BUCKHANNON – Following the completion of their annual spring Orange and Black football game, the West Virginia Wesleyan football program and head coach Del Smith announced their 2017 schedule.
The 2017 schedule will feature 10 Mountain East Conference games along with one non-conference game with FCS member the Duquesne Dukes.
The Duquesne game is slated for Saturday, Sept. 30 with the time to still be determined.
The Pittsburgh area school is a member of the Northeast Conference and plays their home games at Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field.
"With us having 10 conference games there are limited opportunities to pick up an 11th game," remarked coach Smith. "Add the fact that our players prefer to play an FCS opponent and your options are limited. We are excited to have a game with Duquesne and think it will be great for our Pittsburgh area alums."
According to Smith, plans are in the works for a Friday night event and tailgate party prior to the Duquesne game.
Last season, the Bobcats made a trip to East Tennessee State for their FCS opponent.
The schedule also features three Thursday night games – all road games – at Concord on Aug. 31, at Fairmont State on Sept. 14 and at Glenville State on Nov. 2.
Wesleyan will open their 2017 campaign on the road in a Thursday night contest at Concord.
"We are excited about our Thursday night schedule," coach Smith stated. "The first one is our opener and gives us plenty of time to prepare for week two. There are a few benefits to it. Heat won't be as much of a factor at night in late August and playing on the first allowable competition date of the season is a great chance to showcase the league.
"We were already preparing to play Glenville and Fairmont on Thursday night. We figured the schedule would pan out that way. They are close opponents, so I don't put a whole lot of value on them being road games. I hope that we get a great turnout considering our proximity to one and other."
The MEC portion of the schedule is balanced with five home games and five road games.
The home schedule will be highlighted by a trip to Wesleyan from the Shepherd University Rams who advanced to the NCAA Division II National Semi-Finals last season.
"The MEC is competitive from top to bottom," coach Smith concluded. "In 2016, a team (Charleston) that was in the national playoffs one year before won three games. It can happen fast. As far as we are concerned, we are going to roll a young, athletic and talented crew out there in 2017. Once it clicks for this group I believe we have a chance at being pretty good."
For a look at the full 2017 football schedule, please click here.