Apple Blossom officials have announced that Barry Sanders will be the Sports Marshal of the 2011 Festival. Sanders will be the Featured Speaker at the Wachovia, a Wells-Fargo Company Sports Breakfast.
Barry Sanders’ spectacular career had humble beginnings. Born July 16, 1968, in Wichita, Kansas, Barry didn’t play running back in high school until the fourth game of his senior year. Laboring patiently at Oklahoma State behind established star, and fellow future hall of famer, Thurman Thomas, Barry didn’t become the Cowboys’ starting tailback until his junior year, after Thomas graduated; however, he quickly made up for lost time. Barry notched four 300 yard games en route to an NCAA single season rushing record of 2,628 yards. Over the season, he led the nation by rushing for over 200 yards per game and averaging 7.6 yards per carry. He scored 39 touchdowns, 37 on the ground, which was also an NCAA record. In November of that year, in recognition of his accomplishments, Barry was awarded the Heisman Trophy. In 1989, Barry opted to enter the NFL Draft, and was selected in the first round by the Detroit Lions, as the third overall pick. In his first season, Barry Sanders ran for over 1,000 yards and finished second in the NFL in yards gained and touchdowns scored. For his efforts, the 5’8” phenomenon was named NFL Rookie of the Year. It was the start of ten consecutive seasons in which Barry eclipsed the 1,000 yard rushing mark.
Sanders’ busy schedule will restrict his public appearances at the 2011 Festival to the Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company Sports Breakfast and the traditional ride in the Grand Feature Parade. Barry Sanders’ appearance is sponsored by the National Dairy Council on behalf of America’s Dairy Farmers and Jack and Johnny Hardesty. Fans are urged not to delay in securing tickets. New seating restrictions are going to decrease the number of seats available at this year’s event. Please note: Barry Sanders will only autograph official photos with the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival ® and the got milk? ® logos. Due to the proliferation of eBay selling schemes, Barry will not sign sports memorabilia other than selected door prizes.