ASHLAND, Ore. — It's been a long time coming but the first game prep week finally arrived for Southern Oregon University football. The team is brimming with excitement to get back out and play in their first football game since 2019.
"It's through the roof right now, man, we can't wait," senior linebacker Jake Regino said after practice on Tuesday. "Can't wait to get on that plane there and hit somebody other than our own colors and show them what we've been doing for these past 18 months."
The Raiders are set to travel to Billings, Montana on Friday for their game against Rocky Mountain on Saturday. It will pit two different journeys to the Fall 2021 season against each other.
Rocky Mountain College played their last game on April 3 earlier this year. SOU hasn't played a game since their 2019 season finale on November 16.
Despite the Battlin' Bears' official colors being green and gold, SOU is the greener team. They're both younger and lacking real game experience, especially compared to the RMC team that is coming off a 1-3 season earlier this year.
SOU's football players are ready for Saturday's game regardless. At practice Tuesday, the adrenaline was flowing on both sides of the ball, although contact was limited. For head coach Charlie Hall, this week is a balance of getting the team excited for the game and keeping them focused on the task at hand.
"As we get closer to game time there's going to be this pressure everybody is going to put on themselves," Hall said. "All those things are exciting but you got to take a breath every once in a while and see where we're at and move forward."
Southern Oregon plays Rocky Mountain on Saturday at 5 pm PT to open up the fall 2021 season.