Three chartered buses leave Big Rapids for McKinney, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 16, carrying scores of Ferris State University football fans full of hope that their Bulldogs earn the program’s first NCAA Division II football national championship.
According to Associate Dean of Student Life Nicholas Campau, the opportunity to travel and see the team’s return to the national final was the source of many phone calls Monday, Dec. 13.
“It was an unbelievable response. We had two buses filled by 10:30 a.m.,” Campau said. “Our plans for a waiting list and stand-by participation were resolved early that afternoon when we filled a third bus and then closed reservations for our caravan to McKinney.”
Campau said his peer Nick Smith, in the Center for Student Involvement, will be one of the bus captains supporting a traveling party who, in the majority are fresh from fall semester final exams.
“Our riders are almost exclusively Ferris students,” Campau said. “The excitement surrounding this charter is off the charts. The university is very glad to be supporting the team and fans in this fashion.”
Senior Elena Masuri, a Nursing student from Macomb, is ready to build her experiences on Ferris charters by joining with friends for the trip to suburban Dallas.
“I went to the championship game in 2018, which was a lot of fun,” Masuri said. “I got to meet fellow students and people from Ferris, making friendships I continue to enjoy. My friend and I made sure we got signed up early. We cannot wait to get this trip started and be part of the Ferris cheering section in McKinney.”
The trip is the beginning of a double-duty assignment for Ben Withey, a bus captain and the university’s Assistant Director of Alumni Relations.
“I have had some exciting rides on Ferris pep buses, as a former member of the pep band,” Withey said. “I went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the 2018 NCAA Division II basketball national championship. Later that year, I also traveled to McKinney for Ferris’ game against Valdosta State.”
The Bulldogs have a return meeting with the Blazers on Saturday evening, Dec. 18. Ferris will be the home team as the top-ranked team in the nation heading into the game. Withey said the buses pull out for Texas on Thursday evening, Dec. 16.
“On our last trip to McKinney, we only stopped for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Withey said. “The itinerary should allow our passengers a chance to sleep before our first stop for breakfast on Friday morning.”
Click NCAA Division II National Championship for more Ferris information.