ROTC students get into the game-day spirit

Kate Sheafer

KSU, UA cadets carry game ball to football stadium

On a day reserved for rivalry, Kent State and University of Akron Army ROTC students have chosen to work together.

For the first time, the two programs will team up to run Saturday’s game-day football from Dix Stadium to Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Adam Holliday, a junior ROTC member at Kent State. “We’re going to be carrying the game ball. It’s teamwork, it’s motivational, and you get to go on a nice little run in the morning.”

Junior ROTC member Chaz Deering said the idea branched from Major Jeff Lakner, who attended Akron and now works for Kent State.

“He wanted to get something going between the two schools’ ROTC programs,” said Deering, who attends Kent State.

Six groups of Kent students will participate in the run. Each group of three will run a mile of the course, which follows Route 261 to Akron.

“We’ll have one guy with our guidon (ROTC flag), one with the football, and the third will just run along,” Holliday said, who will be carrying the guidon for mile three. “It’s a nice little group to have. You don’t have to run alone.”

After the first six miles, Kent students will hand the ball over to Akron students to run the remaining six miles.

The goal is to bring the two programs together, but the possibility for competition in the future remains open.

“We want to have a relationship with (Akron,)” said Lt. Col. Joseph Paydock, ROTC admissions officer at Kent State. “I think this first year if we do something together and have fun with it, it will become easier to do something competitive later.”

Next year, Holliday hopes each school will race its own football from InfoCision Stadium to Dix Stadium, and the winner will provide the game-day ball.

“I think Akron is glad we aren’t racing this year,” he said. “Because they know we’d win!”

Contact Greek life and ROTC reporter Kate Sheafer at

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