Associate Women's Head Coach Revonda Whitley at last season's Hawk Hysteria.

Oct. 20, 2011

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - While one week later than usual, the hysteria is still running rampant on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Moved back one week from the NCAA's first official weekend of practice, UMES will hold an open practice and their official kick-off of the 2011-12 season for the women's and men's basketball teams this Friday, October 21st at 7:00 p.m.

Hawk Hysteria, the marquee event of the "Hawktoberfest" weekend, will showcase the Hawks' basketball squads starting at 7 p.m. with dance teams, games, contests, Harry The Hawk's birthday party and inter-squad scrimmages for the men's and women's teams. Admission is just $2.00 at the door and it is open to the public. Hawk Hysteria is UMES' version of Midnight Madness, an event started by the University of Maryland 40 years ago. They will take part in the tradition celebrated by many Division I basketball programs across the country, with fans gathering for the first official practice of the new season.

UMES has also planned a homecoming of sorts for one local celebrity who is no stranger to Hawk basketball. `Big' Pat Doughty the former public address announcer for the Hawks, now the voice of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats returns back to the Eastern Shore to help announce and entertain the crowd.

"Are you kidding me? I can't wait to get back," said Doughty. "Usually the Bobcats are playing pre-season games right now and I can't get back, but this season as things unfolded I am able to get behind the microphone in the Hytche Center one more time."

Doughty will help introduce new players and returners for the first time this season in front of the crowd. Coaches Frankie Allen and Fred Batchelor will talk to the crowd about their upcoming season.

"We have a lot of new faces we are excited to introduce to the fans," said Allen, "we think we have a great group of guys and can find some success with them this season. It should be exciting for our fans."

"Our ladies love Hawk Hysteria," said Batchelor. "The girls have worked hard all preseason and it is an opportunity for them to get out and showcase their talent."

Basketball players will be available to sign autographs for fans. Many giveaways will be available during the night, including the new volleyball, basketball and track and field posters, T-shirts and other prizes. The event will also feature Harry the Hawk's birthday party, featuring mascots from around the area, as well as the customary birthday cake.

The Hawks cheerleaders will be introduced to the crowd to celebrate the start of basketball season while several campus dance groups, including the Diamonds, will perform.

Hawk Hysteria will be broadcast live on WGOP 100.7 FM/540 AM, the home for Hawks women's basketball, starting at 8:30 p.m. with the voice of UMES Basketball, Bret Lasky on the call. Live video will also be available online at for free and OC104's Bill Baker will broadcast live from the event.

Moved to be a part of the University's "Hawktoberfest" event, Hawk Hysteria is just a small part of the campuses activities with their parent's weekend, alumni weekend, coronation and more. Athletics is also throwing their annual "Hammin' Jammin' Wing Fling" and dedicating the bowling lanes on campus to head coach Sharon Brummell all over the weekend. UMES also hosts home volleyball on Sunday and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Cross-Country Championships the next weekend, all part of the festivities in October.

The teams home openers are part of a busy November weekend as volleyball plays conference matches on November 11 and 13, UMES hosts the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Cross-Country Regional on the 12th, the men host American on the 14th and the women host Mount St. Mary's on the 15th.



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