Blue Raider Blitz Crosses State For MTSU Fans

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Downtown Shelbyville looks like it's straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie, with the brick courthouse being surrounded by a square of buildings filled with anything and everything you could need to do downtown: diners, salons, barbers, CPAs, and a wide variety of different retail stores.

On Wednesday night, however, the town square transitioned into a different type of Hollywood production. Not a movie about a workaholic man coming home to his small town for the holidays and ending up staying awhile, but say, a TV show about the drama surrounding a high school obsessed with its football team.

With the pop-a-shot football toss, the inflatable obstacle course, face painting, balloon animals, and food trucks, there was no question: football is coming back.
And Blue Raider fans from across the midstate are showing up to hear from MT coaches ahead of what's sure to be an action packed home season.


David and Jennifer McKnight have been season ticket holders for over 30 years, a pair of MT graduates who fell in love with the area after graduation and never left Murfreesboro. They were at both events on Wednesday, lunch in Mt. Juliet and dinner in Shelbyville. And they say that they try to come to "everything," COVID or no COVID.

"We're at a point in life where our kids are grown, and we are free to travel some, so we try to make most of the games," David McKnight said.

Wayne and Dana Groce have a little different connection to Blue Raider football. Wayne is Chip Walters' spotter for the radio broadcasts, helping track down who made the tackle and how long down field the gain was so it can relayed as quickly as possible to folks listening at home.

"It's my fun thing," Wayne Groce said. "I don't fish, I don't golf, I don't hunt. That's just what I do for fun."

Both couples have many fond memories of their time as Blue Raider fans. The NCAA men's basketball tournament win over Michigan State sits near the top for both, while on the gridiron, David McKnight can't help but love every time he's been in attendance when MT has pulled off an upset on a team from a more prominent conference, with the win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta in 2012 really standing out.

What they're most excited about, however, is the coming season on field, and for getting everyone back into Floyd Stadium with them.

"Football needs to go well to kick off the year," Wayne Groce said. "If football goes well, everything seems to go well."

"But for the coaches, the players, you're going on a run as a team and you need that home crowd advantage," Jennifer McKnight said.

The Blue Raider Blitzes continue on Thursday with stops in Franklin and Nashville, and will have three more stops next week in Columbia and Smyrna on Wednesday and in Murfreesboro on Thursday night. It's a great chance to hear from Coach Rick Stockstill, Coach Nick McDevitt and athletic director Chris Massaro about the upcoming seasons, as well as a chance to lock in your season tickets and win some giveaways, if you're lucky.

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