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Getting fans fired up

Steeped in tradition, the Stone Fort Battery Cannon Crew is a spirit organization within the Army ROTC program. The Cannon Crew members are in charge of firing "Ol’ Cotton," a World War II era 75 mm howitzer cannon.

During football games at SFA’s Homer Bryce Stadium, the Cannon Crew fires “Ol’ Cotton” every time the Lumberjacks score, which promotes promote esprit de corps for the team, the Purple Haze and the fans. At the same time, the Push-Up Crew does push-ups equal to the total points the Lumberjacks scored.

The firing of “Ol’ Cotton” has been a Lumberjack tradition since 1972.

The real “Ol’ Cotton”

SFA’s famous cannon was named in honor of Orren Ray “Cotton” Whiddon, a retired Lt. General in the United States Army. Whiddon is a graduate of SFA’s class of ’55, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry. 

During his military service, Whiddon received numerous awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service, Defense Superior Service and Army Commendation medals. Whiddon, who passed away in 2016, is the highest-ranking Army officer to have graduated from SFA, and he was a proud and active supporter of SFA’s ROTC program.



Department of Military Science – ROTC

709 E. College Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13059, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962