BETHANY - The Bethany College football program is set to open its 116th season when it takes to the road for an opening-season contest against Centre College in Danville, Ky.
The contest will mark the first as head coach for Bill Garvey, who took over the reins of the Bison program after serving as offensive coordinator for seven seasons.
''I am extremely excited to get this season going,'' Garvey said, ''as I'm the sure the rest of the team is as well. The guys are looking forward to getting to hit someone in a different color jersey for a change.''
The Colonels of Center, fresh off their first season in Southern Athletic Association play, return nine defensive starters to go along with seven offensive starters.
On offense, the biggest key for the Colonels could be the return of junior Heath Haden, who coach Garvey believe is one of Centre's biggest offensive weapons.
''Haden is a very talented athlete,'' Garvin said. ''In order for us to render him ineffective, we have to keep containment and make him make plays over top.''
Last season, Haden led an offense that averaged 379.2 yards and 25.4 points per contest. Haden himself accounted for almost 2,500 yards of total offense, including 1,973 passing yards and 15 touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball the Bison offense will contend with a defense that gave up just under 23 points per game last season while allowing 370.4 yards per game. However, the Colonels return nine starters on the defensive side of the ball.
The last time the Bison met the Colonels was the first meeting between the two programs; a game which Centre won, 42-21. During the course of the contest, Centre controlled the line of scrimmage, out-gaining the Bison on the ground by a total of 272-110.