and joining the two-time Super Bowl MVP will be fellow NFL standout Stacy  Andrews and former pros Ronnie Heard and Tre’ Stallings, who have both gone on to careers in college athletics.

The BancorpSouth Grove Bowl features first-year head coach Hugh Freeze and his Rebels in their annual spring intrasquad scrimmage in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Stadium gates open at noon, and kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CSS is televising the game live.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $40 for the southzone club level and free for Ole Miss students, faculty and staff. All proceeds benefit the M-Club's J.W. "Wobble" Davidson Scholarship Fund.

Tickets are available by calling 662-915-7167 or visiting the athletics ticket office in Tad Smith Coliseum 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. On gameday, tickets are available in The Grove and at the ticket office on All-American Drive, next to the Starnes Athletics Center.

Also on tap for BancorpSouth Grove Bowl Saturday are the semifinal matches of the SEC Women’s Tennis Championship at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center/Galtney Courts. Ole Miss will host the tournament Thursday through Sunday.

Following the football game, the Rebel baseball team will face Arkansas at 4 p.m. in game two of the weekend series. Friday’s opener is set for 6:30 p.m., while Sunday’s finale starts at 1:30 p.m.

Other events of Grove Bowl Week are the Rebels' Choice Awards Monday at 7 p.m.; Ole Miss-Kentucky softball doubleheader Wednesday at 4 p.m.; the Chucky Mullins Award Banquet Thursday at 7 p.m. and a free concert in The Grove with Gavin DeGraw and special guest Craig Morgan Friday at 8:30 p.m.

Free parking for Saturday's football game is available in the lot on the west side of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Lots adjacent to the Indoor Practice Facility are closed, and fans are encouraged to park in the nearby South lot at the intersection of Highway 6 and Old Taylor Road.

ADA spaces are available in the South Lot, and the athletics department is offering a shuttle service for those individuals to and from the football and baseball stadiums beginning at 11:30 a.m. and continuing until fans have left the baseball stadium. For those attending the morning activities in The Grove, a limited number of ADA spaces are available in the lot adjacent to the Starnes Center.

Davidson, a three-sport star at Ole Miss and assistant football coach for 22 seasons under John Vaught, died in 1998 at the age 79. As an assistant in 1945-68, he helped coach the Rebels to 16 bowl games and six Southeastern Conference championships. He also spent 11 years as head men's tennis coach and was adviser to the M-Club for 23 years.

The fund bearing his name awards scholarships to the children of former Ole Miss letterwinners.

The Ole Miss M-Club is an honor organization for men and women who have earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sanctioned sport sponsored by the university and have participated in a formal induction ceremony.      

For more information about BancorpSouth Grove Bowl events or for assistance related to a disability, call the Ole Miss Alumni Affairs office at 662-915-7375.

Grove Bowl Week coincides with Green Week in the Oxford and University community, and among the activities are daily tours of sustainable buildings in town and a chance to win a free raised garden.

Sunday, April 22 will be Earth Day in the Park with live music, yoga, gardening workshops, a free Plot to Plate dinner and kids' activities at the city park by the Old Armory. Visit www.olemiss.edu/greenweek for full details.

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