The two-time defending Southland Conference champion Sam Houston State football team reports for preseason camp Sunday, August 4. The veterans will arrive in the morning with newcomers reporting in the afternoon.

Heading into the 2013 campaign, all eyes are on Sam Houston State once again. The league’s head coaches have tabbed the Bearkats to win a third consecutive Southland title.

Last fall, the Kats were picked to repeat as conference champs. Despite falling to Central Arkansas in an early matchup, Sam Houston State rolled past six consecutive conference opponents and claimed a share of the Southland championship, along with the Bears.

After defeating the three Big Sky Conference regular-season champions in the playoffs, the Kats set up another date with North Dakota State in the FCS Championship Game.

The student-athletes will report Sunday. The veterans will check in from 10 a.m. to noon and newcomers from 1 to 3 p.m. The squad will hold its first team meeting at 7 p.m. that evening.

The first practice will take place Monday night at 7:15 p.m. Preseason camp will continue through Friday, August 23 and classes begin Wednesday, August 28. The Bearkats will open the 2013 season Saturday, August 31, when they play host to Houston Baptist in a 6 p.m. contest.

“I’m excited about the upcoming year. I’m always excited for every season,” SHSU head coach Willie Fritz said. “I’ve got a bunch of guys I’ve been with for four years, who are really quality football players and people. We’re looking forward to the challenges this year.”

Coach Fritz and his staff will welcome back 40 lettermen including 12 starters from last year’s 11-4 squad.

Seniors Timothy Flanders and Bookie Sneed have been named to a trio of preseason All-America teams while 12 Bearkats were named to the preseason All-Southland team.

Flanders, Donald Jackson III, and Richard Sincere are on the first-team offense and Gary Lorance, Eric Fieilo, and Sneed are members of the first-team defense while Torrance Williams is the first choice punt returner.

Brian Bell, Chance Nelson, Matt Boyles, Jarrett Brown, and Jesse Beauchamp are on the second team.  

“We’ve got a great schedule with some tough games in there,” said Fritz. “One game that’s kind of overlooked a little bit, we’re playing a team that’s going to be competing for a national championship in Eastern Washington. We’re going over to A&M, we’ve got seven home games and the Piney Woods game is always great every year. We’re very, very excited about the upcoming year.”

2013 Bearkat Football Preseason Camp Practice Schedule
(Subject to change)

Sunday, Aug. 4 - Players Report
Monday, Aug. 5 - 7:15 p.m. Practice #1 (Helmets)
Tuesday, Aug. 6 - 8:15 a.m. Practice #2 (Helmets)
Wednesday, Aug. 7 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #3 (Uppers)
Thursday, Aug. 8 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #4 (Uppers)
Friday, Aug. 9 - 8 a.m. Practice #5 (Uppers)
Saturday, Aug. 10 - 7:30 a.m. Practice #6 (Uppers)
10:00 a.m. Kat Kids Camp
7:45 p.m. Practice #7 (Helmets)
Sunday, Aug. 11 - 8: a.m. Practice #8 (Uppers)
Monday, Aug. 12 - 7:15 p.m. Practice #9 (Scrimmage)
Tuesday, Aug. 13 - 8:45 a.m. Practice #10 (Uppers)
Wednesday, Aug. 14 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #11 (Uppers)
7:45 p.m. Practice #12 (Helmets)
Thursday, Aug. 15 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #13 (Uppers)
Friday, Aug. 16 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #14 (Uppers)
Saturday, Aug. 17 - 8:30 a.m. Practice #15 (Scrimmage)
Sunday, Aug. 18 - OFF
Monday, Aug. 19 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #16 (Uppers)
                7:45 p.m. Practice #17 (Helmets)
Tuesday, Aug. 20 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #18 (Uppers)
Wednesday, Aug. 21 - 7:00 p.m. Practice #19 (Scrimmage)
Thursday, Aug 22 - 8:45 a.m. Practice #20 (Helmets)
Friday, Aug. 23 - 8:00 a.m. Practice #21 (Uppers)
Wednesday, Aug. 28 - First day of class