SAAC’s Jock ‘n Roll to send Jerry Groniger to OVC Tournament


Han Byer

Various athletes from football and men’s swimming play Rock, Paper, Scissors, while Stone Galloway (middle), a junior sports management major, reacts during Jock ‘n Roll, Wednesday at the Grand Ballroom in the Union.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

Eastern’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) held its annual Jock ‘n Roll talent show Wednesday evening to raise funds for its Hoops for Heroes Project to send a local veteran to the Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament at the beginning of March.

Brittany Steven, the group’s president and senior tennis player, said SAAC holds the event annually.

Jock ‘n Roll is an event they put on so that EIU’s intercollegiate teams come together for the evening to showcase their talents to the Eastern community while raising money for the Hoops for Heroes Project.

Student-athletes hold up their phone flashlights during a piano playing of “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi, played by Henry Belik from men’s swimming during Jock ‘n Roll, Wednesday at the Grand Ballroom in the Union. (Han Byer)

SAAC is a committee which represents all of the intercollegiate sports on campus. It holds different events throughout the year and Steven said the group gives the chance for student-athletes to have a voice as they provide insight on the student-athlete life.

For the Jock ‘n Roll event, the purpose was to raise money through the admission to the talent show. According to the pamphlet from the show, the money will go towards sending Charleston Army veteran Jerry Groniger and his life partner, Marlene, to the OVC basketball tournament in Evansville, Ind., in March.

Steven said SAAC is honored to be able to send Jerry and Marlene to the tournament.

“We’re honored for the opportunity to get to do it every year,” Steven said. “We get to pick a local Charleston veteran, which is even better, and help bring them to the basketball tournament. I know our veteran this year loves going to basketball games. He tries to go every year, so the fact that we can help them get there is just incredible.”

Christina Martinez Mundo, a senior public relations major, from women’s volleyball hosts Family Feud as “Chri-Steve Harvey” with the volleyball team during Jock ‘n Roll, Wednesday at the Grand Ballroom. (Han Byer)

Steven also said that the talent show usually has a good turn out, so they like to bring it back each year to raise money.

“So every year, we’re supposed to come up with a fundraiser to raise money to send a veteran to the basketball tournament, and this is how we do it because we get a lot of positive feedback from all the athletes and everyone really enjoys it,” Steven said.

There were 14 total acts from athletes from the Pink Panthers and the baseball, volleyball, women’s track, women’s golf, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming, and men’s and women’s tennis teams.

Akiya Kollore, a junior psychology major, and Shanisa Stinson, a junior criminology major, from women’s track and cross country perform the “Hoedown Throwdown” with their team from The Hannah Montana Movie during Jock ‘n Roll, Wednesday in the Grand Ballroom in the Union. (Han Byer)

The event was hosted by football’s Stone Galloway and men’s swimming’s Marshall Holt.

Teams put on dance routines and skits, men’s soccer put on a fashion show, volleyball played “Family Feud” and some individuals showcased their singing and instrument playing skills.

After all of the acts and many laughs and rounds of applause from the crowd, it was time to crown the winners.

There were two team winners and a tie for individual winners.

Men’s soccer took first place for its fashion show. With just one point less than the soccer team, women’s basketball took second for its singing and dance routine for the song “If I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars led by players Taris Thornton and Haley Cameron.

Emma Keith from women’s swimming and Anton von Efferink from men’s soccer tied for the win for the individual category. Keith performed “half of my hometown” by Kelsea Ballerini and von Efferink performed a song on the piano.

Keith said she was happy to be able to win because it was her first time performing in front of an audience.

“It feels freakin’ amazing because that was my first time performing on stage in front of an audience,” Keith said. “So, it was sort of nerve-wracking at first.”

She said the fact that the crowd erupted in clapping and cheering for her after her performance felt liberating.

Keith comes from a small town named Gig Harbor in Washington state. She said she wanted to dedicate her song and her win to her town as well as others.

“I want to dedicate my winning to all my friends on the swim team, both at home in Gig Harbor, Washington state and here at Eastern and also my family and friends back home and also here,” Keith said.

She said she enjoyed watching all of the acts as well as when her coach, Johnathan Jordan and her teammate Zach Clark faced off in a friendly competition of seeing who could name the most states in between acts.

Steven said this year’s event was one of the best in a few years because of the amount of participation there was.

“I thought this year was probably the best performances that we’ve had in the past few years and the most participation we’ve had because basically every team had an act and performed, which was amazing,” Steven said. “We haven’t gotten that much participation in the past.”

Eastern’s women’s golf team performs a glow-stick techno dance during Jock ‘n Roll, Wednesday at the Grand Ballroom. (Han Byer)

Steven was a part of the women’s tennis team’s synchronized swimming act and when she was asked about her favorite act of the night, she laughed as she said she thought they should have placed.

“Personally, I think women’s tennis should have at least placed because I think we did really good,” Steven said with a laugh.

After a successful event Wednesday evening, Steven said SAAC looks to hold a student-athlete appreciation day in the near future.


Kate Stevens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]