NEO’s Golden Norsemen forced to push football schedule back


NEO’s Golden Norsemen forced to push schedule back

Miami, Oklahoma – Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 – Six days prior to the start of the 2013 football season at Northeastern A&M College, the Golden Norsemen were notified by the Roadrunners club sport of the Metropolitan University of Denver that they could not field a team and cancelled the scheduled game for 7 p.m. Thursday at Miami’s newly refurbished Robertson Field.

“We received word Thursday that Metropolitan University of Denver is unable to field a team, and they won’t be able to be in Miami on Thursday,” said NEO Athletic Director Dale Patterson. “So the game has officially been cancelled. They basically had a rash of injuries and had some kids that did not show up, so because of a lack of numbers, they just couldn’t field a competitive team.”

Roadrunner Head Coach Justin Norman and his staff were missing several offensive linemen that forced the cancellation of their five-game schedule. After opening up with NEO, the Roadrunners were scheduled to travel to Coffeyville, Kan., on Sept. 7; Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., on Sept. 28; Cole College on Oct. 5 and the Air Force Academy on Oct. 12.

“Obviously, it would have been great for us to be able to gear up and play this game,” first-year NEO Head Coach Sherard Poteete said. “Our guys are working hard to be prepared for Thursday, but I don’t think anybody on either side of the football will complain about having another week to prepare for Highland.”

According to Patterson, “Our biggest regret in losing this game was that we were playing on a Thursday night during the first week of regular classes. We thought this would be a great opportunity to get our students to come out, and now they’re going to be on campus two or three weeks before we play at home.”

The club sports program was organized on the campus to provide the students, faculty, and staff of Auraria an opportunity to promote and develop their individual athletic interests in an organized fashion with others. The football club was student initiated with the emphasis on participation.

Therefore, no club can discriminate because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, handicap, age or ability, according to the Metropolitan University of Denver catalog.

“Not only are we canceling the game itself, but all the activities surrounding the game,” Patterson said. “We’ll have to wait for the debut of the Norse Stars Dance-Drill Team after a one-season hiatus plus the Golden Norse cheerleaders and the Norwegian Legion Marching Band.

“So, our first game of the season will be Saturday, Aug. 31 at Highland, Kan., and our first home game will be Sept. 14 against Blinn, Texas,” Patterson said. “But, out of a negative situation for us has come a positive result.”

Since both NEO and Coffeyville were scheduled to play Metropolitan University of Denver, the two longtime arch rivals will resume their storied series on Saturday, Sept. 7. The Golden Norse will travel to Coffeyville for a 7 p.m. contest at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“Actually, this situation turns our better for us because Coffeyville is ranked No. 12 and we’re No. 14, so our players are fired up about getting to play a quality team,” Poteete said. “What makes this such a great matchup is the history involved between the two programs.”

The last time the two rivals met on the football field was in 2004 as the Red Ravens rallied for a 23-20 victory before a large crowd at Robertson Field. By coincidence, Dale Patterson’s son, Steve, made his head coaching debut in this game.

Since the series between NEO and Coffeyville began in 1925, the Golden Norsemen are 27-11-2 overall.

Another twist involved with the renewal of the series is the fact that NEO AD Dale Patterson coached against Coffeyville Athletic Director Jeff Leiker in 2003.

“Because both of us had an open date on Sept. 7, it was a natural fit for us to play each other,” Patterson said. “Since we are both members of separate conferences (NEO-Southwest Junior College Football Conference and Coffeyville-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference) this is just a one year deal. But, we both are going to try and see if we can’t work something out with next year’s schedule,” Patterson said. “Since we’re only 45 miles apart, this is such a natural rivalry that we need to continue. It’s unfortunate for our fans that we’re losing a home game, but 45 miles isn’t that far to travel.” Patterson said. “They have a nice stadium and a lot of seating on both sides.”