By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (February 3, 2017) — The Erath County Coyote semipro football team is ready to kick off its first season in Stephenville, but its preseason contest will actually be down the road in Hico.
The Coyotes have an exhibition game at 3 p.m. Saturday against a team from San Angelo, with the regular season opening on February 25 in Wichita Falls. The first home game will be March 4 at Stephenville City Park.
Coyote manager Jase Schumacher says jerseys are expected to be in about a week before the season opener, and that home games will be played adjacent to Splashville in City Park, where adult soccer teams often meet.
The Coyotes have been practicing for the season ahead and Schumacher says he has been impressed.
“I think we have good players all over the field, but our defense, especially the secondary is very tough,” Schumacher said. “We scrimmaged and there were four or five picks in the first 15 minutes.”
The organization was based in Lampasas, where it claimed the Texas League of American Football championship in 2016. The move to Stephenville comes with a change in mascot and a move to the 28-member Texas United Football League. Their closest league rival will be the Eastland County Cobras. Schumacher says there are also several teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
“We’re excited to get started. Hopefully people will show they are interested in supporting some good football,” Schumacher said. “We also want high school and college players to see there is an option if they still want to play the sport after their school careers are done.”