Shepherd University head football coach Monte Cater has announced the 2013 football schedule. The 10-game slate includes five home games. The 2013 and 2014 Mountain East Conference football schedules have also been released.
Shepherd will open the 2013 campaign at home against Shippensburg for the Great Valley Classic/Ram Gridiron Club Day. Other home games include Urbana (Sept. 21), Charleston (Oct. 5 - Homecoming), Notre Dame (OH) (Oct. 19), West Virginia State (Nov. 9 - Senior Day).
Additionally, the Mountain East Conference has released its league football schedules for the 2013 and 2014 football seasons.
To accommodate 2013 Week 1 non-conference obligations, the MEC will play a 9-game schedule in its inaugural year and then will begin round-robin play as part of a 10-game league slate in 2014.
"This is a very exciting time for the Mountain East Conference," said conference commissioner Reid Amos. "As we grow toward a 10-game MEC schedule in 2014, all signs suggest that the MEC will be a highly competitive conference that will position its teams well for increased opportunities in NCAA competition. This format will ultimately keep our many strong rivalries intact and will create some new rivalries."
The Mountain East Conference announced its formation in August 2012 and submitted credentials in December 2012 seeking approval to become the newest NCAA Division II conference. The new league's charter members include: Concord University (W.Va.), Fairmont State University (W.Va.), Glenville State College (W.Va.), Notre Dame College (Ohio), Shepherd University (W.Va.), The University of Charleston (W.Va.), The University of Virginia's College at Wise (Va.), Urbana University (Ohio), West Liberty University (W.Va.), West Virginia State University (W.Va.), and West Virginia Wesleyan College (W.Va.) with all fielding football programs. The MEC's twelfth member, Wheeling Jesuit, currently sponsors 20 NCAA-II sports, but does not include football among its offerings.
"Scheduling non-conference games had become increasingly difficult for our members with the trend toward more conference play by surrounding conferences," said Amos. "The formation of the new Mountain East Conference provides our members with a 9-game conference schedule in year one and a 10-game league slate thereafter. This is very advantageous for many reasons and will add excitement with conference play coming earlier in our schedules."
If the MEC is approved by the NCAA for competition in 2013-14, the league would meet the NCAA requirement for conference championships in 16 sports: men's and women's basketball, baseball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and volleyball.