PHILIPPI - History will be made today when the Alderson Broaddus University football team takes to the field for the first time since 1930 for a regular-season game.
The Battlers, who will face Pace at noon at the school's new stadium, went 9-2 as a club team last fall.
"The excitement level is through the roof," said head coach Dennis Creehan during the preseason.
"We will have an absolutely beautiful stadium and will be one of the nicest stadiums in the east. We sold out of our premium season tickets in just five days."
Senior wide receiver Preston Bailey, a transfer from The Citadel, is expected to lead the offense, while Wilson Vaughn or Wesley Nesmith will be under center. Vaughn had a pair of touchdown passes in last week's intrasquad scrimmage.
"You get nervous about playing games for real, especially when you haven't seen these kids under fire," Creehan said. "It's all about how you define success. If we're competitive in every game, that will be huge, a giant step in the right direction."
Pace, which is located in New York City and competes in the Northeast-10 Conference, returns seven starters on offense this season, led by senior wide receiver Matt Tarpley and junior running back Blair Wynn.
Tarpley played in eight games in 2012 and led the Setters with 930 all-purpose yards while finishing second on the squad with 47 catches and 500 receiving yards. Wynn led Pace in rushing with 349 yards a year ago.
Wesleyan at Elon
George Shehl makes his coaching debut as Wesleyan takes to the road to battle Elon (N.C.) at 6 p.m. today
"We are excited to see what the guys can do," Shehl said. "We know we have some big challenges and (Elon) is the first. We must focus on every single play throughout the game to compete with them and our guys know that."
Junior Jeremy Musselman will guide the Bobcat offense from his quarterback spot, while Connor Arlia, a transfer from West Virginia, and LaVaughn Hughes will be his top targets at the receiver spots..
Elon lost a 70-0 decision at Georgia Tech last week and is led by quarterback Mike Quinn and running back T.J. Bennett.