Huntsville community preparing for Sam Houston State FCS Championship Game

Sam Houston State plays Sunday at 1 p.m. in Frisco.
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - The Huntsville community is showing their love for orange and white all over town. The Sam Houston State Football Team is playing for an FCS Championship Sunday against South Dakota State.

It will be their third championship appearance in 10 years.

Excitement is growing in Huntsville, not just for graduation this week but for the football team being in the national spotlight. They advanced to the championship game after a come-from-behind win against James Madison University last weekend.

“Just driving through Huntsville you see every one of these small businesses, mom and pop stores that have that ‘Eat ‘em up Kats!’ signs in their window and it’s just so heartwarming to see,” said Brittany Howell, a Sam Houston State University student.

Howell said it’s what they needed after a tough year.

“We’ve all struggled together through the past year but we’ve done it all as a family, as a Bearkat family,” Howell said.

“I can see that it means a lot. Growing up not actually watching football to come here and to see the environment created by that it was really astonishing,” said Eliot Castanon, a student that also does graphic design for the campus.

“It’s very exciting to be like a part of this be like working to like help create that environment here at Sam Houston State University,” Castanon said.

“We have lot of events planed to get everyone ready. We have a send off party tomorrow, which is Friday at 10:30 which will kind of send the team off as they head to Frisco. And so people will be out there with signs and yelling and cheering for them as they leave,” said Brandon Cooper, Sam Houston State University Director of Student Activities.

Athletics officials hope the buzz will also create a boost for local businesses from game watching events to selling merchandise.

“Last year we rolled our new brands and new logos and really it was everybody we were kind of closed up but now everybody’s getting out. I think people are buying it and the businesses are embracing it,” said Bobby Williams, Sam Houston State University Athletic Director.

“I’m glad that we are getting all this attention. People know that we are contenders now and that’s really the biggest thing,” said J.T. Smith, another student.

Sam Houston takes on South Dakota State Sunday, May 16 at 1 p.m. at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. The game will also be televised on ABC.

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