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ACU Football Prepares for First Season In Division One

The ACU Wildcats opened camp this week for the first time as a division one football program. At the same time not everything will change for the football program.
The ACU Wildcats opened camp this week for the first time as a division one football program. At the same time not everything will change for the football program.

Plenty of talent returns on the offense for this season with eight starters returning, including much of their offensive line. The big change this year for the wildcats this year will be under center with John David Baker taking over at the quarterback spot

Baker takes over for the recently departed Mitchell Gale, who holds many of the school's passing records. At the same time Baker, now a senior, was able to learn a lot from Gale.

"Just being here, and being able to see Mitchell [Gale] do it and see how efficient he was at running the offense, it's a big help. To be able to sit for three years and be able to watch that is a big help to me now going into my senior year," said John David Baker.

"John David, he's been around here for four years and he knows how we do things, he knows what is expected. Still, he hasn't taken meaningful snaps yet in a game, but he has proven that he is the guy," said head coach Ken Collums.

At the same time the cupboard is not empty in terms of skill players on the offense this season. Baker will have plenty of targets to throw to this year with the Taylor Gabriel and Darrell Cantu-Harkless back for another season.

"[Baker] and Mitch both have different skill sets. J.D. is a bit more run. We came in together in 2009. I'm really excited to see him play, and see what he can do on the field," said Darrell Cantu-Harkless.

The defense showed improvement over last season and with six starters back they're looking for even more improvement this year against a higher level of competition.

"We've played against some teams, West Texas A&M and some others, that have high powered offenses that were really good, had some studs. Now we get to go against another level, and that's what we look forward too," said Thor Woerner.

This year will be a little different for the Wildcats without a conference title to play for, but according to head coach Ken Collums that doesn't mean ACU has nothing to play for.

"They're trailblazers, nobody has ever been where they are and nobody has ever gone through this track that they're going through. That's exciting in itself. There's no issue in motivating these guys, they're in it  to play ball, have fun, and win games," said Collums.

The Wildcats will open the season against Concordia (Alabama) College at Shotwell Stadium on Saturday August 31 at 7 p.m.
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