The Apprentice School released its 2015 football schedule on Wednesday and it will be a mix of old and new in 2015. Five first-time opponents dot the schedule, one opponent the Builders haven't played in 12 years along with four returning teams from 2014 dot the slate. A couple of schedule tweaks include a pair of night games, including a Friday contest, and a late start for Trades Day.
On September 5, the Builders will open the season hosting Methodist University of Fayetteville, North Carolina in a 1pm kickoff on Apprentice Alumni Day. The Monarchs finished 2014 with a 6-4 record and a 5-3 slate in the USA South Athletic Conference. This marks the first meeting between the schools since 2002 when the Builders won 34-14 in Newport News.
The following weekend will be the first of two trips to New York this year as the Builders visit Oneonta, New York to face the Hawks of Hartwick College. This will be the first-ever meeting in any sport between the schools as Hartwick finished 2-8 in 2014 and had a 1-7 record in the Empire 8 Conference.
On September 19, the Builders will have the first of two straight night games as they head to Bridgewater, Virginia to face the Eagles of Bridgewater College. These teams played last year in Newport News with Bridgewater taking a 32-16 victory. Bridgewater finished with an 8-2 record in 2014 and in a four-way tie for first in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference with a 5-2 conference mark.
A rare Friday night game pops up on the Builders schedule the next week as six days later the Builders travel to Lexington, Virginia to face the Generals of Washington & Lee University. This will be the first-ever football meeting between the schools as the Generals were 2-8 in 2014 and had a 2-5 record in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
October starts with the annual Trades Day/Homecoming contest as the Builders face first-time opponent Fork Union Military Academy on October 3 in a 4pm start. This will be the first ever regular-season meeting with Fork Union as these teams have had pre-season scrimmages for the last few years. Fork Union was 4-4 last season and is located in Fork Union, Virginia.
Another first-time opponent is slated for October 10 as the Builders travel to Louisburg, North Carolina to face the Hurricanes of Louisburg College for a 1pm start. A National Junior College Athletic Association member, the Hurricanes were 1-9 last season.
The Builders will make their second trip to upstate New York on October 17 when they visit Alfred, New York to take on the Pioneers of Alfred State. These teams played two games last year with each winning on their home field. Alfred State leads the series 3-2 between the United States Collegiate Athletic Association members, though the Builders won the second game last year 39-34. The Pioneers were 2-7 last season.
October closes for the Builders with a visit to Bluefield, Virginia to tangle with the Rams of Bluefield College on the 24th. Last year these teams met for the first-time in Newport News with Bluefield taking a wild 46-24 victory. The Rams were 3-8 last year and 1-5 in the NAIA Mid-South Conference.
After a bye week, the month of November will see the Builders make their way south to Babson Park, Florida, to face the Warriors of Webber International University. In a series that Webber has won all seven prior contests, the Builders dropped a 31-6 decision last year in Newport News. Webber finished the 2014 season 7-3 and 4-1 in the NAIA Sun Conference.
Senior Day will close out the 2015 season on November 14 when the Builders tangle with the Warriors of College of Faith from Charlotte, North Carolina in a 1pm start. This will be another first-time meeting with College of Faith who finished the 2014 season with a 2-7 record as an independent school. The annual pre-game Chili Cookoff Contest will be held that morning with awards at halftime of the game.