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This Handoff Serves Those Who Sacrifice Everything For Us

Coach Hugh Freeze hands off a special signed football to MSgt. Chris Hayes in preparation for the Egg Bowl Run.
Coach Hugh Freeze hands off a special signed football to MSgt. Chris Hayes in preparation for the Egg Bowl Run.

When Coach Hugh Freeze handed off a specially signed football to MSgt. Christopher Hayes of the Ole Miss Army ROTC Battalion on Nov. 20, there was no chance the experienced soldier would fumble.

Ole Miss cadets like Jake Bolding, the Corps of Cadets commander standing in the background of the photo above, promise to secure the ball tightly as they run it all the way to Calhoun City in preparation for the Mississippi State game on Thanksgiving Day.

One reason the cadets are so protective of the football is because it will eventually be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors organization.

The Ole Miss cadets will meet their counterparts from Mississippi State with the “game ball” on Monday, Nov. 25. At about 11 a.m. the handoff will occur and the State cadets will carry the ball on to Starkville for the Thanksgiving night Egg Bowl game.

Each group will run 40-50 miles to Calhoun City for the exchange.

The auction of this football will help vets through the Wounded Warrior program.
The auction of this football will help vets through the Wounded Warrior program.

Others who have signed the ball in addition to Coach Freeze include Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones, Lt. Col. Scott Walton, Battalion commander

“We will have vans and will basically take turns running with the ball until we reach our half way point, which in this case will be Calhoun City,” explained Sergeant Hayes. “About a mile or so from the exchange point, all cadets (minus drivers) will run in a formation with the American Flag and the University flags.”

The runners will have a police escort and they welcome people to get along the route and cheer for their respective teams.

“We want to encourage the public to cheer Ole Miss on or MSU as we run,” Hayes said. “We’re hoping for a community presence, veterans and football fanatics cheering on each program.” Due to safety reasons, private citizens will not be allowed to join in the run unless they remain well behind the soldiers

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Andy Knef is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com

 

 

 

 

 

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