Concordia College's Jeff Ward (26) picks up yards last season on a punt return Saturday at Memorial Stadium. -- Chris Wasson

Schedule sets the tone for Hornets

Published 7:52pm Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Playing college football as an independent school can make it difficult to find a schedule.

Playing as a small college can also be difficult in the schedule making process, so it comes as no surprise that Concordia College-Selma has had its problems filling out a complete schedule.

“We just don’t have a set home or conference schedule because of being an independent school,” Concordia head football coach Shepherd Skanes said. “All the games we have on the schedule are as a result of me calling and seeing if other coaches have openings. First, though, we have to wait on their schedule from most of their conferences.”

Coming off of a successful 6-4 season, the Hornets look to improve against a quality schedule that only has three home games. It’s a difficult task, especially when some of the bigger names like Grambling State, Alcorn State and Jackson State will all be away games.

“As with all football teams, when you have a winning record you want to keep doing it,” Skanes said.

“Winning sets the tempo for a program and a school. It brings recognition to them both.”

Another way of gaining that recognition is to take on some higher-level schools across the country as a way to get the name of Concordia on recruit’s minds outside of Alabama.

“I schedule them to help my institution by playing games,” he said. “When we play those games against bigger schools like Jackson State and Grambling, more people hear about us. They are nationally recognized historically black colleges. They don’t know about Concordia until be play these games.”

Wins against local opponents like Miles College in Birmingham and Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, who the Hornets will also play this year, also give a boost in recruiting in the area.

“When we beat those teams, like we did last year, it helps us recruit those areas,” Skanes said.

“There is almost a triangle between Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Selma. When we win, it does a lot for recruiting in that triangle. Players want to be a part of something that’s growing.”

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