You don’t have to be a football fan to appreciate what the sport brings to a school and community.
Pride. Enthusiasm. Publicity. Positivity. Prospective students. Revenues. And, of course, pure fun.
Paine College lapped that up this past weekend with the return of a football program after a 51-year hiatus.
The team is playing as a club this year, meaning an abbreviated schedule against under-the-radar institutions. Next year, the plan is to join the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and play a full small-college schedule and roster of college opponents.
That gradual easing-into the sport, a common tactic where schools are creating new programs, in no way lessened the excitement in Augusta this past weekend, as the barbecue grills were ablaze and the “Lion Walk” to Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium ignited the crowd and lit Paine’s fire.
It was a great moment for a school besieged in recent years with administrative and financial challenges. We hope the rekindled spirit of Saturday proves a boost into a bright future for Paine College.