It may only be March but the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals are ready for some football.
Brad Smiley, head coach and athletic director at TVCC has officially released their 2013 football schedule.
The Cardinals are looking to improve on a 3-6 season and 1-6 conference campaign in 2012.
The first two games of the season will set the tone for conference play as the “Battle in the Valley returns to Bruce Field.
The Cardinals will host Iowa Western on August 24 at 6 p.m.
The Reivers finished the 2012 season as the defending NJCAA national champions.
Iowa Western defeated TVCC, 44-20, in the inaugural Battle in the Valley game last year.
“We want to play tough competition and the big thing last year was getting with Paul Benson with Virtual Communications and starting this Battle in the Valley game,” Smiley said. We wanted to be able to bring top level competition to Athens. We could be facing the No. 1 team in the country and it is a great opportunity to face the No. 1 team in the country right off the bat.”
TVCC will then have a rematch with the Coffeyville Red Ravens in their final non-conference game of the year to wrap up the month of August at Bruce Field on August 31.
The Cardinals defeated Coffeyville, 35-7 and Smiley said the Red Ravens might be looking for payback.
“Coffeyville was No. 15 in the country last year and their coach will have an experienced team coming back this year,” Smiley said. “This is a great measuring stick for us starting the season this year with Iowa Western and Coffeyville.”
Following a bye week the following week, the Cardinals will spend four of the next five weeks on the road.
The Cardinals travel to Kilgore, Navarro, a homecoming matchup at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, and then to Brenham to face Blinn.
The October 5 match against NEO will be the first meeting between Smiley and last season’s offensive coordinator Sherard Poteete.
“We go into conference play after the bye week with three of our conferences four playoff teams last year,” Smiley said. “We will play three of them in four games all at their place.”
Smiley said Navarro was the No. 3 seed, Kilgore was the No. 2 seed and NEO was the regular season champions last year.
Following that stretch of games, the Cardinals wrap up the season at Blinn and host TJC and Southeast Prep.
Smiley said following a 79-0 thumping of Southeast Prep last year, he feels more comfortable heading into the finale on Oct. 26.
He said last year, the Cardinals did not know what to except for them last year.
“I feel much more comfortable with Southeast Prep because we will have film on them,” Smiley said. “We had no idea what they were going to do last year because they were a new program. By that time of the year, we will have the film and understand what they do when we play them.”
He said he was glad the schedule is set and he believes the fans will enjoy this season.
“It is going to be tough but exciting,” Smiley said. “It will definitely be a challenge without a doubt.”
2013 TVCC Cardinals football schedule
Date Opponent Time
A24 Iowa Western College 6:00
A31 Coffeyville Community College 7:00
S14 at Kilgore College 7:00
S21 Cisco Junior College 7:00
S28 at Navarro College 7:00
O5 at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 2:00
O12 at Blinn College 3:00
O19 Tyler Junior College 3:00
O26 Southeast Prep 3:00
N2 SWJCFC Playoffs TBA
N9 SWJCFC Championship TBA