If you didn’t already know, the Pirates have a Division III football team already going into its second season. Coach Joe Austin hosted a “Get Involved” event at the Georgetown Country Club this week to share his team’s first year success and encourage and challenge the community and business owners to get involved with the team to continue building momentum for the program and the school.
With a roster of 60 players, cheerleaders, dance team and a pep band, the Pirate season is shaping up once again to break attendance records and provide plenty of excitement for Georgetown and Williamson County in the fall. As a Division III school, the players are not on scholarship, but play for the love of the game. But that didn’t stop them from having eight all-conference players in their first season.
Coach Austin announced the school will release 3000 season tickets to the public beginning April 17, and they expect them to go fast. Regular games are $8 general admission and there will be several special events for kids and other special groups in Georgetown to attend and be honored.
While in the off season, the players are staying extremely busy. In addition to regular classes (92% of SWU graduates get jobs right out of school) they are doing daily workouts, traveling out of town to mentor young people, and they are the first NCAA football team to travel overseas. This summer the players will visit Germany to play football. The coaches are excited about the educational experience and the extra practice. As Coach Austin said, “Student athletes don’t often have the opportunities to study abroad or take advantage of college events.” The Germany trip will be based on an educational curriculum and they will be visiting everything to castles to concentration camps.
All Conference players Taylor Stephens, Brandon Fleischmann and Tyler Frisby shared their experiences from the first season. All were very pleased with the community support and the response from the huge crowds. Fleischmann says all the students support each other in sports and studying. Members of the Greek system come to games, athletes attend school activities as well as other team events.
Keynote speaker and business owner Ty Gipson remarked that when these kids are in high school, they have their moms and dads and grandparents there for them. When they get to college, they have each other and they need the community to back them as well. Gipsen also challenged the crowd to show the school and the athletes that they care, and that all are proud of the growth of the local university.
Coach Austin said that alot of the credit goes to the athletic and university staff because a lot of students were not aware of the amount of work that went into the development of the program. They all worked so hard behind the scenes that the launch was seamless from the outside. Austin said, “Initially, we were a team that even Noah would not want… we didn’t have two of anything. But now, thanks to sponsors and community support, we have facilities that equal some of the biggest universities in the country.”
If you’re looking for a good way to spend a Saturday, the Pirate Home Schedule follows:
- Sept 6 – Hardin-Simmons 7pm (Hometown Team Day)
- Sept 13 – SUL Ross State (Military Day)
- Oct 4 – Austin College (Hometown Hero Day)
- Oct 11 – Oklahoma Panhandle State (Faculty/Staff Day)
- Nov 8 – Trinity (Homecoming)
Visit www.southwesternpirates.com for more info about the team and how you can help!