Sam Houston kicks off new era at CUSA Media Day

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Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 2:45 PM CDT
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ARLINGTON, Texas (KBTX) - The Sam Houston football team previewed their season at Conference USA Football Media Day at Globe Life Field on Tuesday.

The Bearkats are one of four new members in Conference USA along with Jacksonville State, New Mexico State, and Liberty. Sam Houston and Jacksonville State are both transitioning from FCS to FBS. While they will play a league schedule this year, the Kats won’t be eligible for postseason play until next year. The team is overall excited about these new opportunities in Conference USA.

“Being here since 2018, you’ve seen the growth,” linebacker and A&M Consolidate alum Trevor Williams said. “You’ve seen everything Sam has done in terms of the tradition and the culture of winning that they’ve had for the past 10+ years. To see that happening and for it to be a reality to play FBS football and take that next step is huge,” Wiliams added.

“Really what we’ve done the past couple of years is why we’re doing this,” explained head coach K.C. Keeler. “There should be a lot of pride in this program moving forward. We’re all excited. We think we can compete because I have an amazing location and we’re able to recruit really good football players who want to stay home in Texas,” Keeler added.

Sam Houston kicks off new era at CUSA Media Day

“It’s a huge opportunity for this team and this university to take a huge step forward and overall improve and show what we’ve got,” quarterback Keegan Shoemaker said.

Sam Houston won a national championship in FCS Division I in the spring of 2021, but the level of play will ramp up for the Kats.

In a recent media poll, the Bearkats were picked to finish tied for last in the conference, along with FIU.

“I’m sure we’ll use it as motivation,” Keeler said. “I know our players will probably use it as motivation. I’m sure I’ll find a way to use it as motivation. But the outside noise never really bothers me,” Keeler added.

“It gives us fuel and motivation a little bit,” said Williams. “I think it’s more so not proving to others but more so ourselves. We know what we’re capable of and we know the things we can do in terms of a football team,” Williams added.

Sam Houston kicks off new era at CUSA Media Day

“Nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Shoemaker exclaimed. “That’s how I look at it. I’ll let the season decide that, but I know our standard is 1-0 every week and I don’t plan on losing that,” Shoemaker added.

Sam Houston kicks off its season on September 2nd on the road at BYU. The Bearkats’ first conference game is September 28th at home against Jacksonville State.