WKU fans come out to football Family Fun Day

Joseph Alvey, left, and Matthew Escalera of Bowling Green wrestle in an inflatable boxing cage during Family Fun Day at Smith Stadium, Aug. 24, 2012. 

Jonah Phillips

Students, fans and families came out to Smith Stadium on Saturday for the Toppers’ fourth annual Family Fun Day.

The event offered those in attendance a chance to meet and get autographs from the players and staff, participate in family activities and take advantage of face paint and free snacks.

“Family Fun Day is something for the community and something for our football program,” said WKU assistant baseball coach Brendan Dougherty, who was in attendance with his family. “It’s an exciting week, opening up (on Sept. 1) against Austin Peay.”

Many fans said they were optimistic for the upcoming year after the way the 2011 season ended.

The Toppers went 7-5 a year ago but were shut out of a bowl berth.

Leitchfield freshman Jared Willis said he’d “like to see (WKU) in a bowl.” 

“It was disappointing last year when they got their seven wins and weren’t able to make a bowl game appearance,” Willis said.

He added that he’d “like to see the passing game go better to make up for some of the rushing attack we might lose without (Bobby) Rainey.”

In an ESPN radio interview taking place at the event, Coach Willie Taggart said he “believes the most physical defense will win the (Sun Belt) conference” and is confident in his squad, saying “we go against our offense every day, which causes us to be physical.”

Louisville native Terrence Hammond was in attendance with his family and said he impressed by what WKU is doing with community events.

“I think WKU is doing an excellent job with the community, with their facilities, and with their athletic program,” Hammond said. “The money is being used well.”

Hammond said he was enthusiastic about the upcoming season.

“The talent is there,” Hammond said. “The coaching staff is great, and Coach Taggart has them all moving in the right direction.”