MCKENZIE, Tenn. –Coach Chris Elliott and his staff will welcome the 2017 Wildcat Football team to campus July 31st. The Wildcats open their season less than a month later. The ten game schedule includes five home games with the 2017 Homecoming date being against Georgetown on October 7th in Wildcat Stadium. All games will be carried on WEIO, 100.9 and at: www.thefarmradio.com. Home games can also be viewed on Wildcat Vision.
The season brings a new look to the Mid-South Conference. The Conference will include 20 teams which will compete in three divisions. The new, expanded football conference will allow three teams to earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Football Championship Series.
The new conference will include the Mid-South Conference's 13 members: Bethel (Tenn.), Bluefield (Va.), Campbellsville (Ky.), Cincinnati Christian (Ohio), Cumberland (Tenn.), Cumberlands (Ky.), Faulkner (Ala.), Georgetown (Ky.), Kentucky Christian, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Pikeville (Ky.), Reinhardt (Ga.), and Union (Ky.).
They will be joined by six teams from The Sun Conference: Ave Maria (Fla.), Edward Waters (Fla.), Point (Ga.), Southeastern (Fla.), Warner (Fla.) and Webber International (Fla.). St. Andrews (N.C.) is scheduled to begin football in 2017.
"This merger strengthens our commitment to our football institutions and their student-athletes," said Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward. Ward said the expanded football conference will make it easier for schools to schedule football games, as well as bring together institutions with similar values.
Founded in 1987, the Mid-South Conference split into East and West football divisions in 2005. The expanded football conference's divisions will be called the Appalachian, Bluegrass and Sun. Each division will have its own identity, producing a division champion that will earn an automatic bid into the NAIA Football Championship Series.
When the new football arrangement takes place in 2017, teams will play each school within a division once and play four non-division games against other Mid-South Conference teams.
The Mid-South Conference's new football divisions are:
Bluegrass Division: Bethel (Tenn.), Campbellsville (Ky.), Cincinnati Christian (Ohio), Cumberland (Tenn.), Georgetown (Ky.), Kentucky Christian, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
Appalachian Division: Bluefield (Va.), Cumberlands (Ky.), Point (Ga.), Pikeville (Ky.), Reinhardt (Ga.), St. Andrews (N.C.), Union (Ky.).
Sun Division: Ave Maria (Fla.), Edward Waters (Fla.), Faulkner (Ala.), Southeastern (Fla.), Warner (Fla.), Webber International (Fla.).
The Cats open the season at home against Edward Waters College on August 26th. Kick-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. The Wildcats travel to Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida the following week. Kick-off is slated for 6 p.m. On September 9th Bethel will play host to the University of the Cumberlands at 1:30 p.m. After an early season off date the Cats hit the road to northern Georgia to battle Reinhardt University in Waleska with action beginning at 12:30 p.m. Two consecutive home games are next for the Cats. They host Campbellsville University on September 30th and Georgetown on October 7th. The Georgetown game is Homecoming for Bethel. Both games are scheduled for 1:30 kick-offs. Two straight road games await the Wildcats next. They travel to Cumberland University in Lebanon on October 14th. Kick-off is at 1:30 p.m. Since Lambuth University no longer fields a football team Cumberland University is the opponent Bethel has met more than any other in its history. For the second straight season Bethel travels to the Queen City of Cincinnati to face Cincinnati Christian with kick-off at 12:30 p.m. Bethel will observe Senior Day with their last regular season home game on October 28th hosting Lindsey Wilson at 1:30 p.m. They close out the regular season in Grayson, Kentucky on November 4th with action beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Check www.bethelathletics.com for updates on the Pigskin Cats.
Mid-South Conference divisional games are: Campbellsville, Georgetown, Cumberland University, Cincinnati Christian, Lindsey Wilson, and Kentucky Christian.
The Wildcats finished 7-4 last season. Coach Elliott enters his sixth season as head coach of the Wildcats.
Edward Waters College *
Southeastern University *
University of the Cumberlands *
Reinhardt University *
Campbellsville University $
Georgetown College $ %
Cumberland University $
Cincinnati Christian University $
Lindsey Wilson College $
Kentucky Christian University $
NAIA Playoffs, Round One
NAIA Playoffs, Round Two
NAIA Playoffs, Round Three
* Mid-South Conference Games
$ Mid-South Conference, West Division Games
All Game Times Are Central Standard Time