April 5, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University football team will conduct its annual Spring Game intrasquad scrimmage this Thursday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m., in Waldo Stadium. Admission is free.
The spring game format has WMU's top offensive and defensive units comprising one team, with the remaining squad members forming the other. The latter will be spotted a 14-point lead. The game promises to be fast paced behind a running clock that will stop only in the final two minutes of each half. Last year's game took just one-and-a-half hours to complete.
Another twist to this year's game is the involvement of two graduating players in promoting the event. As part of a marketing internship, seniors Jake Moreland and Scott Niles are coordinating the "Drive into Spring: Kickoff 2000" campaign to be held in conjunction with Thursday's game. By forming a marketing partnership with DeNooyer Chevrolet of Kalamazoo, Moreland and Niles hope to gain practical business experience while increasing attendance at the spring game. The assignment was made possible through the General Motors Marketing Internship (GMMI) program.
"Our goal is to improve awareness of DeNooyer Chevrolet and get the community and students involved with the spring game," Niles said. Niles, along with Moreland, is one of 18 students working on the project under the name of ProMotive Marketing. To meet its objectives, ProMotive has organized a pregame tailgate party (starting at 4:30 p.m.) that will include music, free food, interactive games, prizes and a display of 2000 model DeNooyer vehicles.
Moreland and Niles completed their eligibility last fall and graduate in April. Moreland is WMU's all-time tight end leader in receptions (143) and touchdowns (13) while Niles earned All-MAC First Team honors in 1999, finishing seventh in WMU career tackles (313).
Spring practice notes
For the first time since 1996, the spring game will likely determine a new quarterback for the Broncos. Junior Jeff Welsh and junior college transfer Ryan Harris are the leading candidates for the position.
WMU's defensive line has shown the biggest improvement this spring, says head coach Gary Darnell, citing the play of Anthony Allsbury, Marty Harig, Scott Karstens, Larry Charleston and Chris Browning. WMU's linebacker corps have also excelled behind veterans Mario Evans and Garrett Soldano and redshirt freshman Jason Malloy.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; email@example.com
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