Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team waited 15 seasons to play its first on-campus home game, now the Cru finally gets that chance when Crusader Stadium opens with Saturday's non-conference showdown with Wesley College. The state-of-the-art facility was designed by nationally-renowned architectural firm Populous and has a seating capacity of 8,766 with overflow capability of holding 10,266 spectators. UMHB played its home games at nearby Tiger Field on the campus of Belton High School and the Cru posted a 78-12 record on its home field through the first 15 years of the program. Now UMHB has a stadium of its own to call home, creating an unprecedented buzz on campus and in the community.
"There is a real pressure to be successful and perform well," Cru head coach Pete Fredenburg said. "The reality is that it's early in the year, but we want to establish a real home tradition. A lot of people are coming to see the new stadium, but they are going to see a heck of a football game, too."
The game itself will be a top five battle with UMHB coming in 2-0 overall and ranked fourth in the country by D3football.com. Wesley College is also 2-0 on the year and ranked fifth nationally by D3football.com. The two teams will be meeting for the ninth time overall with the all-time series tied 4-4. The Cru swept two meetings from the Wolverines last season, including a 32-20 home win in the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III National Championships. The two teams have met in the postseason seven times and Saturday's 6:00 PM kickoff should have a playoff feel to it, as well.
"I expect our guys to play at a fever pitch," Fredenburg said. "We have to get a good plan and go out and execute it because they are very well coached and extremely talented. Both of these programs also know each other very well."
Pre-game will feature a special stadium dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting. There are also several other special events planned, including a post-game fireworks display. For more information on parking, traffic flow and game day events, please visit the following link:http://news.umhb.edu/article/game-day-instructions.
Saturday's game will also be broadcast live on K101.7 FM and through the station's web site with the pre-game show starting at 5:30 PM. UMHB will provide live video streaming and live statistics for the game with links to both available by clicking here:http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/umhb.portal. Saturday's game also kicks off a stretch that will see UMHB play its next four games at home after opening the season with road trips to California and New Jersey.