MACON, GA - It's been a year since Mercer announced the return of its football program after a dormant period of over 70 years. And the Bears are eager to take the field after such a long wait.
Coach Bobby Lamb will guide the Macon school through its first season as a member of the FCS Pioneer League.
In 2014, Mercer will move to the Southern Conference, which had vacancies thanks to the departures of Georgia Southern and Appalachian State to the FBS.
Lamb says his team isn't deep at a lot of positions going into year one, but he is confident that starting quarterback John Russ is a leader.
"He's a gym rat. He's always out there," said Lamb, who apparently received frequent phone calls from Russ asking for the lights to be turned on for volunteer practices.
The Bears open the season at home against Reinhardt University on August 31.
"It's going to feel nice to finally hit someone who's not on your own team," said Corey Lockett, a linebacker from Warner Robins.
Kickoff time is set for 6:00 p.m.