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Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets color guard and Growley II to attend Belk Bowl

December 16, 2016

From left are cadets Aaron Konicki, Claire Veillette, Jackson Warley, Robyn Schneider, Alex Parker, and Ben Taitano.

From left are cadets Aaron Konicki, Claire Veillette, Jackson Warley, Robyn Schneider, Alex Parker, and Ben Taitano.
From left are cadets Aaron Konicki, Claire Veillette, Jackson Warley, Robyn Schneider, Alex Parker, and Ben Taitano.

Six members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets color guard will receive the flags at the Dec. 29 Belk Bowl against Arkansas and represent Virginia Tech in other bowl festivities.

The Corps of Cadets ambassador, Growley II (call sign "Tank"), and two of his handlers also will make the trip to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Growley II, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, has been a beloved presence in Lane Stadium this fall, and this will be his first football road trip.

The trip is part of a proud partnership between the corps and the football team to highlight the colors during the pre-game ceremony at every game.

Three football players, chosen because of their performance in the last game or at practice, carry the American flag, the state flag, and the team’s spirit flag as they lead the team onto the field. They deliver them to cadets at the south end of the field. 

The cadets, also selected based on their performance, render honor to the flags and then carry them off the field. At home games three first-year cadets are selected and upper-class cadets travel with the team and receive the flags at away games. 

“The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets color guard is one of the most visible and important representations of the concept of Ut Prosim, That I May Serve, that our cadets embody for our campus, the community, and the world” said Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, commandant of cadets.  “We are extremely proud to represent Virginia Tech at the Belk Bowl and of our partnership with Virginia Tech Athletics.”

The six members of the color guard are:

  • Jackson Warley, of Northfield, New Jersey, is this year’s color guard commander. He is a junior majoring in building construction with a minor in leadership from the corps’ Rice Center for Leader Development. He is in Naval ROTC and has a corps’ Emerging Leader Scholarship.
  • Ben Taitano, of Burke, Virginia, is a junior majoring in international studies with a minor in leadership. He is in Army ROTC and has an Emerging Leader Scholarship.
  • Alex Parker, of Dallas, Georgia, is a junior majoring in computer engineering with a minor in leadership. He is in Naval ROTC and has an Emerging Leader Scholarship.
  • Aaron Konicki, of Yorktown, Virginia, is a sophomore majoring in business information technology with a minor in leadership. He is in Army ROTC and has an Emerging Leader Scholarship.
  • Claire Veillette, of Studley, Virginia, is a sophomore majoring in human development with a minor in leadership. She is in the corps’ Citizen-Leader Track and has an Emerging Leader Scholarship.
  • Robyn Schneider, of Calverton, New York, is a junior majoring in international studies with minors in Arabic and leadership. She is in Naval ROTC and has an Emerging Leader Scholarship.

Cadets Jeffrey Zander, at left, and Zack Sever with Growley II.

Cadets Jeffrey Zander, at left, and Zack Sever with Growley II.
Cadets Jeffrey Zander, at left, and Zack Sever with Growley II.

Growley II's two handlers are:

  • Zack Sever, of Poquoson, Virginia, is a senior majoring in political science. He is in Naval ROTC and has an Emerging Leader Scholarship.
  • Jeffrey Zander, of Millersville, Maryland, is a senior majoring in packing systems design with a minor in leadership. He is in the corps’ Citizen-Leader Track and has an Emerging Leader Scholarship.

Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN.

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