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January 24, 1997

Texas Tech Sets Dates for Football Banquet, Spring Practice

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The Texas Tech football program will celebrate its successful 1996 season at its annual team banquet, scheduled for Tuesday, February 4 at the Lubbock Civic Center Exhibit Hall.

The banquet, which is open to the public, will feature a look back at the Red Raiders' first-ever season in the Big 12 Conference, its 7-5 record and school-record fourth-straight bowl apperance. Annual team awards will also be handed out for academic success, leadership, sportsmanship and courage. Tickets are available for $10 each through the Texas Tech Athletic Ticket Office at 806/742-4412 or 1-888-Go-Big12. Tables are also available.

Head coach Spike Dykes has also announced the team's annual spring practices will take place from March 4 through April 3. The Red Raiders will hold four scrimmages during that time and will conclude the session with a final team scrimmage on Thursday, April 3 at 4 p.m. Prior to the final scrimmage, Masked Rider Jo Lynn Self will turn over the reins to the new rider for 1997.

Texas Tech will conduct 15 practices during the five weeks of spring drills. Spring break for all Tech students is scheduled for March 17-21 and the Red Raiders will not practice during that time. Scrimmage will be held on March 8, 13 and 27, in addition to the April 3 final scrimmage. All Tech scrimmages are open to the public.

Texas Tech finished the season with a 7-5 overall record and 5-3 mark and second-place finish in the South Division in the inaugural season of the Big 12. Junior tailback Byron Hanspard became only the sixth back in NCAA history to rush for over 2,000 yards and was Texas Tech's second Doak Walker Award winner in the last four years. The Red Raiders set 14 school records during the season, enjoyed its second-best attendance average in school history and had three-straight sellout crowds in excess of 50,500. Nine Red Raiders were given all-conference mentions and Dykes was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year by his peers.

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