Local News

Campbell University Plays First Scrimmage

Posted October 20, 2007
Updated October 21, 2007

— The Campbell University "Fighting Camels" played their first public inter-squad scrimmage Saturday during Homecoming weekend.

After more than a five-decade absence, Campbell University announced last year that the varsity football program would return in 2008.

Earl Smith, 90, was the last to coach the "Fighting Camels" before the Buies Creek university dropped the football program.

“They're gonna have a fine football team,” Smith said. “They'll have to get up and go, because we set a precedent in 1946, 1947, and 1948, and that's gonna be hard to compete with."

About 1,500 excited fans watched Saturday as 79 players hit the Women’s Soccer Field at Gregory Circle. A new 2,000-seat football stadium is under construction.

“I think a lot of students are going to come out and support the Camels – obviously with the crowd here,” Campbell student Kenny Jones said.

"We view the scrimmage game as another opportunity to improve and to compete against one another," coach Dale Steele said. "We’ve made a lot of progress as individuals and as a team in terms of learning to play the game at a collegiate level. This game is not only a chance for fans to see what we can do, but for the players to gain confidence in what they’re doing."

The new football team has already boosted student enrollment.

“There are others that have come to Campbell, because we're adding football, not just because they're playing football,” Campbell athletics director Stan Williamson said.

"I'm sure that football will bring more excitement to Campbell and more alumni to homecoming each year,” Campbell alumni David Lee said.

The team will compete against similar non-scholarship programs on the Division 1 and non-1 levels.

Campbell's first game against Birmingham Southern is scheduled for Aug. 30, 2008.


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  • ScreenNameNotInUse Oct 21, 2007

    It's too bad Jerry Wallace is more concerned with building a football team than an academic program!

  • bbvoiceover Oct 21, 2007

    Congrats, Campbell!
    The University has made great strides in recent years. The law school, pharmacy school, trust school and comm schools continue to make this graduate proud.

    Hey, any chance we could play Duke the first game?

  • djofraleigh Oct 21, 2007

    A step backward is to add back football. College sports as they are, are a farce in the face of academia. Compare the salary of Coach K with the best cancer researcher at Duke. When your mother gets breast cancer, ask Coach K to go by the room to check on her.

    Oh, football is a money bonanza, with high school graduates and dropouts who didn't even go to college showing the old loyalty as if they had been. What does it matter who wins or loses a college ball game? Means nothing. Couch potato and arena fans ought to get off their big behinds and get out on the grass and courts and BE athletic.

    I'd think more of Campbell if they had a group of students challenge a group of Dukies to a walking backward, relay race with NO crowd. That would be a fun sight to see.

  • john283594 Oct 21, 2007

    All North Carolina Wesleyan College says about this is: Bring it on!!!

    Seriously great job Campbell in getting the program going!

  • Rebel_Without_a_Cauze Oct 21, 2007

    CU, you guys looked good out there today. It's going to be a long hard road, but with hard work and determination you guys are going to do alright. You have the support of many alumni who have waited a long time for "American" football to return to CU. That's not a shot at the soccer team, I support them as well, but tailgating at a soccer game just isn't the same as tailgating at a "football" game. Good luck and can't wait for the season to start.

  • pga007 Oct 21, 2007

    Saw part of the scrimmage today. Some bright spots, some errors. A long way to go, but you have to start somewhere. Beautiful day for it.

  • Steve Crisp Oct 20, 2007

    The Fighting Camels?

    What do they do? Spit at you, then take a dump on your head?

    This is right up there with the UC Santa Barbara Banana Slugs and the Savannah Sand Gnats.

  • findoutthefacts Oct 20, 2007

    Go Jordan Cramer!

  • ncsufamily24 Oct 20, 2007

    Congratulations to Campbell! You're a fine university and I wish your program much success.

  • findoutthefacts Oct 20, 2007

    Don't step on my camel toes!