For the first time in more than half a century Thursday afternoon, a Hendrix College football team took the practice field.
The first Hendrix team since 1960 consists of 56 players, 46 of whom are true freshmen. The Warriors have one junior, three sophomores and six redshirt freshmen (including three transfers).
The Warriors will play a 10-game schedule in the Southern Athletic Association of NCAA Division III, which does not allow athletic scholarships. They’ll play at the new Young-Wise Stadium on campus, which is in the final stages of construction. The 1,500-seat stadium was built alongside the artificial surface field that also serves as the competition site for track and field, men’s lacrosse and field hockey.
“It’s good to be out here and have players around,” said Hendrix head coach Buck Buchanan. “The thing I’ve missed the most is being around kids.
“We’re building this from the ground up. We having to teach everything from how we dress out to where the equipment room and what to do every day. Everything is a learning curve.”
The Warriors reported for preseason camp Wednesday.
“A lot of these kids just met each other yesterday,” Buchanan said. “I hope they’ll be best friends for the rest of their lives.”
The Warriors begin a six-game home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 7, against Westminster College.
“The kids are already picking up things fast,” Buchanan said. “We did selective recruiting, and that’s the advantage of having smart kids.”
Twenty-four of the Hendrix players are from Arkansas. Seth Peters and Reid Cone of Greenbrier (a transfer from Henderson State) and Jake Steward of Vilonia are the players from Faulkner County.