Daily Archives: February 7, 2016

Think your pet is the cutest? Enter the Voyager’s contest and find out

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

Attention all pet lovers. Do you think you have the cutest pet out of all of the UWF campus? If so, we have some fun news for you. The Voyager staff is excited to announce a competition to find the cutest pet on campus.

If you think you have the most adorable pet and would like to share their cuteness with the rest of us, please email a picture of your pet to voyagercutestpet@gmail.com with your pet’s name as the subject line. In your email, include your name, UWF email address, phone number, year and major, or if you are faculty or staff, where you work on campus.

The contest will be held on The Voyager’s Facebook page, so before you send your email, be sure to “like” us on Facebook so you are able to keep up with the competition. We will make an album on Facebook titled “Voyager’s Cutest Pet Competition,” and will determine who wins by which photo gets the most likes. The contest will run Sunday, Feb. 7 through Wednesday, Feb. 17, with the winner announced in our Sunday, Feb. 21 edition of The Voyager.

The winner of the most liked photo will get two movie tickets to a Carmike Theater, and will be interviewed for a follow up story as the winner of the contest. The winner can pick up the two Carmike passes in the Communication Arts building main office the week of Feb. 21, and will need to show ID.

Remember to submit your photos to voyagercutestpet@gmail.com no later than Thursday, Feb. 11, and then check The Voyager Facebook to see all the cute pets in the contest and “like” the picture of your favorite pet to submit your vote. Share with your friends on social media too.

Your email should look like this:



Contest email address: voyagercutestpet@gmail.com

The Voyager Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/uwfvoyager/?fref=ts

Email deadline: Thursday, Feb. 11

Facebook voting deadline: Thursday, Feb. 17

Winner announced: Sunday, Feb. 21

If you have any questions please tweet me, @claudcarlson, or email the contest email address. Good luck everyone, and may the cutest pet win.

Switch out your pencils for pixie dust – spend a semester at Disney

By Kaitlin Lott

Staff Writer


 The Disney College Program offers students opportunities to work in many different areas, from park greeter, Photo Pass photographer, resort guide and transportation. Photo courtesy of Disney College Program.

The Disney College Program offers students opportunities to work in many different areas, from park greeter, Photo Pass photographer, resort guide and transportation.
Photo courtesy of Disney College Program.

Let’s face it, college is not the most exciting place on earth. Sure, there are a few epic parties here and there, and there’s always that one professor who will make a giant impact on his or her students’ lives, but overall college is college. A place where books and homework haunt you until graduation day.

Fortunately, the University of West Florida offers alternatives. Instead of wooden desks and long lectures, imagine working at the happiest place on earth, making dreams come true and wishes come to life.
Tamara Marmol, a UWF international studies graduate, was a Kilimanjaro Safari driver in Animal Kingdom Park at Disney.UWF’s Hospitality Department offers the Walt Disney World Experiential Learning Program, which is a full semester filled with magic. The program is partnered with the Disney College Program, connecting students from all over the world and teaching them the tools of the trade of being a cast member.

“When spring came last year, I knew I needed to get my internship and field study credits out of the way, and I was craving a bit of a break from school,” Marmol said. “My whole application to the acceptance process took about two weeks.”

Yes, you do have to work, students have the option to pick from multiple roles as a Disney cast member. A few of the roles include being a park greeter, convention guide, photographer or even working the attractions.

Students also can work as housekeepers in Disney Resort Hotels. Perhaps even in Cinderella’s Castle.

Although the program caters to hospitality majors, students of different majors should not be discouraged. The program offers a wide variety courses at Disney including corporate communications, leadership, human resources and interactive learning.

Taylor Fields, a film and television major at Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta, applied and never wanted to leave.

“I participated in The Disney College Program the summer of my sophomore year,” Fields said. “I applied, chose my top three roles and waited for my phone interview. After that, I waited to get accepted, and I did. Once accepted I found out I got my third desired role, merchandising.

