Checking in on the Shovel Movement


It’s been a while since we checked on the Shovel People.

Or, maybe it is better to say Shovel Person. If this movement has staying power, and I believe it does, fans will be indebted to D-Owl, who helped get the thing going, kept pushing, and when others helping carry it forward fell by the wayside, put the whole thing on his shoulders and kept plodding along.

Not to say there isn’t enthusiasm out there, and Owl Country has kicked in more than $2,000, quite a response and leap of faith in an infant movement .

Fans got a chance to meet D-Owl at Fanfest. And now it is time put a real name to the face (with his approval).

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He is Ed Wertepny, and if that name is familiar, it’s because his son has the same name and is on the Owls roster, a 6-5, 224 pound redshirt freshman.

D-Owl is Ed Wertepny III, and the TE is IV, so we’ll go with Ed3 and Ed4 when writing about the two Eds. Got it? Or, maybe it is easier to refer to Shovel Ed.

Back on topic, Shovel Ed has been running this thing from across the state, and will be in the parking lot of Lockhart Stadium Saturday to officially start the Blue Shovel campaign, though, as you may have read, all the shovels may not be blue. Yet. But the idea is the same.

Be sure and look Ed up on Saturday, and grab a shovel. The idea is to support plans to build an on-campus stadium, something the BOT will be voting on Sept. 18. Everything I am hearing is that the vote will be a good one for fans, committing FAU to a stadium with the first game coming in 2010.

FLASHBACK No. 2 – Sept. 18, 2004

FAU started the season with a huge upset win at Hawaii in overtime, then went on to beat North Texas in Denton. FAU was in its first year of its two-year transition from I-AA to I-A and thus not officially a member of the Sun Belt.

That was lucky for North Texas, because they had won 18 straight Belt games up to that point, and would sweep the Belt again this season (7-0) for their fourth straight Belt title and trip to the New Orleans Bowl.

At 2-0, FAU stayed on the road and went to Murfreesboro, site of their first-ever win over a I-A program the previous year.

The Blue Raiders were looking for payback after getting embarrassed the previous year.

FAU took a 6-0 lead on two field goals, but the Raiders came back and had a 17-6 lead at the half and the momentum.

But Jared Allen came out firing in the third quarter, and threw for three quick touchdowns – 36 yards to WR Roosevelt Bynes, 2 yards to TE Anthony Crissinger-Hill and 47 yards to WR Larry Taylor. (Geez, I love typing those names again. We need another trio like that…)

The Raiders would kick a field goal in the fourth, but the damage was done, and it was FAU 27, MTSU 20.

FAU would run its win streak to five to open the season, before ending at 9-3. But this would be the final season for the group that founded the team, and a big dropoff was ahead.