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MURFREESBORO – Excitement is building as Chowan University Football is a mere three months away from kick-off in the 2021 season, after playing their last contest on November 9, 2019.

Hawks’ Head Coach Mark Hall and team saw their 2020 season wiped away because of the pandemic after going 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the CIAA in 2019. Under Hall, the Hawks went 2-2 in the final four games of the season. Although the changing of the guard happened after the 2019 season, Coach Hall starting his second season as head coach will roam the sidelines on Sept. 2 in his first action as head coach.

Chowan opens the 2021 season on the road against South Atlantic Conference member Mars Hill on Thursday, Sept. 2. The Lions went 1-2 during the spring season within conference only action. Mars Hill went 5-6 overall during the 2019 season. This match-up marks the first between the two schools on the gridiron.

The Hawks will then travel to Tusculum to take on the 2020-21 South Atlantic Spring Champions, Tusculum, on Sept. 11. The Pioneers went 4-1 during the spring adding a major boost at the quarterback position as graduate transfer Rogan Wells averaged 370.4 yards per game through the air for the Pioneers. Wells transferred to Tusculum after leading Valdosta State to a 28-3 overall and a 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship.

Fans will be able to catch the Hawks at home on Sept. 18 against newly formed Erskine. The Flying Fleet rejuvenated their program after a 70-year hiatus to go 1-5 during the spring. Erskine was on the Hawks' schedule for 2020 before the shutdown.

Chowan will open up CIAA cross-divisional action against St. Augustine's on Sept. 25 in Raleigh. The Falcons posted a 2-8 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the CIAA South in 2019. SAU also went through a coaching change as David Bowser, former assistant coach at Fayetteville State took over the reins prior to the 2020 season. The Falcons hold a 1-3 record against Chowan, but the Hawks won the last meeting 49-0 in 2015.

To open up the month of October, Chowan will welcome Winston-Salem State to town for the first time since 2014. Chowan won the last meeting in 2015 in Winston-Salem, 27-24. The Rams posted a 4-6 overall record and a 3-4 mark in CIAA Southern division play.

CIAA Northern Divisional play begins with Bowie State (Oct. 9) and Virginia Union (Oct. 16) with the match up against VUU being Homecoming for the Hawks.

The final two road games of the season will see the Hawks travel to Elizabeth City State and Virginia State. Chowan picked up wins against the Vikings and Trojans the last time on the road.

Chowan will host Lincoln on Nov. 6 for Senior Day and Hall of Fame to wrap up the regular season.

Full schedule can be found at www.gocuhawks.com.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.