Centenary prepping for Labor Day scrimmage in Texas, then three at home

GENT GRIDDERS:  Centenary lined up against East Texas Baptist on its homefield in a scrimmage earlier this month, the first on-campus football competition since 1941 for the Gents. (Photo courtesy Centenary Athletics)

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The rebirth of football at Centenary College reaches another milestone Monday with the Gents going through their third scrimmage of the unofficial first season.

Coach Byron Dawson’s squad takes the field again on Labor Day in Texas. The Gentlemen face Mary Hardin-Baylor University at Castleberry High School in Fort Worth at 6 p.m.

Centenary, which has been quite competitive this month while scrimmaging Millsaps on the road and ETBU at home, has nine contests remaining this fall – four at home and five on the road. The Gents will play three straight home contests next month – Sept. 9, 16, and 30, all of which will be played at Evangel Christian Academy – Dawson’s alma mater.

The Gents will play Community Christian College on Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m., John Melvin University a week later at 6 p.m. and will meet the Haywood Crushers on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.

John Melvin is based in Crowley and is also in its first year of football – and existence.

Centenary has been busy on and off the field this week as student-athletes are in their second week of classes and Dawson’s team gets tested by daily practices and conditioning.

After this fall, the program makes its official competitive debut in 2024 as an NCAA Division III team, playing full games that will count in the record book.

Centenary has not played an official game since 1941. The Gents were something of a college football power in the 1920s and early 1930s, playing in the predecessor to the Cotton Bowl in 1934 and tying Arkansas 7-7 in Dallas.

Two former Centenary coaches, Bo McMillan and Homer Norton, are in the College Football Hall of Fame. Former Centenary lineman Cal Hubbard is the only person in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame (as an umpire).