Fans of Bulldog sports arrived in waves to show their support at a Meet the Team event on Thursday, Aug. 25, at Campus Pointe, hosted by Fresno State Athletics and 940 ESPN Radio.
The Red Wave was greeted by coaches, players, cheerleaders, TimeOut and the Fresno State marching band. Athletes from the football, soccer, softball and cross country teams signed autographs for fans and played games with some of the young Bulldog faithful.
During the event, freshman Chason Virgil was named the starting quarterback for the 2016 football season.
#5 Chason Virgil
“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Virgil said.
Virgil along with Tyquwan Glass, Aaron Peck and Jeff Camilli were elected as captains by their teammates.
“I thank my teammates for voting for me. It means they think highly of me,” Virgil said. “At this point, you don’t want to let them down. You want to just go out there and let them know you’ve got their back.”
Head coach Tim DeRuyter praised Virgil for his work during camp and said that the quarterback competition helped advance Virgil’s skillset to solidify him as the starter.
“Coach Eric Kiesau does all of our stats. The longer it went, it became more and more apparent. Chason had over 400 throws, and I think he had 3 interceptions during camp, which is a terrific ratio,” DeRuyter said. “The other quarterbacks had about twice of what he had in not as many reps. I think when Quentin came and Zach came in the summertime, he realized he better step up because he saw some talent, and that’s when he kind of charged into another gear.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, to face the Cornhuskers on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 5 p.m.
Also attending were former Bulldog players and even former Fresno State football head coach Pat Hill.
“It’s great to be home. Put in a lot of years here, you know,” Hill said. “I’ve got a lot of good friends here. All my kids grew up here. We have so many close friends, so many of our former players are here, so it’s a lot of fun. This is home for me.”
Hill said the attitude for the Bulldogs has been great, so far, and added that their first game will say a lot about the team for this season.
“They’ve been working hard,” Hill said. “We’ve got to see what happens when they run into another team and have to handle adversity. That’ll only make them stronger and hopefully we have a great year.”
New softball head coach Linda Garza and her players were there and she said she was happy with what she saw.
“It’s been great. It’s obviously neat to see the community support and just the enthusiasm everybody has for Bulldog athletics,” Garza said. “To be able to see that all the time is awesome.”