April 14, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics officially released the 2010 Rams football schedule on Monday afternoon. The 10-game slate for 2010 is replete with highlights including five home games, the continuation of the I-40 Showdown versus North Carolina A&T State University and the 44th meeting between the Rams and longtime rival North Carolina Central University as well as a game in High Point, N.C. at A.J. Simeon Stadium versus CIAA rival Virginia Union University.
The 2010 season will witness the Rams' return to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, an historic athletic conference to which they belonged for 61 years as WSSU has their sights set on earning their ninth CIAA football title.
The Rams will play a full complement of CIAA games with only three non-conference opponents gracing the schedule as longtime rivals North Carolina A&T State University (Sept. 4) and North Carolina Central University (Sept. 11) as well as football upstart UNC-Pembroke (Oct. 23) are the only non-CIAA foes that WSSU will face in 2010.
The Rams will begin the season in High Point, N.C. on Aug. 28 as they play host to the Panthers of Virginia Union at A.J. Simeon Stadium. WSSU will waste no time in opening conference play as they host their longtime rivals at the 10,000-seat stadium in a football-rich atmosphere.
"We start with Virginia Union in High Point, N.C. and we need to make sure that we are ready to play every weekend, in every game" WSSU head football coach Connell Maynor said. "The Panthers will be a tough test for us as we get to showcase our football program and our University in High Point at Simeon Stadium" Maynor added.
The next two weeks of the season will mark rivalry week for the Rams as WSSU will travel to Greensboro, N.C. for the 49th meeting between the N.C. A&T Aggies on Sept. 4 and will return to the road one week later as they make a trip to Durham, N.C. to face the Eagles of North Carolina Central in a continuation of a rivalry that dates back to 1945.
"Following a season-opening conference game we will travel to Greensboro to face my alma mater North Carolina A&T State University" Maynor said. "That game and the rivalry of the Battle of I-40 Showdown is something that we know both fan bases will be jacked up for. That will be an exciting game and to follow it up with a game the very next week against a rival like the Eagles of North Carolina Central will certainly prove to be an exciting way to kick off the season" Maynor added.
WSSU, who will make their triumphant return to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in the fall of 2010, will play seven CIAA contests highlighted by conference home games against Chowan in the "2010 Hall of Fame Game" (Sept. 18), St. Augustine's in the "Wilbur Ross Memorial Game" (Oct. 9) and Livingstone in the "1000 HORN$ Game" (Oct. 16).
"We will make our return to the CIAA in 2010 and we enter into a highly competitive division with both the defending conference champion [Fayetteville State] and a football power in Shaw as well as a full slate of highly competitive opponents" Maynor said. "We are fortunate to have games against Chowan, St. Augustine's and Livingstone at home where we know our fan support means so much to our success" Maynor commented.
The Rams will take to the road to face defending CIAA Champion Fayetteville State (Sept. 25) in the first of two consecutive conference road contests before an Oct. 30 meeting with Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, N.C.
"Going back to Fayetteville State, where I spent the last 10 years coaching, will be a special game for us. We will be tested in that game and we have to prove we can win on the road in the first of two straight road games in the middle of the season" Maynor added. "We follow that up with a trip to Charlotte to face [Johnson C.] Smith in what will be a pivotal division game."
The Rams will return to Bowman Gray Stadium for their final home game of the season when they welcome the University of North Carolina-Pembroke for Homecoming 2010 on Oct. 23 as the Rams play host to the Braves' four-year-old football program.
"In our last home game of the season we face a stiff challenge from UNC Pembroke, a team that has lost maybe three games in the last two seasons" Maynor said. "We need to rally around our fan support in our home stadium on Homecoming" he added.
WSSU will close out the regular season on the road in Raleigh, N.C. as they face Shaw University in the first meeting between the two teams since the 1978 season.
"The last game of the regular season at Shaw will be a challenge for us as we take to the road to face the Bears of Shaw in a game that could have conference title game implications" Maynor said.
Season tickets for 2010 WSSU football are on sale now at the WSSU Ticket Office. Tickets may be purchase in person at the ticket office located in the WSSU Anderson Center, Room G14-A or by phone via credit card at (336) 750-3220. The WSSU Ticket Office is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For additional information on WSSU football, contact the Winston-Salem State University Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to the Official Website of WSSU Athletics at WSSURams.com.