Leaving in a Blaze of Glory

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Expectations are high every year at Sam Houston, which results from seven straight years in the FCS playoffs, with five of those appearances finishing in the semifinals or finals from 2011-2017.

The Bearkats have not lived up to their lofty standards the last two years due to various reasons, including injuries to key players.

SHSU entered this spring season with a chip on its shoulder and has performed to the Kats customary high level culminating in the Bearkats securing their first Southland Conference title and a spot in the FCS playoffs following a 27-13 win over McNeese.

Winning a conference title is always sweet, but this title means more for the Kats and their fanbase, with SHSU departing the Southland for the Western Athletic Conference this summer.

To say there were some bitter feelings when Sam Houston, Lamar, Abilene Christian, and Stephen F. Austin announced their move to the WAC last year would be quite an understatement.

The “Texas 4” intended to play in the Southland Conference in Fall 2021 and begin to play in the WAC in 2022, but that process was “expedited” after the schools announced their plans.

The SLC title is the first for Sam Houston since 2017.

In four playoff appearances under head coach K.C. Keeler, the Kats have advanced to the semifinals three times.

SHSU will indeed celebrate the conference title this weekend but needs to refocus for a meeting against UIW next Saturday in San Antonio. The Kats need to finish the regular season portion of their spring schedule undefeated to ensure a top seed, and a home game, for the playoffs.

One thing that would make this season sweeter for the Kats faithful, winning the school’s first FCS national title at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on May 16.

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