The Decaturian

Thursday Morning Kickoff

WJMU's New Sports Show

Photo Courtesy of Millikin University

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Millikin University’s very own WJMU, kicked off the fall semester with a brand new sports talk show. The show, Thursday Morning Kickoff, is an all access look at the Big Blue football team, its coaches, and the season that lies ahead.
The show will continue to air throughout the football season on Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. The show is co-hosted by Dr. Scott Lambert and Dominique Bates. Dr. Lambert is a professor at Millikin, and the adviser of the school newspaper, the Decaturian. Bates is a senior at Millikin. Since transferring to Millikin, she has written for the Decaturian, and is currently a beat writer for the Millikin football team.

Thursday Morning Kickoff runs for an hour every Thursday. The first half of the show, features the head coach of the Big Blue football team, Dan Gritti. The second hour features two players from the team. The show gives insight to the preparation for the upcoming game, and recaps the previous game. Along with football, listeners get to know the players on and off the field.
Thursday Morning Kickoff, hit the airwaves for the first time last Thursday. The show focused on the team’s strategy and approach, ahead of the season opener against Hope College. After speaking with Gritti about the team’s strengths and plan of attack, senior, defensive captains Quintaz Wright (DL) and Nikia Averitte (LB) were brought on air.

The two spoke about the team’s goals and expectations for the 2018 season. Wright and Averitte closed out the show by paying tribute to two of their fallen brothers, Tucker Schwengel and David Jackson. Both men were players on the football team, who passed away unexpectedly from accidents. The two are featured on a banner that hangs on the fence outside of the Frank M. Lindsay Field.
The latest episode of Thursday Morning Kickoff aired September 6. The first segment was all about the recap of the Hope vs Millikin game. Gritti spoke about the struggles the team had, and the growth his team made, from last season to this season.

The second segment saw an appearance from senior, offensive captains Nicco Stepina (QB) and Gerald Perry (WR). The two spoke about the team being out of shape, last Friday. And how this week of practice, was centered on conditioning. The two noted that the team has been conditioning for around 45 minutes at the end of practice.

While they are not a fan of conditioning, Stepina and Perry agree that the conditioning will help the team become more successful and capable of playing a full four quarters of ball games. The show veered away from football, when Stepina and Perry, closed out the show by talking about their families and their support system. Stepina talked about how fortunate he is to have his family travel to every football game and support him. Perry couldn’t stop talking about his daughter, and how everything he does is for her.


The Big Blue are currently in the midst of their bye week, and are scheduled to play next Saturday against North Park University. The game is set to kickoff at 1 p.m. at Frank M. Lindsay Field.

The next Thursday Morning Kickoff show will focus on Gritt’s expectations and strategy, ahead of the game. The other two guests are to be decided. So, tune in next week, for another riveting episode of Thursday Morning Kickoff.

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