As part of Homecoming weekend, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will kick off their seasons with games to take place on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 8. The women’s team will play first at 2 p.m. against Robert Morris University out of Springfield, Missouri, and the men’s team will follow at 4 p.m. against Williams Baptist College out of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.
In preparation for their seasons, both teams have been conditioning since August and practicing diligently since the middle of October. Both teams have also participated in several scrimmages in the last few weeks against other schools in order to be more prepared.
The Lady Bulldogs are very excited for their first game and look forward to a good turn out from the community for their home opener.
Kelsey Risner, junior exercise science major, is a guard for the Lady Bulldogs.
“I am just excited to get the season started off,” Risner said. “I am anxious to see how our preseason has paid off as well. The fact that it is homecoming hopefully means that there will be a good crowd in attendance. If it is anything like Bulldog Madness, that would be awesome.”
On Oct. 23 Bulldog Madness filled the Fred Delay Gymnasium almost to capacity with students, faculty and staff members and members of the Jackson community. Students said the night was a raging success as the student body learned cheers that will be led during basketball games this season. The crowd was also introduced to members of the teams and got the opportunity to watch both teams scrimmage each other.
Ashanti Day, sophomore sports management major and guard for the Bulldogs, also said he is excited for the season to officially start on Saturday.
“I am ready for the season to take off as we as a team are expecting big things this year,” said Day. “After the turnout from Bulldog Madness I am excited to see the size of the crowd as they always help energize us in the right way.”
Emily Sissom, senior special education major is also a guard for the Lady Bulldogs.
Sissom also felt that the support the team received from the students at Bulldog Madness was awesome.
“Bulldog Madness was such a huge success because of the student support we had there, and we hope to see more of that this season,” said Sissom.
As a senior, Saturday marks the start of Sissom’s final year of eligibility to play basketball.
“It is super weird that I am a senior,” Sisson said. “I feel like I just started playing, but I’m really excited to get this year started and see what our team can do competing in the NCAA.”
Per Union’s homecoming tradition, members of homecoming court will be presented during halftime at the women’s game. During halftime at the men’s game the winner of the Presidential Homecoming Cup will be recognized.
As part of the Homecoming Cup competition, participants have hung banners in the gym that can be seen Saturday at the game.