“I found out I would be working at EPCOT, Towers and Glow,” Fields said. “That included working the two stores in front of The World Showcase, and glow carts selling light up merchandise for the fireworks show at night. They trained us in the most effective way possible, and I finally felt a part of the Disney Family.”

On days off, students participating in the program are allowed to enter the parks for free.  From time to time they use their magic as undercover cast members to make guests’ experiences the best they can be.

“I learned so much about how to be magical on stage and off stage,” Fields said.

Marmol’s stay at Disney lasted eight months, longer than the average semester, but she, like Fields, had a chance to experience life after college, both good and bad.

“There were tons of times when I was exhausted or wanted to give up or cried in the break room, but I had to suck it up, put a smile on, and remember that I work in the most magical place on earth,” said Fields.

Despite the rainy days, both women shared how magical their lives became and how Disney prepared them for aspects of post-graduation reality.

“Applying for this program was the best decision I ever made,” Fields said.

For more information on finding a more magical classroom contact the Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Management Department or directly apply at Disney College Program.

Barbie gets new look after 57 years, but was it necessary?

By Sara Agans

Staff Writer

barbie 1

The 2016 Barbie Fashionista Line introduces three new body types and seven different skin tones.
Photos courtesy of Time Magazine.

barbie 2

The traditional Barbie doll has had the same generic look for 56 years – so why change it now? That’s what I thought about when I first heard of this new Barbie Fashionista 2016 line by Mattel (Barbie’s parent company).

I will be honest and say that I thought adding three new body types to the original Barbie doll line was a bit ridiculous. However, after doing some research, I may have changed my views about it after all.

At first, I did not understand why Barbie’s original look needed changing. I feel that no one looks at a Barbie doll and says, “I want to look like Barbie.” There are real-life people for that kind of inspiration, as well as commercials, such as the Lane Bryant “Plus is Equal” commercial, advertising that having curves are just as beautiful as having no curves.

The hashtags #Barbie and #TheDollEvolves are currently trending on Twitter with several different opinions about the new 2016 line. As I was scrolling through tweets with these two hashtags, one post from @JulieBorowski really caught my eye because I had a similar viewpoint: “These new #Barbie changes are more for moms with body insecurities than their daughters.” Borowski then tweeted again, stating that she had no real opinions on dolls, considering she never played with them, but she feels “blaming them for body image issues is a stretch.”

As a kid growing up in the ’90s, I played with several Barbie dolls, but the image of the dolls was never a thought that crossed my mind. Unfortunately, for today’s generation, looks and body image seem to be a huge double standard for girls everywhere, young and old.

After a little research, I found out a few things about the new Barbie doll line that has actually given me an entirely different perspective. There is a promo video on the official Barbie website, and it gives you a look at why Mattel made this change. Having kids voice their opinions in this video is what really struck me and opened my eyes about the reason for this change. The first words in the video are from a little girl, and she says, “It’s important for Barbies to look different. You know, like the real people in the world.” The video also shows the design team and they explain the reasoning for this inspirational change.

After watching the video and reading several tweets about the many people inspired by this new change, it now makes total sense to me. It is important for girls to feel comfortable in their own skin, and making Barbie have several different looks lets girls know that it is OK to be different and it is OK to have your own look.

According to an article written by Heather Libby on Upworthy.com, this Barbie Fashionista 2016 line includes seven skin tones, 18 eye colors and hairstyles and four body types: petite, tall, curvy and original. Some of the dolls will even be able to wear flat shoes.  Libby said, “I’m delighted to see Barbie starting to look more like a person, like me, like you, and like the people we love. And I’m hopeful that with these changes, we’ll see even more inclusivity from Mattel in the future – like trans Barbie, or elder Barbie, or veteran amputee Barbie, or pierced punk Barbie with a shaved head, among so many others.”

Libby also said something at the end of her article that sums this up perfectly: “No mass-produced doll, in whatever shape and with whatever ethnicity, can be fully represented of the multitudes in all of us.”


