Brevard to host first Division II game of 2016 seasonMay 9, 2016
BREVARD, N.C. – Brevard will host the first Division II football game in the nation on Thursday, Sept. 1, welcoming East Stroudsburg to Brevard Memorial Stadium for a 5:45 p.m. kickoff on the first date of competition in 2016.
The game will be billed as the #D2Kickoff on social media and feature several exciting promotions as the Tornados look to create an intimidating game-day atmosphere for the first game of the season.
“I think it’ll certainly be an exciting evening,” said head coach Paul Hamilton. “It’s a great opportunity for us to open up college football at the Division II level. It’s something that can be a real plus for Brevard College, our football program, and the entire community.”
A scheduling conflict left Brevard with an unexpected open date on the season’s first weekend. Brevard administration moved quickly to fill the void and inked a deal to play a home game against East Stroudsburg. The teams originally planned to kick off at 6:00 p.m., but the game time was moved up by 15 minutes when administrators saw an opportunity to schedule the first contest of the season in the Division II ranks.
“When we looked at the schedule and didn’t see any games prior to ours, we knew we had a unique opportunity to create a showcase event right here in Brevard,” said Athletic Media Relations Director Randall Stewart. “We hope our fans the entire community will embrace the D2 Kickoff and help us create the best atmosphere we’ve ever had for Tornados’ football.”
“This game was extremely important to us because we’re able to play a full, 11-game schedule and open our season against a quality opponent,” added Athletic Director Juan Mascaro. “And with us playing the first Division II game in America, I think we’ve got a game that our players and fans can be excited about.”
The Warriors went 6-5 in 2015 and were 4-3 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play, finishing fifth in the eight-team PSAC East standings. Notable games included a 69-67 loss in five overtimes against Shippensburg followed by a 69-7 rout over Cheyney the following week. The Warriors also notched wins over Edinboro, Lock Haven, Millersville, Bloomsburg, and Gannon during the 2015 campaign.
“We’re honored and appreciative of the opportunity to play an outstanding program like East Stroudsburg,” said Hamilton. “They have tremendous tradition and are coached by one of the finest people in all of college football.”
Warriors’ head coach Denny Douds is entering his 43rd season at the helm of the East Stroudsburg program. He ranks 18th in college football history and second among all active coaches with 256 career wins, trailing only Carson-Newman’s Ken Sparks. He has recently passed such notable names as Mack Brown (244 wins) Lou Holtz (249) and Tom Osborne (255), and led the Warriors to the 2005 Division II semifinals.
By replacing a road game with a home date, the Tornados will play six home games for the first time since 2008 and just the second time in program history.