You’ve seen them on the field or on the court, but during the annual Jock ‘n Roll event, you see student-athletes in another setting – on the stage.
Each year, Jock ‘n Roll is coordinated by the Student Athletic Advisory Committee as a fundraiser for Hoops for Heroes, a project that raises money to help a veteran attend the OVC championship basketball tournament. The goal is to raise $500 in order to pay for the transportation, lodging and the extra expenses of the veteran and their family.
“I think that makes it special that you’re not just performing or having fun, but you’re helping a family and it’s a good thing,” junior volleyball player Maria Ferragonio said. “It’s a humbling feeling that you’re doing this for a special reason.”
This year, seven teams participated in the performance – football, volleyball, women’s golf, baseball, soccer, softball and men’s basketball. Throughout the show, audience members vote on Twitter for the team they think deserves the “audience choice award.”
Five judges also critique the performance of the teams and give their feedback following each performance. Following all of the acts, the panel decide who the overall winner is.
One of these judges, Tessie Bowman, the senior office associate of the Bratzke Center, said that Jock ‘n Roll is always one of the most exciting and fun events for the athletic community. Preparing for the different acts creates camaraderie among the teams and is always evident during the different acts, Bowman said.
“There’s nothing more rewarding to me than watching the team do their routines, come together and have fun together,” Bowman said. “It’s special to watch them all win and hug each other. It joys my heart to see that.”
The winner of this year’s show, by choice of the judges, was the soccer team, featuring their assistant coach, Morgan Ferrara, with their dance performance in cheerleading costumes.
The baseball team was the audience’s choice for the winning performance with their act titled, “Baseball Stepbrothers,” where they re-made one of the scenes from “Stepbrothers” by lip syncing and dancing along like the scenes from the movie.
Austin Scott, a junior football player and a SAAC representative, said that he loves to see his teammates try to sing and dance during their performance. As a representative of SAAC, Scott said he helped to organize the event by getting the word out using flyers and social media and by helping set up on the day of the event.
As one of the participants with her team, Ferragonio said that she has participated every year that she has been at EKU.
“Whether you’re participating or not, you’re still contributing to the cause of Jock ‘n Roll by buying a ticket,” Ferragonio said. “It’s just fun to participate whether you’re good at something or not.”
Above all, the unity that this event creates is something that bonds the teams together, Bowman said. With this being her second year judging, Bowman said that this event has had a big impact on her personally, humbling her in many ways.
“They all have singing talents – and dancing. I actually cried because of some of them. All of them are winners to me, and I want every one of them to win,” Bowman said. “I’m very proud of each of our student-athletes.”