UMHB to kick off 2012 season on Saturday night
Belton, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will kick off the 2012 season and the 15th year of Cru football when the team hosts Kean (N.J.) University for a 6:00 PM kickoff at Tiger Field this Saturday, September 8th. It will be the first meeting between the two teams and also marks the first time the Cru has faced a team from the state of New Jersey.
UMHB returns 46 letter winners, seven offensive starters and four defensive starters from a team that finished 12-1 overall last season. The Cru advanced to the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III National Championships and has qualified for the postseason in each of the past eight seasons and 10 times in the last 11 years. The expectations are just as high this season with UMHB unanimously picked to repeat as American Southwest Conference Champions. The process of earning another conference title and returning to the playoffs actually started when the 2012 team reported to campus in mid-August. Now, Saturday night’s opener is the next step in that journey.
“We know that building this team is going to be a process and we have some young players who are going to have to step up and mature in a hurry.” Cru head coach Pete Fredenburg said. “Our season doesn’t hinge on what happens Saturday night, but it is our first step toward seeing what this team can do. We are excited about this team and are looking forward to facing a good program and getting things off to a good start.”
UMHB is opening the season at home for the second straight year and the Cru is 11-3 all-time in season openers. The last loss for UMHB in a season-opener came in a 15-10 defeat at the hands of Christopher Newport in the first game of the 2006 season. Kean is 0-1 on the season after falling to Albright College 29-26 at home last weekend. The Cougars lost a 26-7 lead in that game and dropped out of the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. Saturday’s opener is the first of UMHB’s three non-conference games, all of which come against team that qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships last season. Kean University, Wesley College and Trinity University combined for a 42-5 record last season with three of those five losses coming in the postseason.
Saturday’s season opener will be broadcast on KTEM Radio, 1400 AM, in Central Texas. Jimmy Christopher and George Haffner will call the action with the pre-game show starting at 5:30 PM. The UMHB athletic department will also provide free live video streaming of the game and live statistics. You can access those links through the UMHB athletic department web site at www.cruathletics.com. Tickets for Saturday’s game are $8 for adults and $4 for students and seniors and will be available at the gate prior to kickoff.