Ferris State Football Lift-A-Thon Kicks Off Busy Weekend Friday; Spring Game Set For Saturday

Big Rapids, Mich. - A busy weekend is planned for the Ferris State University football program as the Bulldogs will hold their 31st annual Lift-A-Thon fundraising event in addition to the squad's Crimson & Gold Spring Game and be involved with "The Big Event" community service activity on Friday and Saturday.

The 31st-annual Lift-A-Thon, which serves as a primary fundraiser for the Bulldog Football Program and is operated in conjunction with the FSU Gridiron Club and the Bulldog Athletic Association, will kick off the weekend on Friday (April 19) and is open to the public free of charge. It will begin at 5 p.m. (ET) and run until approximately 7 p.m. (ET) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

Then, on Saturday (April 20), the 2013 Crimson & Gold Spring Game will take place at Top Taggart Field with kickoff set for 1 p.m. (ET). Admission will be free for the game, which was pushed back a week due to weather conditions last weekend. Ferris State will begin its traditional "Bulldog Walk" at 12:10 p.m. (ET) with warmups starting for the spring game at 12:15 p.m. inside the stadium.  The coin toss will be held just prior to opening kickoff.

Along with the Lift-A-Thon and spring game, the Bulldogs will also be involved with Ferris State University's "The Big Event", which will also take place on Saturday morning. The Crimson & Gold Spring game will follow the annual community event, which is an important citywide cleanup initiative that involves student organizations.  Nearly 2,000 students are expected to participate in the effort and help clean up approximately 300 residences in the community. Members of the Bulldog Football team will also participate in the "Big Event" cleanup effort prior to the annual spring game. 

The Lift-A-Thon starts the weekend activities on Friday night and players will be divided into two teams with selected individuals slated to compete in events such as the bench press (225 pound reps), pro agility run, 20-yard dash along with a dunk contest, three-point shootout and a talent show.

Five celebrity judges will also be part of the Lift-A-Thon activities and help judge the dunk contest, including FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger, Senior Women's Administrator Sara Higley, the radio color voice of Bulldog Football Sandy Gholston, assistant men's basketball coach Andy Bronkema along with a special guest judge to be announced.

The Lift-A-Thon, which was developed in 1982, operates under the FSU Gridiron Club and the Bulldog Athletic Association with contributions to the Lift-A-Thon directly benefiting the Bulldog football program. Pledge cards have been sent to many previous supporters and fans, but will also be available at both the Lift-A-Thon and the spring game this weekend. For more information and/or to make a donation to the Ferris State Football Lift-A-Thon event, please contact assistant coach Brad Corpe at (231) 250-2972 or email corpeb1@ferris.edu.

The Crimson & Gold Spring Game will continue FSU's first official spring practice drills under head coach Tony Annese.  The Bulldogs opened the spring workouts on March 22 and the slate includes a total of 15 workouts per NCAA regulations.

Saturday's contest will provide fans with an opportunity to watch the Bulldogs for the first time since last fall in a game-like situation under Coach Tony Annese and his staff. Last fall, the Bulldogs posted a 7-4 overall mark and FSU ranked among the nation's top teams in both rushing offense and total offense. 

In 2012, the Bulldogs recorded several impressive wins under Annese's direction, including beating archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic for the first time since 1999, snapping a 10-year losing streak to Michigan Tech and topping defending national runner-up Wayne State for the first time in five years.  FSU also managed to win seven games for only the second time in the past decade despite facing one of the nation's two toughest schedules in Division II football during the regular-season, according to the Massey Ratings.

Besides putting together an impressive debut season with the Bulldogs, Annese and his staff also recently inked what many consider to be one of the nation's top incoming recruiting classes in Division II football.

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