The Apprentice School Head Football Coach Paul White and Athletic Director Keisha Pexton announced the 2014 Apprentice School football schedule on Friday with a couple new faces to start the season along with a 10-game slate.
"Our 2014 schedule has a variety of competitiveness from New York to Florida, which includes two Old Dominion Athletic Conference teams, two new teams in the United States Merchant Marine Academy and Bluefield College and two tough games against Alfred State," White said.
On September 6, the United States Merchant Marine Academy will come to Newport News for the season opener. The Mariners were 4-6 in 2013 as they are members of the NCAA Division III Liberty League for football. This is the second time these schools have met in any sport as the Lady Builders went to Kings Point, NY during the 2009-10 season and lost 62-47.
The next weekend, the Builders will celebrate Trades Day and Homecoming as another first-time opponent comes to Apprentice Field – Bluefield College. The Rams are member of the NAIA Mid-South Conference and are in their third season of football. They faced common opponent Southern Virginia University and lost last year 44-18 as they finished 0-11.
September 20 will be the first road contest of the year as the Builders renew a rivalry with Catholic University in Washington, DC. The Cardinals, members of the NCAA Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference, were 4-6 last year and defeated the Builders in their last meeting 24-15 in Newport News during the 2011 season.
The following weekend the Builders will continue against the ODAC as they'll host Bridgewater College. The Eagles were 4-6 last year and are normally one of the top teams in the ODAC. These teams last played in Newport News during the 2012 season and Bridgewater scored a 44-14 win. The Apprentice Alumni Association will sponsor a tailgate party prior to the September 27 game with Bridgewater College.
To start October, the Builders will face their first United States Collegiate Athletic Association opponent in the Pioneers of Alfred State. The first meeting of the year will be at Alfred, NY on October 4 and these teams will play in Newport News on November 1. Last year, these teams worked the scoreboard at Pioneer Stadium as Alfred State took a 55-41 decision.
After the first game with Alfred State, the Builders head to Baltimore, MD. to face Coppin State University. The Eagles finished 9-2 last season with one of those defeats coming to the Builders in a 39-34 scorefest at Apprentice Field.
Following a week off, the Builders will make the first of two trips to Florida for a rematch with Edward Waters College in Jacksonville on October 25. Last year was the first-ever meeting between the schools and the Builders came out on the low-end of 38-21 decision to the Tigers who are member of the NAIA.
November begins with the rematch against Alfred State on November 1 starting at noon at Apprentice Field. The next weekend the Builders close out the home slate when they host Webber International University on November 8. The Warriors, also members of the NAIA, were 5-5 and defeated the Builders 46-7 in Babson Park, FL. This will serve as the annual Chili Cookoff game.
The regular season comes to a close on November 15 as the Builders make the trek to Ave Maria, FL to take on the Gyrenes of Ave Maria University in another USCAA clash. Ave Maria finished last season with an 8-2 record in their second season of varsity competition and ended the season with eight straight wins, including a 42-21 win over the Builders last November.