Athletes gearing up for the start of fall camp

WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University, with eight intercollegiate, competitive teams, has four of them begin their season this fall.

Football, volleyball and both men’s and women’s soccer open their autumn practices in August.

The men’s football Lions, led by Head Coach and Athletic Director Jesse Godding, will check in for their start of training camp at 8:00am on Monday, August 13. It will be Godding's tenth season. 

The purple and gold will kickoff their season three weeks later when they host Bethany College on Labor Day weekend. The September 1 game against the #24 ranked Swedes (8-3) will be played at Lumpkins Stadium. It has a 6:00pm (CST) start. BC won last year’s meeting, 29-21, in Lindsborg, Kansas.

SAGU began playing football in 1996 and ’97 as a club sport before officially declaring the Lions a varsity sport in 1998. They joined the Central States Football League in 2000, where they remained through the 2004 campaign.

After a few years as an NAIA independent, SAGU rejoined the CSFL in 2008 and continue. They posted a 4-6 mark in 2011 and hope to compete for a post-season berth this year.

Volleyball will commence their bumping, setting and spiking ways on the same day, August 13. Veteran Hank Moore, the dean of SAGU coaches, starts his 12th year at the helm.

The Lady Lions, who have produced a winning regular-season record in seven consecutive seasons, will have their player physicals prior to the commencing of camp.

The SAGU netters were 23-18 last fall, taking fourth in the 10-team Red River Athletic Conference, a league that produced the national champions.

Launching the 2012 schedule, Team Lioness has five matches in three days, all in Oklahoma City, opening with Mid-America Christian University on Thursday, August 23. The best of five match with the Evangels (7-27) is slated for 7:00pm.

Southwestern took all three meetings in 2011; 3-0 at MACU, 3-1 in Waxahachie, and 3-1 in Denver during post-season tournament play.

The Lady Lions advanced to Orlando for the nationals of the National Christian College Athletic Association, where they have practically been a regular.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams arrive on campus early, on Wednesday, August 8. They will embark on a missions trip to Leakey (LAY-kee), Texas before returning for the outset of camp on Aug. 13.

The Lions, under the guidance of new Head Coach Clem Oancea, seek a solid encore to last fall’s first-ever winning record. They posted a 10-9-5 ledger, narrowly missing the RRAC tournament.

SAGU rolled to three impressive wins at the NCCAA Central Regional tournament before qualifying for the nationals in Kissimmee, Florida, another first for the Jungle Kings.

The young Lady Lions, with just six seasons under their belt, pieced together a 4-14 mark that included several splendid conference performances including a win and a post-season, double-overtime shootout triumph over a team they had lost to earlier in the fall.

Head Coach Mandy Fortner is back for a second campaign and confidence is growing.

Both the Lions and Lady Lions play 18-game schedules that get started on Friday, August 24, in Oklahoma City against Mid-America Christian University.

The Lady Lions play the Lady Evangels (12-7-1 in 2011) at 2:00pm whiles the Lions kick-it-off when they clash with MACU's men's team (2-12-2) at 4:00pm.

The SAGU volleyball team will join them in town for their five match series, providing fans a chance to catch a lot of early action.

An official activation date for the basketball season has yet to be announced, though early October is likely.

Eye on the Lions: broadcasts and LiveStats

About 14 home dates will be broadcast in high definition by the SAGU Sports Network; all five home football games, five volleyball matches and two soccer doubleheaders.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is the only NAIA school in the nation believed to broadcast their athletic events in HD.

Starting this season, all home sports venues will also be available to fans via LiveStats webcasts, a digital play-by-play account of games.

Details and instructions on accessing the HD livestream and LiveStats will be publicized in August.

SAGU fans can expect outstanding team coverage, with previews, detailed reports on all games as well as action photos and access to box scores and player statistics.

A preview of each team will be posted on-line as well as Media Guides being produced during the summer.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.