Shorter head coach Zach Morrison

Shorter head coach Zach Morrison's second season leading the Hawks will start Sept. 7 at FCS Division I East Tennessee State.

With a full week of fall camp practice under its belt, the Shorter football team is getting closer to stepping out onto Barron Stadium in front of its home crowd.

Before that, the Hawks will face a tough task when they open their season on the road against East Tennessee State for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 7 in Johnson City, Tennessee.

The contest will mark the fifth consecutive season in which Shorter has faced an NCAA Division I opponent to being its schedule dating back to 2015. Shorter opened the 2018 season in Birmingham, Alabama, when the Hawks traveled to take on Samford.

The Hawks will play at Barron Stadium for the first time Sept. 14 when they take on West Florida at 1 p.m.

The matchup will be the first Gulf South Conference contest for both teams, and Shorter fans are encouraged to wear white and participate in a "white out." The game will also be available on ESPN+ and is one of two games featured exclusively through the ESPN app as part of the GSC Game of the Week program.

The second Game of the Week contest will be Shorter's lone night game at Barron Stadium on Sept. 28 as the Hawks welcome reigning conference and Division II national champion Valdosta State to town for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

Shorter is planning a Military Appreciation Night for the game against Valdosta State. All veterans and active duty military personnel will be admitted to the game for free with a valid form of military ID.

Homecoming weekend will take place from Oct. 18-20 and will be highlighted by the Hawks' football game against North Greenville on Oct. 19.

Zeta Tau Alpha is planning a "pink out" to support breast cancer awareness and research. At halftime, the announcement of the homecoming court will be made as well as recognition of the recipients of alumni awards.

The Hawks will return to Rome for home games on back-to-back weekends in November to close out their home slate. On Nov. 2, Shorter will take on GCS foe Delta State at 1 p.m., and on Nov. 9, the Hawks will close out their home games against non-conference opponent Allen University.

Shorter will be looking to gain some momentum in Zach Morrison's second year as head coach. The Hawks currently have a 39-game losing streak, having not won a game since October, 2015.

The team does have several returning players to help give that momentum a boost this season, including quarterback Tyler Pullum and defensive back Nemo Reddish.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The 2019 Pigskin Preview football magazine will be available Aug. 18 and include features, team previews, and statistics for all Rome and Floyd County high schools and colleges, as well as region and conference previews and a look at some of the top football players in the county.

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