The UWF Fencing Club offers a unique experience

By Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer


UWF Fencing Club members: Kara Griffith, Cynthia Phipps McCord, Randi Marie, Tibenko Tibenko Tibenko, David Barker,Cassie Edens, Brad Cramer Jr. and Tommy C. Ramey. Photo Courtesy of UWF Fencing Club.

When it comes to unique sports, fencing may be at the top of the list. For this sport, fencers (participants) typically use one of three different types of swords – foil, saber, or épée – to spar against an opponent.

The UWF Fencing Club studies Renaissance era rapier fencing using schlager-type and reproduction rapier blades. But the sport is not just about strategically swinging a blade. Learning footwork and hand positions are foundational to fencing.

On Feb. 2, the club held a tournament at Miraflores Park located in Pensacola’s East Hill neighborhood. This annual competition is sponsored by the Pensacola Historical Society. The fencing club participated exclusively in the rapier division, resulting in club member UWF senior Nikita Tibenko placing first overall.

“Tournaments are a good outlet to test one’s skill, but the true art comes out in regular practice,” Instructor Brad Cramer said.  Cramer likes to emphasize the spirit of fencing. Camaraderie among the fencers, humility in the tournaments, and respect for the art of fencing are all important aspects of the sport to him.

Last semester, the club attended the South East Renaissance Fencing Open (SERFO) on Nov. 14-15 in Atlanta. The event housed about 80 people, according to Cramer. Tibenko, who has been with the fencing club for about 10 months, placed second at this event.

Three more events are planned for the spring semester. The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) holds an event in February; and Gulf Wars, held in March, is a week-long event in Lumberton, Miss. The Pensacola Renaissance Faire is another planned event for the fencers on Mar. 5-6.

Club vice president Cynthia McCord, a member for three-and-a-half years, said some of her best friends are fencing club members. “We’ve progressively gone to more tournaments and events,” McCord said.

The UWF Fencing Club is open to all students, faculty and staff. Practices are held 6 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Teaching Gym, on the lower level of the Health, Leisure, and Sports Building.

For all questions, email Cassie Edens, club president, at cle17@students.uwf.edu, or contact the officers through their Facebook page.


Get in touch with the environment through UWF’s Nature Trails

By Mackenzie Kees

Opinions Editor


This graphic shows UWF’s campus and the location of the Edward Ball Nature Trail.
Graphic courtesy of UWF Recreation and Sports Services.

 The University of West Florida provides its students with more than just academic prowess; it offers them a wide range of activities in which to participate outside of the classroom, too.

UWF’s Recreation and Sports Services manages most of the school events that involve health, fitness and nutrition, which include intramural sports, aquatics, sports clubs, and what is called “outdoor adventures” (trips and other specialized events). Several accommodations are available to facilitate these activities, as well as equipment and other services designed to aid students. One such resource is the Edward Ball Nature Trail.

Students can participate in several activities specifically geared toward the Edward Ball Nature Trail. Hikers, walking enthusiasts, bikers and birdwatchers all flock to the half-mile boardwalk meandering through Thompson’s Bayou to catch a glimpse of the songbirds or to view the cypress trees.

Students who seek a more stimulating endeavor than sightseeing can find it in geocaching, a modern type of scavenger hunt that utilizes GPS devices to lead adventurers to various hidden treasures. There are more than 20 active geocaches hidden around campus at any given time. A list of geocaches specifically pertaining to UWF can be found on this helpful site. A lot of these hidden treasures can be uncovered on the Edward Ball Nature Trail.

Shaun Boren, the associate director of Programs and Risk Management for UWF, said in an email interview that just five years ago the Pensacola Off-Road Cyclists (PORC) updated all of the trail signs, “including kiosks with maps at the two major trailheads.”

However, some UWF students have still found themselves lost on the trail, citing faded trail markers as the culprit behind their aimless wandering.

