HUNTSVILLE, Texas — 2018 and 2019 were disappointing seasons for the Sam Houston State football team. The Bearkats failed to reach the FCS playoffs, and that's not the norm for K.C. Keeler's squad.
2020 could be a different story though. Sam returns multiple starters on both offense and defense at key positions, and finally have a healthy quarterback under center.
Coach Keeler says this is one of the most talented teams he's had during his tenure at Sam Houston State, and the 2019 senior class laid the groundwork for a return to glory.
"I was thrilled with my team last year, and disappointed we didn't make the playoffs, but there are things we can build on from last year's experiences," Keeler says.
"We're tired of being on the edge," redshirt junior quarterback Eric Schmid says. "The last two years were disappointing. We have the drive behind us now, all the pieces of the puzzle are here and we're ready to play."
Sam was picked to finish second in the Southland Conference's Preseason Poll, just behind Central Arkansas, but if you ask the leaders on the team, they'll tell you the Bearkats should be the team to beat.
"At my time that I've been here, this is the strongest and most well rounded team we have," senior defensive back Zyon McCollum says. "The leaders, the discipline, the coach-ability this team has, that's what gives us the competitive edge."
Part of the Bearkats confidence comes from a healthy Eric Schmid. When he's on the field, he's as good as any quarterback in the conference and the redshirt junior says he's fully recovered from the injuries that kept him on the sidelines for most of last season.
"We know when he's healthy, he's one of the best QBs in the country and we have the skill players around him to get back to being one of the best offenses in the country," Sam Houston State head coach K.C. Keeler says.
"I think we have a lot of good players on offense," Schmid says. "Good receivers, good line, and lot of play makers at running back and tight end. We need to play clean, eliminate mental mistakes and make plays."
Sam Houston State is scheduled to kick off its 2020 season at home on September 5th against Tarleton State.