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Students from local middle schools gather around the statue of Winston-Salem State University founder Dr. Simon Green Atkins during the Youth
TRAMSformation Tour on Friday, Sept. 16.
WSSU Football Classic more than a game
Inaugural event gives local
students slice of college life
BY TEV1N STINSON
Last week Winston-Salem State
University Athletic Department partnered
with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County
School System to host the inaugural
Winston-Salem Football Classic.
The three-day community-centered
event began on Thursday, Sept. 16 and
was highlighted by the Ram's match-up
with Virginia Union at Bowmen Gray
Stadium last Saturday evening. The festiv
ities began with the Youth
"TRAMSformation" Tour, which brought
more than 700 seventh graders from mid
dle schools across the county to campus to
get a taste of college life.
During their visit, the middle schoolers
had the opportunity to interact with WSSU
student-athletes and professors, while
touring various depart
ments and key locations
on campus, like the cam
pus radio station, the
School of Health Science,
the Diggs Gallery and oth
Before the tours
began, WSSU athletic
director Tonia Walker welcomed the stu
dents to campus during a ceremony held
inside K.R. Williams Auditorium.
"We want to make sure you know
about WSSU and what we have to offer,"
Walker told the students. "Use this time to
learn from students. Learn what they did
to get where they are in life."
On Friday, members of the WSSU
football team and the Panthers of Virginia
Union volunteered at various schools
across the county. Later that day, leg
endary football coach
William "Bill" Hayes was
honored during the
Hayes served as the
head football coach at
WSSU from 1976 to 1987.
During his tenure, the
Rams won three Central Intercollegiate
Athletic Association (CIAA) titles and
made two Division II playoff appearances
in 1987 and 1988. After leaving WSSU in
1987, Hayes went on to compile a 195-104
record at North Carolina A&T State
University from 1988 to 2003.
On Saturday a block party was held for
the students who participated in the Youth
TRAMSformation Tour and WSSU stu
dents. The six-hour event featured games,
vendors, exhibition booths, food trucks,
and performances. Just before kickoff, the
Red Sea of Sound led a parade to the sta
Although the Rams lost to the VUU
Panthers 38-14, in a press release
Chancellor Elwood Robinson noted the
Winston-Salem Football Classic is about
more than the battle on the field.
"The game is just one part of a great
weekend that gives some of the best and
brightest students from our local public
schools exposure to a slice of college life,"
he said. "The Winston-Salem State
University Football Classic is about more
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