The trophy is named for Sgt. Alvin York, a decorated WWI Army hero, so Tennessee Tech University officials say it's fitting that on Thursday night when Tech begins its defense of the award by hosting UT Martin, military personnel will be recognized during the school's annual Military Appreciation Night. As part of the event, First Tennessee Bank will feed all military personnel attending the game under the white tent in the Magic 98.5 Tailgate Park, which opens at 4 p.m. All military personnel, active and retired, are invited guests to the game along with their families.
In a pregame ceremony, the Army will conduct an Oath of Enlistment on the field and welcome 73 new recruits. The will be followed by a rendition of "God Bless America" by Nashville band Due West, which is the featured musical guest in the tailgate park from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The night is also the annual Football Alumni Reunion, with a special tribute to the 50-year anniversary of the 1960 Ohio Valley Conference championship team.
Once the activities move into the stadium from the tailgate park at 6:30 p.m, the first presentation of the evening will be a recognition of former Herald-Citizen Sports Editor Frank Layne as recipient of the OVC Media Lifetime Achievement Award.
Following the Oath of Enlistment and song by Due West, the Golden Eagle Marching Band will perform its pregame show.
At the coin toss at midfield, joining the officials and team captains, will be Brigadeer General Robert Harris.
At halftime, the Golden Eagle baseball team will be recognized for winning the 2010 OVC regular season championship. That will be followed by ceremonies recognizing the football alumni. The final activity before the band's halftime show will be a pinning ceremony for 11 Army ROTC commissioned cadets.
For information on Military Appreciation Night, the Football Alumni Reunion, or to order tickets, please call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center (931) 372-3940.