The Wildcats jumpstart their season with a home opener kicks off on September 7 against Miles College. The Wildcats are in great shape and ready to turn heads with a team which has seasoned offensive and defensive talent as well as new players determined to return the team to championship status.
Vice President of University Advancement and interim Athletics Director Anthony Holloman hopes to fortify Fort Valley State University’s winning tradition and help the university reach its goal of selling 2,000 season tickets before the first game. The Wildcat football team will renew several traditional rivalries this year, with games against Florida A&M University and Albany State University, among others. Later in the season, FVSU will renew a long-standing rivalry against sister Georgia public HBCU Savannah State University, which will return to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, where it competed for 32 years before leaving for Division I in 2000.
The Wildcats will also play in the Upstate HBCU Football Classic on September 28 in Greenville, South Carolina, against conference rival Benedict College. The game will help FVSU raise its visibility in the neighboring state, enhancing its ability to recruit students for both academic and athletic programs.
Part of Holloman’s charge as director is to ensure FVSU’s athletic programs are on firm financial footing, a continuation of three years of operating without a deficit. That feat in itself puts FVSU in elite territory. A recent NCAA report found that almost all Division II collegiate athletics departments operate in the red. It’s not enough for Holloman to break even. Increasing revenue, he said, begins with a schedule which fits the strengths of the institution and the interests of fans.
“One of the things we are doing in FVSU’s athletics division is to play games that make financial sense,” said Holloman. “The games we will play this year will generate much-needed resources which we can invest back into our programs.”
The 2019 football season includes four three games, three of which are against conference opponents. Homecoming is on October 19 against Morehouse College, and the regular season ends as it traditionally does against Albany State University at the Fountain City Classic in November.
Holloman and head football coach Kevin Porter have spent the offseason shoring up the team’s competitiveness. The 2019 class of new recruits include 23 student athletes from all over Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina.
“We needed to build depth in the offensive and defensive line as well as replace some skilled position players,” Holloman said. “We are ready to rebound and compete for the SIAC Eastern Division Championship.”