Is Division I in Cardinals’ future?

By Marc Trevino


When the 2011 Incarnate Word football schedule was announced, the Sept. 17 match-up against Lamar University was instantly circled on my calendar. And apparently I wasn’t the only one.

Dr. Louis Agnese announced recently his intentions to take UIW to NCAA Division I Athletics by the 2014-2015 season. All of this comes on the heels of a Cardinals vs. Cardinals showdown with DI opponent Lamar University.

UIW (1-3) held its own against the fiery offense of Lamar (2-1), but came up short in a tough loss 45-35 against a possible future Southland Conference foe in DI. What began as an offensive battle ended with UIW falling short of a fourth-quarter comeback led by junior quarterback Paden Lynch and junior running back Trent Rios.

Rios rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries for two touchdowns. Lynch showed poise and maturity, passing for 203 yards and completing 21 of 28 passes with one interception and a rushing touchdown.

But the question remains to be answered: Can UIW athletics move up to DI status and garner more fans, and more importantly, student interest?

Last year’s average attendance figures for home games held at Benson Stadium were 3,089, where the average Southland Conference game attendance — the preferred home of Cardinal athletics — was 9,083.

At this point it’s hard to say if Dr. Agnese’s plan will pan out, but what is certain is that the Cardinal football program has only the sky to shoot for as they proved they can hang with the big boys.

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Marc Trevino

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