The Sam Houston State Bearkat Football team will have a 12-game regular season for the first time in the team’s 97 years of history.
Sam Houston and Houston Baptist will open up the regular season in Huntsville on August 31 at Bowers Stadium, Bearkats Athletic Department announced.
The Houston Baptist Huskies’ inaugural football season starting this year and their regular season will consist of seven games.
SHSU now has seven home games including the 88th “Battle of the Piney Woods” game, after a season with only three.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to play our season opener in front of our home fans,” Bearkats head coach Willie Fritz said to Gobearkats.com. “The support our team receives from our students and the Huntsville community has been a big factor in the program’s success.”
The Bearkats are following the two most successful seasons in the school’s history. The two-time Southland Conference champions went 25-5 in 2011 and 2012, making back-to-back national championship appearances and being ranked number two in NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision national rankings. Forty lettermen and 12 starters will be returning from last year’s 11-4 team.
SHSU’s first road game will be against the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station on Sept. 7.
“With seven Saturdays at Bowers, the SFA battle at Reliant and the Texas A&M game at College Station, nine of our 12 regular season games are right here in the Greater Houston and Huntsville area,” SHSU director of athletics Bobby Williams said. “We’re thrilled to have such a great schedule this year.”
Along with Southland Conference play, the Bearkats will host Incarnate Word, Texas Southern and Eastern Washington, three teams that the Bearkats defeated in 2012. Season tickets are now available for purchase.