Conditions are perfect for a "code blue" at the 2012 season opener Saturday between the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen and the Scotties of Highland (Kan.) Community College at 7 p.m. on Robertson Field.
"We’re going to have several activities going on both outside and inside the stadium," Golden Norse head coach and athletic director Dale Patterson said. "Anyone wearing royal blue clothing will be admitted free of charge to the game."
Prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff, fans are invited to a "tailgate party" underneath a big tent on the practice field located just east of the field. Cost for the meal which includes bratwurst and provided by Sodexo is $5 per person.
"There will be a lot of food for people to choose from and it will be a good chance to share some comradery," Patterson said. "We want to encourage fans to come out and tailgate with us. We’ll still have the concession stand tent located in the south end zone area for fans to use."
As part of the annual Kansas Jayhawk Conference-Southwest Junior College Football Conference Challenge, the Golden Norse open the season against the 0-1 Scotties. Highland opened the season last Saturday with a 20-7 loss to Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College in Highland.
Last season the Golden Norse opened the season with a 26-20 victory over Garden CIty, Kan., at Robertson Field en route to a 3-6 season record. Since the inter-conference season opener began in 2006, the Golden Norsemen own a 3-2 record against Kansas teams. Last season the SWJCFC won six of the seven games played between the two leagues.
First year head coach Ryan Held and his completely new staff have 16 returning sophomores including five starters on offense and four on defense. Held, a native of Overland Park, Kan., most recently served as the offensive coordinator at No. 3 nationally ranked Butler Community College.
Last season the Scotties struggled to a 1-5 record in the KJCCC and a 1-8 overall mark.
The two teams have only played four games in the series against each other and have not met on the gridiron since 1979. NEO has outscored Highlands by a 110 to 31 margin which includes a 43-0 shutout in the last game.
"This is one of those games where as a coach, you don’t quite know what to expect," Patterson said. ŇHighland only gave up 283 total yards in the loss to Fort Scott and their defense held the Greyhounds to just 38 total yards rushing.
"They also scored first and led going into the second quarter," Patterson said. "So, we have to think that they are improved over last year and will come in here looking for a win."