ROME, Ga. – In six weeks, the Shorter football team will start its preseason workouts to get ready for the 2014 season that will be the 10 th campaign in the program’s history.
On Saturday, however, the Hawks coaching staff were laying the groundwork for the recruiting future when the first of two Prospect Camps for rising high school seniors and juniors was held at Ben Brady Field.
“This is a great opportunity for us to see the players first-hand rather than on film,” Hawks head coach Phil Jones said, noting that the second camp – due to the increasing number of players a second session was added for the first time ever – will be held on Saturday, July 19. “We’re also seeing more high school coaches referring players to us. “For us to be successful as an NCAA Division II team we have to constantly be on the lookout for young men who can become a Shorter Hawk,” he added.
The day-long camp began with each player being timed and tested at four different stations in the morning – a 40-yard dash, two agility drills and a standing broad jump. Following a break for lunch at the Winthrop-King Centre, the group was back at Brady where they were divided into positions and showcased their skills to the Shorter coaches.
“Having a camp like this really helps us as far as recruiting goes,” said Jones. “We’ve been blessed in the past in finding players who have become a part of our team.”
This fall, the historic 10 th edition of the Shorter Hawks will be tasked to compete for the first time as a full NCAA Division II and Gulf South Conference member as the university completes its three-year transition this summer.
On August 8, the Shorter campus on “The Hill” will welcome back the veteran and new Hawks when the team reports to begin its preseason camp on Aug. 10 and prepare for what is easily the program’s toughest schedule ever with all 10 games against Division II foes.
The Hawks begin their 10 th campaign squaring off against three non-conference opponents, hosting Division II and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association newcomer Paine College of Augusta on Thursday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Barron Stadium.
The following week, Shorter hits the road for the first time when on Saturday, Sept. 13 the Hawks head to North Carolina for a non-conference rematch with Mars Hill, a game that sets the stage for what will be the longest trip the program has ever had to the largest stadium the team has ever played in.
On Saturday, Sept. 20, the Hawks will take the field at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas – the 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium – to square off against Lone Star Conference member West Texas A&M for a 1 p.m. (Central) showdown in the annual Lone Star Football Festival that pits GSC members against Lone Star opponents.
That challenge will be the Hawks’ third and final non-GSC game and after taking a week off, Shorter turns its attention to seven straight Gulf South matchups, the first taking place at Barron Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. against Mississippi College.
Shorter has three more homes games at Barron against West Alabama (Oct. 16), Florida Tech (Nov. 1) and West Georgia (Nov. 15), while the Hawks will be on the road to face Delta State (Oct. 11), Valdosta State (Oct. 25) and North Alabama (Nov. 8.)
Season and individual game ticket information can be purchased by going to www.goshorterhawks.com.