Top Taggart Field To See Increased Fall Use

A youth football player heads for the endzone in Wednesday's flag football action at Top Taggart Field (Photo by Rob Bentley)

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Action held at Top Taggart Field - Aug. 25

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University's Top Taggart Field will be the place to catch the action this fall as the facility welcomes a number of special visitors with several new events.

The FSU Athletics Department has partnered with various youth and high school organizations to bring a number of gridiron contests to the Mondo Ecofill artificial surface.  Additionally, the Bulldog women's soccer team will play four home games at the stadium later this season.

Besides five Ferris State home football games this fall, three high school football dates are scheduled in addition to all Big Rapids High School varsity, junior varsity and freshman home outings.  Top Taggart Field will also host rocket or flag youth football three times this fall.

"We have a great football facility that can serve as a central meeting point for high schools and rocket football programs," said FSU Associate Athletics Director Jon Coles. "This initiative utilizes athletics as a tool to drive people to campus and markets the university, which is a win-win situation.

"We'll continue to try to market the concept to drive traffic to campus, our community and our local patrons," he added.

The high school football games scheduled to be played include Crossroads Charter Academy versus Kingston (Aug. 28), Traverse City West against Dearborn Edsel Ford (Oct. 2) and Fruitport taking on Ogemaw Heights (Oct. 22).  The TC West-Dearborn Edsel Ford matchup will also include freshmen and JV contests in addition to the varsity contest. Additionally, Big Rapids is scheduled to play four varsity home tilts with five other dates reserved for JV and/or freshman games.

The fall season opened on Wednesday (Aug. 25) night as the Big Rapids Flag Football games were played at the stadium.  Big Rapids Rocket Football visits Top Taggart Field on Sept. 18 and the Reed City Rocket Football program will hit the turf on Oct. 30.

The Ferris women's soccer team plans to play four home games at Top Taggart Field in October rather than utilizing the grass at the FSU Soccer Field.  The dates include Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilts versus Saginaw Valley State (Oct. 8), Northwood (Oct. 10), Michigan Tech (Oct. 15) and Northern Michigan (Oct. 17).

"We are moving some of our home soccer games to Top Taggart Field partly by necessity in late fall, but it is also a great marketing tool," Coles said.  "In the wet days of October, our soccer field often becomes tough to play on and can be a safety hazard.  The stadium will not only provide a much needed safety net, but it also offers a great opportunity to showcase our women's program on a bigger stage.  

"We have great promotions scheduled on October 8 and 15 that will showcase our soccer talents that we wouldn't be able to pull off at our grass field," added Coles.

This fall's scheduled includes six new events spanning nine different dates of increased usage at Top Taggart Field.

Top Taggart Field has served as home for the Ferris State football team since 1957. Officially dedicated in October 1978, the stadium is centrally located on the FSU campus and features a current seating capacity of 6,200. The facility underwent its latest upgrade in the summer of 2008 as a new top of the line Mondo Ecofill artificial surface was installed as part of a one-million dollar project.

The field is named in honor of W.C. "Top" Taggart, a Big Rapids native and a former Bulldog star halfback who became Ferris' first official varsity football coach in 1912. He later served on the Ferris Board of Control from 1931-50, including five years as its chairman, and was a long-time benefactor of the university in countless ways.

Below is a schedule of events this fall at Top Taggart Field:

Aug. 25 - Big Rapids Flag Football
Aug. 27 - Big Rapids Varsity Football vs. Reed City
Aug. 28 - Crossroads Charter Academy vs. Kingston
Sept. 1 - Big Rapids Freshman/JV Football vs. Central Montcalm
Sept. 11 - Big Rapids Varsity Football vs. White Cloud
Sept. 11 - Ferris State Football vs. Saginaw Valley State
Sept. 17 - Big Rapids Varsity Football vs. Hesperia
Sept. 18 - Big Rapids Rocket Football
Sept. 23 - Big Rapids Freshman Football vs. Holton JV
Sept. 23 - Big Rapids JV Football vs. Morley-Stanwood
Sept. 25 - Ferris State Football vs. Tiffin
Oct. 1 - Big Rapids Varsity Football vs. Chippewa Hills
Oct. 2 - Traverse City West vs. Dearborn Edsel Ford (Varsity, JV, Freshman Football)
Oct. 7 - Big Rapids Freshman/JV Football vs. Bay City John Glenn
Oct. 8 - Ferris State Women's Soccer vs. Saginaw Valley State
Oct. 9 - Ferris State Football vs. Findlay
Oct. 10 - Ferris State Women's Soccer vs. Northwood
Oct. 14 - Big Rapids JV Football vs. Lakeview
Oct. 15 - Ferris State Women's Soccer vs. Michigan Tech
Oct. 17 - Ferris State Women's Soccer vs. Northern Michigan
Oct. 21 - Big Rapids Freshman Football vs. Chippewa Hills
Oct. 21 - Big Rapids JV Football vs. Holton
Oct. 22 - Fruitport vs. Ogemaw Heights (Varsity Football)
Oct. 23 - Ferris State Football vs. Grand Valley State
Oct. 30 - Reed City Rocket Football
Nov. 6 - Ferris State Football vs. Michigan Tech

Schedule tentative and subject to change
Postseason dates TBA

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