BATESVILLE, Ark. (LyonScots.com) – To say that there will be 'fur flying' in James C. Becknell Gymnasium on Friday, Dec. 6, is no exaggeration.
And it's for a most worthy cause.
The Lyon College Athletics Booster Club, along with W.R.D. Entertainment, Inc., has announced that the College will host its first-ever Lyon College Furry Frenzy Toy Toss when the Scots men's basketball team hosts No. 21-ranked Park University in a women-men doubleheader next Friday night.
The event, which could gain nation-wide notoriety for Lyon College with enough participation, is similar to John Brown's infamous "Toilet Paper Game", but with a different twist.
"We wanted to do something that would not only support the basketball teams, but to be able to accomplish something special during the Christmas season," said booster club board member Tabitha Breshears. "We love our teams and we want the community involved more and see how much fun it is to come out to events here at Lyon. And the more people that are involved, the more fun it will be."
Fans are invited to come out and join the fun, beginning with the women's game against the Pirates at 5:30 p.m., and then culminate the evening with a game against the nationally-ranked Park men's team in an American Midwest Conference showdown at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Any fan coming to the contest is urged to bring a stuffed animal or toy and gain free admittance to the contest. Then, when the Lyon College men's basketball team scores its first basket, all the fans in attendance will simultaneously throw them on the court. This will result in a technical foul against the Scots.
"(The technical foul) is well worth it if we can have a large, enthusiastic crowd," said Lyon first-year men's head coach Chad Tapp. "I think we've got an exciting team that plays hard and is 'buying in' to the kind of basketball that fans love to watch. We're coming off a great win against previously undefeated Victory University and we hope that fans will pack out the gym for our game against Park.
"Besides that, the opportunity to be a part of this opportunity to give back to the community is what we're all about."
Lyon College Sports Information Director John Krueger said that the toy toss will just be part of the evening's entertainment.
"We're so excited about the possibilities for this event," Krueger stated. "We've sent out over 3,700 invitations to students in elementary schools in the surrounding area - West Magnet; Central Magnet; Eagle Mountain Magnet; Sulphur Rock Magnet; Southside; Cave City; Midland; Newark; and Cord-Charlotte – challenging them to be the school that receives the Lyon College Furry Frenzy Toy Toss Cup. The school that brings the most stuffed toys to the game will be awarded the Cup and will keep it at their school for the next year.
"What is so special about this is that it takes so little to be a part of something so big. If one person can bring just one stuffed animal to the game, he or she will be not only be a part of potentially a record crowd that night, but to also be a part of our toy toss that we hope will end up being shown on ESPN television.
"And finally, and certainly not least, these children, parents, Lyon students and employees, along with fans in the community can help give a needy child in the area a very merry Christmas."
The animals will be collected from the floor by the area Cub Scouts, along with the Lyon College cheer squad and other volunteers. They will be transported to the United Way and later distributed to the more than 500 children in the area when are part of the Angel Tree program.
In addition, there will be giveaways and contests throughout the evening during both the men and women's games. Some of the contests include the ugliest Christmas sweater contest, a candy can race (similar to the bat races held at professional baseball games), along with other races and raffles.
For Lyon students, there will be a competition for most participation between fraternity and sororities. The group which brings the most stuffed toys will be rewarded with points toward the annual Intramural Cup, which is presented each year to a men and women's team.
"There will be something fun for everyone. We want not only the college community, but Batesville and the surrounding towns to come and be part of us making history," said Lyon College Director of Athletics Kevin Jenkins. "It'll be a lot of fun and there will be some great basketball, as well."