Rhoads' speech also contained strengths for the coming year, things he is eager to see once his team takes the gridiron. He thanked those who attended the Spring game, and added that youth will be a big part of his team.
"We will be young," Rhoads said. "Youth causes gray hair for a head coach."
The football team set ticket sales records in 2011, which were broken again in 2012. According to Rhoads, ticket sales for the 2013 season have already surpassed those of 2012.
The theme of the tailgate party, a tour of Iowa that kicked off in Pella, is "Making a Difference." In honor of this, Gracie and Bailey Weuker of Albia received an autographed football and an autographed basketball. Their late father was a Cyclone fan, and in his honor, an event known as "Jam for Josh" is held every year. The girls received a standing ovation.
In closing, Rhoads told the crowd that he is proud to be one of them and thanked them for their support.