Roanoke College hopes to offer football, cheerleading, marching band by 2024

Before these plans can become a reality, the school must raise $1.2M by June 1

SALEM, Va. – For the first time in more than 80 years, football could return to Roanoke College.

The school wants to add three new sports programs, football, cheerleading, and a marching band.

The Board of Trustees approved a proposal last week to begin offering the three sports at the request of the college president, Frank Shushok.

“We know that football and marching band and competitive cheer are very popular things in this region in Virginia,” said Shushok.

Football isn’t anything new to the school.

Roanoke Collee previously had a football team from the 1870s to 1942, when it was disbanded as a result of World War II.

“I think the hope was to always bring it back. I don’t think people thought it would take until 2023,” said Shushok.

The team would practice at Alumni Field on campus and have facilities inside the Bast Center.

On game day, they would compete at Salem Stadium.

“There is just so much enthusiasm about marching band, competitive cheer, and football and I think people are excited about it coming to Roanoke College and the Roanoke Valley. It’s been really exciting to have the local community rally around this,” said Shushok.

Before these plans become a reality, the school must fundraise $1.2 million to help invest in the program and its facilities.

“We are on our way. We set a goal of $1.2 million and this week we hit the $800,000 mark so there’s a little ways to go but we are feeling confident,” said Shushok.

If all goes according to plan, school leaders say they expect to begin recruiting this year and have a goal of getting a team on the field by 2024.

About the Author

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.

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