TOWSON, Md. - Coach Rob Ambrose will conclude his second Spring season as the Towson University football coach when the Tigers hold their annual Black and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, May 1 at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.
Although admission to the game is free, all fans are asked to donate a canned food item to be donated as the football program supports the Maryland Food Bank.
His second Spring as the Tigers' coach has provided Coach Ambrose with cause for optimism. He says, "We have made tremendous strides since last season. The most obvious improvement has been in the area of conditioning. Our players are much stronger and they are better-conditioned than they were last year. They have done well in the off-season program.
"It's like I tell the players 'The bad news is that we're not good enough yet," he says. "The good news is that we are getting closer. We are now focused on getting better, individually and as a team."
Defensive backs Jeremy Gardner, Ollie Thomas and Raymond White are among the seniors who will be playing in their final Black and Gold Spring Game. Gardner and Thomas have been the starting cornerbacks since they were freshmen while White is a two-year starter at safety.
Offensively, center Steve Jordan and guard Chris Ritter will be making their final appearance in the Black and Gold Game. Both Jordan and Ritter have been regular starters on the offensive line for the last three years.
The Black and Gold Spring Game will also mark the debut of a talented group of "red shirt" freshmen who should contribute to the Tigers' success this season. Jamie Caldwell, Anthony Davis, Arnold Farmer, Randall Harris, Charles Johnson and Eric Pike are competing for playing time on the offensive line while linebackers Ryan Bonheyo and Ryan Phillips have been pushing for an opportunity on the defense.
Coach Ambrose likes the Tigers' depth in the backfield. Nygee Carmichael, a "red shirt" freshman, has been impressive at running back. He joins junior Trevor Walker and sophomores Dominique Booker and Tremayne Dameron to enhance the Tigers' running game.
With Peter Athens sidelined while recovering from knee surgery, there has been plenty of opportunity for quarterbacks Jeremy Jayne, Brian Potts and Chris Hart to impress the coaching staff. A veteran senior, Jayne saw action in three games last season and threw for 302 yards and a touchdown. Potts, who will be a sophomore, appeared in four games and passed for 391 yards. A junior transfer, Hart passed for 1,060 yards and 22 touchdowns at Georgia Military College last year. He also ran for 362 yards and scored three touchdowns.
The Black and Gold Game will be more than just a football scrimmage. It will be a festival of Tiger football.
While the game is set for a 12:30 kickoff in Johnny Unitas® Stadium, activities actually start at 9:30 a.m. when the Tiger coaching staff holds a free clinic for young people on the Tigers' practice field.
Prior to the Black and Gold Spring Game, there will be a football tailgate that is open to the fans. The tailgate, which will be held in Parking Lot 20, will provide an opportunity for Tiger football fans to mingle with Coach Ambrose and many Tiger football alumni.
In addition, Rob Long of FOX 1370AM Sports Radio, the new radio home of Tiger football, will host a special two-hour radio show from the Minnegan Room adjacent to Unitas Stadium. The show will air from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and will feature interviews with many Tiger football alumni as well as Spiro Morekas, the long-time voice of Towson Tiger football.
Inside Johnny Unitas® Stadium, fans will find a number of activities:
- Inflatable games including a 1,000-square foot obstacle course.
- Doc's Locker Room sale where fans can purchase authentic game-used Tiger apparel.
- Opportunity to purchase a Tiger football tee-shirt with the 2010 schedule on the back.
- Halftime on-field football combine for Towson University students directed by the coaching staff.
- Face-painting by members of the Tiger women's basketball team.
- "Dress Like A Tiger" where fans can have their photos taken wearing a Towson jersey and helmet.
- Interact with Towson University's corporate partners, including:
- Massage Envy
- Towson Place Apartments
The gates to Unitas Stadium will open 60 minutes prior to kickoff.
Tiger football fans will also be able to purchase 2010 football season tickets and select their seat locations at the Black and Gold Game. The date of the Black and Gold Game is also the deadline for 2009 season ticket holders to retain their seats for the 2010 season.