For the first time in Sam Houston’s 97 years of football, the Bearkats will play a 12-game regular season schedule in 2013.
Sam Houston and Houston Baptist have announced that the Bearkats and Huskies will open the 2013 football season with a 6 p.m. contest Saturday August 31 at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium in Huntsville.
The game gives Sam Houston seven home contests at Bowers plus the 88th “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry game with Stephen F. Austin at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
The contest will give HBU a seven game schedule for the Huskies’ inaugural season.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to play our season opener in front of our home fans,” Bearkat head football coach Willie Fritz said. “The support our team receives from our students and the Huntsville community has been a big factor in the program’s success. Houston Baptist will be joining the Southland in football next year and we’re looking forward to getting the rivalry started.”
Season tickets for 2013 Bearkat football home games (including both the seven contests at Bowers and the “Piney Woods” battle at Reliant) have been on sale for a month. The opener with HBU will be added to the season ticket package as a “bonus game.”
Bleacher reserved packages are available for $110 per season ticket. Fans interested in getting their names on the waiting list for Bearkat Champion chair back packages ($290 each) should contact the Sam Houston athletic ticket office at (936) 294-1729. The ticket office is located in the Ron Mafrige Field House in the south end zone of Bowers Stadium.
“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,” Sam Houston director of athletics Bobby Williams said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for fans to get behind the Bearkats and proudly wear their orange in the stands. We’re thrilled to have such a great schedule this year.”
The two-time Southland Conference champion Bearkats return 40 lettermen including 12 starters from last year’s 11-4 squad that reached the NCAA national championship game in Frisco for the second year in a row.
Sam Houston’s 25-5 record in 2011 and 2012 and consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision No. 2 final national rankings represent the most successful consecutive seasons in the university’s history.
Houston Baptist is fielding its inaugural football team in 2013.
“We are looking forward to opening our inaugural season against Sam Houston State, a future Southland Conference opponent,” HBU director of athletics Steve Moniaci said. “This is not only an opportunity for our student-athletes and coaches to compete against one of the top FCS programs in the country, but also gives our students, alumni and fans an early glimpse of what we hope will become a tremendous rivalry in the future.”
“This gives our team the chance to compete against one of the very top FCS programs in the country and will be a great event for football in the greater Houston area,” HBU head coach Vic Shealy said. “We appreciate the opportunity to play against a team that is highly-respected nationally, with the success Willie Fritz and his program have had in recent years.”
The complete Sam Houston State 2013 football schedule:
August 31 (Sat.) -- 6 p.m. -- Houston Baptist
Sept. 7 (Sat.) – TBA – at Texas A&M
Sept. 14 (Sat.) – 6 p.m. – Texas Southern
Sept. 21 (Sat.) – 6 p.m. – Incarnate Word
Sept. 28 (Sat.) – 3 p.m. – Eastern Washington (Parents’ Weekend)
Oct. 12 (Sat.) – 2 p.m. – Lamar (Homecoming)
Oct. 19 (Sat.) – TBA – at McNeese State
Oct. 26 (Sat.) – 2 p.m. – Northwestern State
Nov. 2 (Sat.) – 3 p.m. – Stephen F. Austin at Reliant Stadium
Nov. 9 (Sat.) – 2 p.m. – Nicholls State
Nov. 16 (Sat.) – TBA – at Southeastern Louisiana
Nov. 23 (Sat.) – TBA – at Central Arkansas