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UAPB getting ready for home opener with Miles

by Tanner Spearman | September 12, 2023 at 3:18 a.m.
UAPB is set for its first home game this season at Simmons Bank Field this Saturday against Miles College. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)

After a pair of trips to neighboring states to begin the season, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is set for its first home game of the season.

The Golden Lion football team will host Miles College at Simmons Bank Field at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Head coach Alonzo Hampton said it is great for the players to be at home.

"It's the field that we practice on," Hampton said. "You get to wake up in your bed on your own campus type of deal. You get a chance to be around your classmates, and your classmates get a chance to support you. So, we owe them, and so that's what you're most excited about."

UAPB began the past two seasons at home with wins over NCAA Division II foe Lane College, but the Golden Lions had to wait a bit longer to play in Pine Bluff this year after making trips to Tulsa and Memphis.

Hampton said UAPB fans traveled well to Memphis, but he is ready to see them at home.

"Just for me, being a southeast Arkansas guy, my hometown's 45 minutes away," Hampton said. "I'm just excited about seeing all the black and gold inside our own stadium. Last week, I mean, it was tremendous. I looked up there, it was black and gold all over that place."

This won't just be the first home game of the season for UAPB. It will be Hampton's first home game as the Golden Lions' head coach.

The last time he coached a game at Simmons Bank Field was in 2010 as defensive coordinator. The Golden Lions went 2-2 in Pine Bluff after starting that season with four-straight road games. UAPB also played a home game in Little Rock that season.

Hampton said one thing he is especially looking forward to will happen moments before kickoff.

"Obviously, being a head coach, getting a chance to run out of the tunnel here at home," Hampton said. "That's exciting, man, and when they brought me back here, I've visualized this day for years, man. So, now it's here. I'm excited about it. I just gotta remember to stay calm, make sure my shoes are tied up and don't trip over my feet when I'm running down the sideline."

Lane College isn't on the schedule this year, but a fellow Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference [SIAC] team is taking its place.

Miles College, an HBCU located in Fairfield, Ala., is making the trek to Arkansas this week. The Golden Bears are 2-0 after beating Lane College in week one and knocking off SWAC member Alabama State 21-17 last week.

UAPB has won six-straight games against non-Division I opponents and will look to make it seven Saturday.

The Golden Lions return to practice today after an academic day Monday. Hampton said it's his and the coaches' job to get the players motivated as they seek their first win at home.

"Every day presents a new opportunity to go out and get better," he said. "That's where the Golden Lions are."

The Golden Lions have five home games this season. Southern, Alcorn State, Jackson State and Grambling State will come to Pine Bluff during SWAC play.

Print Headline: UAPB getting ready for home opener with Miles


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