Limestone College Football Enters Its Second Year

2014 was a milestone year for Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina. It marked the first season of play for their new football team, the Limestone Saints, an endeavor that took three years to bring to fruition.

The team is back for season two, led again by head coach Bobby James, whose energetic love for football affects his players both on and off the field. Coach James speaks passionately about how his team plays an important role in community at Limestone, in Gaffney, and throughout the Upstate as a whole.

After a slow start of 2–9 in their inaugural season in the South Atlantic Conference, Coach James is optimistic about season two. For starters, James said that in their inaugural season, his team was young and inexperienced. He expects this year’s team to build on experience from last year.

Two of last season’s key players will aid them in their growth. Titus Williams from Greenwood and Joshua Simmons from Moncks Corner were named All-American and will return to play the 2015 season with the Saints. Coach James anticipates a better win-loss record this year and continued growth amongst his players.

“We expect to be better this year,” he said. “That’s our goal every year, to be better than the season before.”

But being better doesn’t stop at the goal line. He said that making his players solid member of the community is also one of his objectives, so whether you encounter a Limestone Saint on the field or on in the grocery store, you’ll be proud to say he’s from the Upstate.

Coach James lauded the support shown to his young team last season by both the school administration and the fans. In the opening game on September 6, 2014, over 6,000 fans cheered on the fledgling team. Coach James expects 2015 will continue the trend of enthusiasm for football in Gaffney.

“The fans were amazing,” Coach James said of the support that they received from the local community in their opening season.

Yet community is something that goes deeper than fans showing up to cheer for the games. It’s a sense of belonging that Coach James said has encompassed Gaffney at large.

The team plays their home games at The Reservation, Gaffney High School’s football stadium. It’s celebrated as one of the “preeminent high school football stadiums in the South” by Limestone College, and Coach James said that playing at the local high school helps all of Gaffney feel like the Limestone Saints are their team.

“It gives [the local community] another team to root for,” James said.

He’s even excited that many high school football players have expressed an interest in playing at Limestone.

“They want to play in front of Mom and Dad,” Coach James said.

The new team also allows other players from throughout the Upstate to continue to play a sport that they love without taking them away to other parts of the state, allowing them to remain close to their roots if they wish to.

Season two brings with it some exciting staff changes that Coach James believes will continue his vision of growth for the team.

Joe Stockton, a former All-American and Hall of Fame inductee from Western Kentucky, has been promoted to offensive coordinator. He has been involved with the Limestone College football program since its inception. Josh Davis will fill Stockton’s former position as the wide receivers coach. Michael Enoch has been promoted to defensive line coach.

The team kicks off their 2015 season at home. They’ll play against College of Faith on September 5 at The Reservation in Gaffney. Look for their October 17 game against Brevard College to be televised regionally on WMYA My40, and find out about other Limestone sports teams on their website.

 

Jennifer Reynolds is a freelance writer based in Greenville, SC. In addition to writing for business publications, she writes humor under the pen name Nora Blithe. Read more at doorinface.com.