(June 3, 2011)--A new era will begin next fall when the UTSA Roadrunners football team hits the Alamodome turf for the first time in its inaugural season home opener Sept. 3 against Northeastern State.
It's not only the beginning of a new tradition for the UTSA football program, but it also will mark the official debut of the new UTSA marching band under Ron Ellis, director of athletics bands.
Ellis came to UTSA last year, after 20 years leading the 308-member University of Central Florida Marching Knight band. He has been busy over the last year recruiting new members, selecting new equipment and uniforms, and updating the university's fight song.
"We want to honor the words and keep the old version alive, but add to it, so it's a fight song we can be proud of," said Ellis. "We will have a bigger, dramatic fanfare at the beginning and a faster tempo with additional instruments included."
Musical tryouts are set to begin in July, but this spring more than 30 students auditioned to fill the drum major positions that would lead the inaugural marching band. The students selected are junior drum majors Sydney Corbin and Alana Urbano and freshman Annie Moras.
"This is great and I am so excited," said Moras. "We are all energetic and passionate about it, so I think we will be good representatives of what the marching band should be."
All three were drum majors in their high school bands and are thrilled to be part of a new era at UTSA.
"I was actually the last drum major of South San West Campus High School that shut down in 2008, so it's neat that I was able to close out that history and now begin this new one at UTSA," said Urbano.
Corbin has been playing in ensembles and pep bands over the last three years, and welcomes the challenge ahead.
"I think it is going to give everyone chills because I don't think anyone can anticipate how that environment is going to be," said Corbin. "The loud, huge crowd, the pride -- it's going to be amazing."
According to Ellis, more that 250 students have expressed an interest in playing with the UTSA marching band with more expected from the incoming freshman class.
Band practice will begin Aug. 14 with eight days of 12-hour instruction in preparation for the Sept. 3 opener.
For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.
Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.
Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.
All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.
As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
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Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
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