Deans of Students look to promote school spirit in rival football game
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 01:10
Two Deans of Students look to up the ante for this year’s Battle of the Piney Woods with a unique wager to help promote school spirit.
Dean of Students at Sam Houston State University John Yarabeck and Dean of Student Affairs at Stephen F. Austin University Adam Peck both agreed to wear the winning team’s colors at their university next Monday after the results of Saturday’s game.
If SFA wins, Yarabeck will sport a purple tie on Monday. If SHSU wins, Peck will wear an orange tie. In addition the losing dean will send a picture of himself to be published in the school newspaper.
According to Yarabeck, the bet started out as a casual conversation that grew into a way to promote school spirit on both campuses.
"We had the idea cause a lot of places where there is a big game, mayors of cities make wagers like this," Yarabeck said. "I think a game like this one is something of that magnitude and we wanted to up the ante a little bit."
Peck agrees, noting the bet will be a fun way to get students involved in the game to promote spirit behind each team.
"I think these things prompt our school spirit," Peck said. "We both know we need to win. But as we look something to occupy our interests this weekend, this makes for a good way to talk about it."
This will be a first time both universities will participate in this type of wager, a tradition Yarabeck hopes to begin with this year’s game.
"Well if people want to get involved in something like this, I think it’s great for both deans since we’re student advocates and we’re both very spirit conscious," he said. "If others want to do something, it will make to the tradition that much better."
As the football game draws near, the anticipation grows for both deans who will be watching intently with the hope of a winning team and a right to share school spirit with the rival university. However both remain confident in their team.
"This is a big game for us," Yarabeck said. "SFA always comes with a good team and loud people. We need to get behind our team and give them support."
For Peck, the wager and the game is more about the fun and spirit behind it although he too is confident in his team.
"More than anything else….in many ways, our two institutions are sister schools and I would encourage [students] to watch the game respectfully. However, on our side, no one thinks I will wear an orange tie. They’re expecting Dean Yarabeck to wear a purple tie."
The Battle of the Piney Woods will be this Saturday at 3 p.m. in Reliant Stadium in Houston.