UNA students ready for football season

Quarterback Luke Wingo fights for a touchdown as multiple University of West Alabama defenders try to bring him down Nov. 2, 2013.

The last time students saw UNA play at Braly Stadium, the Lions were celebrating a 30-27 victory over Tuskegee in the first round of the Division II playoffs.

The first chance Lion fans will be able to see the new team in the 2014 season at home will be Sept. 20 against Langston University.

“I am looking forward to seeing the team win and work hard,” said sophomore Noah Cunningham.

Following a 10-3 season and a trip to the third round, high expectations for this year from many students is not unusual.

Cunningham also said he was glad to see UNA’s football team voted most likely to win the Gulf South Conference this summer by the Gulf South Conference coaches.

“I think they deserved to be selected because I think they put in the hard work,” he said. “When you walk past Flowers Hall, you can see them actually practicing really hard and putting forth a lot of effort.”

The American Football Coaches Association preseason Division II poll was released ranking the Lions No. 5 in the country. They were also ranked the preseason No. 6 team by the D2Football.com poll.

The pregame camaraderie is senior Jennifer Hogan’s favorite part of football season, she said.

“You can just feel the energy flowing through every corner of campus,” she said. “I love seeing all the purple and gold and hearing the band practicing their songs in the afternoon leading up to games.”

For senior Haley Schrieber, tailgating on Spirit Hill before the games is the most fun part of football season, she said.

Spirit Hill, located right beside the stadium becomes a sea of purple and gold during pregame festivities.

Sophomore Dylan Higgins said he enjoys the atmosphere of games the most.

“I want to see some good football,” he said. “I expect the football team to win 85 percent of their games and make it to the third round.”

There are five home games scheduled at Braly Stadium. Kickoff for the first four home games is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the last home game is scheduled for 3 p.m. against Shorter University.

Luckily for Lion fans unable to make the trip to Clinton, Mississippi for the first game of the season against Mississippi College, the game will be available for live streaming on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. This will be the first of three UNA games shown on ESPN3.