The 2012-13 Hamline University athletic calendar opened up August 11 in style. Before the first tackle could be made at the first practice, however, the Piper footballers christened the new Anderson Center by sitting down to the first meal ever served.
School president Linda Hanson welcomed the Pipers to the new year. And then the gridiron gang did what footballers, joined by their families, know how to do so well -- eat. There were plaudits all around for the various serving stations that whipped up pizzas, burgers, salads, breadsticks, veggies, several liquid choices and a variety of desserts.
After lunch, second year head coach John Pate and his staff moved the players and their families to Klas Center's third floor for formal introductions and to give a quick summary of what will take place in the next three weeks as Hamline preps for the September 1 opener at Minnesota-Morris.
On Sunday, August 12, HU takes to Klas Field for the first formal practice. "We have more bodies than we had last year. We have more talent than we had last year," Pate noted in discussing the 2012 roster. 27 faces return from the 2011 team and will be mixed in with nearly 40 new faces. HU will practice at Klas for a week and then head up to Camp Ripley for the second year in a row. They will have a dress rehearsal for the new season August 25 when they scrimmage Martin Luther at Klas.
Then it's on to the opener at Morris September 1. HU then gets a week off before starting MIAC play at Carleton September 15. The September 22 home opener against Augsburg (7:00 p.m. kickoff) will mark just the second home night game in school history.