Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HIALEAH, FL – There's a cliché in popular culture that gets tossed around the beginning of a new calendar year. The phrase "new year, new me", is supposed to sum up the resolutions made by a person to be a better version of themselves.
It's a new year for ASA Miami's football team. The Silver Storm has a new head coach, a handful of new assistant coaches, even new uniforms, and they're hoping that a part of their "new me" is a program that can go on the road win a big game.
ASA Miami will take a nearly 1,200-mile trek to Little Rock, Arkansas this weekend to take on Arkansas Baptist College Saturday at Quigley Cox Stadium at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. Central Daylight Time) and look to not only win its first road game of the season but also win its first game against a NJCAA opponent since 2015.
The Silver Storm (1-0) will go into Saturday's game well-rested because they had their week two game against Lackawanna College (Pa.) postponed and rescheduled due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian and have been idle since their August 24th win over Advance Preparatory Postgraduate Academy.
ASA Miami head coach Roosevelt Williams said that while the extra time off seemed like a plus on the surface, it came with a few caveats.
"Because the time off was due to a hurricane, we had a lot of players evacuate campus and our coaches were home with their families – so it wasn't time where we were able to get practices, workouts, and film study in," Williams said. "Once we got everyone back on campus, we went to work knocking off the rust and getting out the kinks. I feel like the coaches did a great job of getting everyone refocused, back in football shape, and ready to fly around. We had a good week of practice and I'm excited about this weekend."
While Saturday's game against the Buffaloes will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs, it will be ASA Miami's 14th game against another JUCO opponent.
The Silver Storm's first-ever regular season opponent was Blinn College (Tx.) on August 22, 2015, which ASA Miami lost 29-19. The school's first-ever football victory was also the school's first win over a JUCO program the following week when – ironically – ASA Miami defeated its brother school ASA New York 17-16 on the Silver Storm's home field in Hialeah, Florida. After that, the Silver Storm built its current 24-game win streak against postgraduate preparatory schools over the next four years but lost 11 straight games against JUCO opponents in that same span.
Williams said he's aware of the program's previous shortcomings but isn't dwelling in it because the program has a new identity.
"This is a new ASA," Williams said confidently. "We're winners. We have kids that want to be winners. We have coaches that want to be winners. We are winners."
Winning Saturday would mean taking down an Arkansas Baptist College (2-2) team that has had a mixed bag of results this year. The Buffaloes won their first two games of the season – against postgraduate preps – by a combined score of 84-12. ABC then lost its next two games – against NJCAA opponents – by a combined 116-20 score.
ASA Miami's offense showed some big-play ability in its week win over Advance Prep. Freshman quarterback Jaeze Tracy connected on touchdown passes of 43 and 18 yards while sophomore running back Evan Burgess had multiple runs of 10 or more yards, meaning that the Silver Storm should be able to recreate that kind of success against the Arkansas Baptist defense.
Williams said his team's success will come down to its ability to win individual matchups.
"In all three phases, we have to win 1-on-1 matchups," Williams said. "I feel like if we're able to fly around and be disciplined, we'll have success and be able to celebrate on this long bus ride back home that we're 2-0."