As final preparations are being made for the 2012 season, the University of Pikeville football staff has many reasons for which to be excited. Among them is a new design on uniforms.
The staff is on a retreat this week to get fully prepared for the arrival of the team as the calendar turns to August, bringing to town Coach Dudley Hilton’s second Bears’ unit.
UPIKE was 4-6 in Hilton’s first season at the helm, and the second campaign commences Saturday, Aug. 25 when the team visits Bluefield College in what will be the first game in program history for the Rams.
“There’s a lot of excitement around this team amongst the coaches and on campus,” said Hilton. “We’re anxious to get the guys here and get started.”
The first of five home games for the Bears will be played Sept. 8 when Lindsey Wilson College comes to town for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. After playing two straight on the road to open the season, the Bears have three homes games in their next four contests. Included in that stretch is Homecoming, which will be played Sept. 29 when Cumberland University comes to town for a 1:30 start.
The team’s new Nike uniforms come in three colors and afford several options.
“The players had a lot to do with the selections and the design,” said Associate Head Coach Allen Holland Jr. “They look great from a distance, so the fans in the stands on Saturdays will enjoy them. Up close, the intricacies in the design make them look even better.”
A good mix of seasoned veterans, new recruits and redshirts from a year ago will make the Bears a formidable opponent in the Mid-South Conference’s East Division.
“We have quite a bit more talent this year, and hopefully we’ve addressed some of the depth issues we’ve had here in the past,” said Hilton. “We’re looking forward to getting started. We got off to a fast start last season and then things kind of went south.
“Hopefully we’ll be a little more consistent this time around.”