Individual game tickets for Sam Houston State's three home games at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium plus the "Battle of the Piney Woods" at Reliant Stadium are now on sale online at .

Sam Houston State returns 19 starters and 50 lettermen from the 14-1 team that rolled to the Southland Conference championship and the NCAA Division I national championship game last year. The Bearkats already have been listed as the favorite to repeat as league titlists in the 2012 Southland head coaches' preseason poll.

In addition, the Sports Network NCAA Division I FCS national preseason poll has placed Sam Houston as the No. 1 team in the nation.

The Bearkats open the 2012 season Saturday, Sept. 8 when Sam Houston plays host to the University of Incarnate Word from San Antonio.

The contest climaxes the annual SHSU Bearkat Family Weekend celebration. A special opening night feature will be the third annual Hillcrest Heroes celebration honoring area law enforcement, military and emergency service personnel. Other opening night festivities include a classic car show, "Scout Day" and the Whataburger Orange Out.

Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin, the teams picked first and second in the preseason Southland Conference head coaches' poll, will square off in the 87th "Battle of the Piney Woods" at Reliant Stadium Saturday, Oct. 6. The contest has attracted more than 25,000 fans each of its two years in Houston.

Tailgate at Reliant Stadium Oct. 6 begins at 11 a.m. with the H-E-B "Tailgater of the Game" contest in full swing. Former Bearkat lettermen will form their annual tunnel to welcome the team to the field and the Bearkat players also will be featured in a "Spirit Walk."

The SHSU-SFA series is the fourth oldest college football rivalry in Texas.

McNeese State visits Bowers Stadium for Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 20.  Homecoming 2012 is presented by Brookshire Brothers. The day also features another Whataburger "Orange Out" at Bowers.

Sam Houston wraps up its home schedule Nov. 3 when the Kats face off with Southeastern Louisiana. The home finale marks "Senior Day". The game also is SHSU football's annual "Pink Out" day with special promotions to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention. Junior Bearkat members will receive free admission to the game, there will be a special Villas on Sycamore contest for SHSU students and the H-E-B "Tailgater of the Year" will be announced.

The Bearkats' road schedule in 2012 includes four contests at sites two hours drive away or less.

Saturday Sept. 15 the Baylor Bears host SHSU at 6 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. The SHSU Alumni Association is sponsoring a bus to the game and a pregame Bearkat tailgate behind the H-E-B on Valley Mills Road. A limited number of Baylor tickets are available until Aug. 31. Season ticket holders receive first priority.

Thursday Sept. 27 Sam Houston travels to Dynamo Stadium in Houston to take on Texas Southern. A special pregame Bearkat party is open to the public at Lucky's.

Saturday Oct. 27 in Beaumont before SHSU's Southland Conference battle with Lamar the Alumni Association will host a tailgate party at Katherine & Company on 1495 Calder Avenue at 11:30 a.m.

Saturday Nov. 17 the Bearkats close out the 2012 regular season schedule at Texas A&M. The Alumni tailgate will be at the Student Recreation Center on the Texas A&M campus. Bearkat-Aggie tickets will be available in October.

Season tickets remain on sale. Besides priority on road game tickets, season ticket holders also receive priority on seats for NCAA Division I post game playoff contests.

♦   Order individual game tickets
♦   Order season tickets
♦   Bearkat Alley tailgate information

For more information contact the SHSU athletic ticket office at (936) 294-1729. The ticket office is located in the Ron Mafrige Field House in the south end zone of Bowers Stadium. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.