An enduring rumor around campus claims that scattered along the Edward Ball Nature Trail are forts concealed high up in the trees. “Police have over the years learned about and had such structures removed,” Boren said. “There could be a new tree-fort somewhere, but if so it is not sanctioned by UWF.”

Cody Lonon, a UWF senior working toward a degree in Health Science, says the nature trails are his favorite part of campus. “I’ve been running out on the trails for at least six years,” Lonon said. “I once found a fort, but it was on the ground and not in the trees. It looked like it has been made of fallen pine trees that had been secured together by local plant fibers.”

The fort had vanished by the time Lonon visited the trails again.

“The west campus trails are accessed via the boardwalk or Pate Road trailheads,” Boren said. “There are additional trails on east campus, north of the athletic complex, where bicycles are restricted. There is also the LEAD Fitness trail and other walking trails on central campus.”

The Edward Ball Nature Trail is open from dusk until midnight and can be accessed from behind Crosby Hall (Bldg. 10). For more information on the nature trail, follow this link.


UWF Career Services helps put Argos to work

By Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

career services

The UWF Career Services (Building 19) is near Commons.
Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

Whether they know it or not, students at UWF have a heavy support system while they are in school. One of the support systems that exists to help students be more successful is Career Services.

“The goal of the Career Services office is to assist students and alumni in all phases of the career development process,” said Lindsay Walk, associate director of Career Planning.

Sitting adjacent to the Commons and sharing a building with both the Department and Housing Residence Life and the Student Disability Resource Center, Career Services may appear to be somewhat of a buried treasure. To those students who have used their services, it is a treasure indeed.

Career Services offers a myriad of professional services including resume building, practice interviews, and assisting students with finding volunteer and internship opportunities.

The services they provide are possible with the help of student “Career Peers” and “Oracle Resource Coaches” who have a passion for helping their peers transition into the professional world. The Career Peers even operate a blog in which they upload weekly tips, share stories, and connect with the UWF community.

“I love hearing the success stories,” said Allee Millsap, career peer. “On Career Success Blog we are trying to get better at sharing student success stories throughout the community.”

Career Peer Grace Tennyson finds fulfillment working with students in Career Services. “In general the most satisfying moments of my job happen when a student realizes how much they have accomplished during their time here,” said Tennyson. “Most people walk through the door feeling like they do not have anything to write on their resume. These are my favorite appointments because I get to shed light on their skills and accomplishments, and craft words to describe their experiences.”

Career Services has made itself known for being the go-to place for anyone in need of help in any aspects of their journey to a career, through events such as such as career fairs and the annual Day of Declaration and Majors Fair. You can even book them to speak at campus events.

“We want to educate students about the importance of investigating careers early and then gaining experience in their field of interest through experiential learning opportunities such as CoOps, internships, and service learning.” Walk said. “We have incorporated new technologies, Candid Career, Interview Stream, and Optimal Resume, in an effort to reach students and alumni both in the Pensacola area and beyond.”

Students are encouraged to make appointments through the Career Services website, in-person, or visit during drop-in hours that posted on online. A full schedule of upcoming Career Services events is on the website.

UWF selected to administer new Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

By Tom Moore

Contributing Writer


The University of West Florida has been selected to administer the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program (VEP), a new initiative to assist veterans with starting their own businesses.

What is different about this program is that it is designed to train veterans in the same manner they have learned in the Armed Forces.

“This format is similar to the short-term, high-pressure training we have been receiving since basic [training],” said Mark Churchwell, director of Military and Veteran’s Resource Center at UWF.

UWF will coordinate with other institutions in the program to dedicate existing small business development resources to deliver the program, which comprises three phases:

  • Phase 1: An online entrepreneurial development training covering the basics of entrepreneurship.
  • Phase 2: In-class training at one of the five participating institutions of higher education during which veterans will receive face-to-face instruction from business experts and refine their business concepts and plans.
  • Phase 3: Ongoing mentorship and follow-up support from Florida SBDC business consultants to help veterans launch and run their business.

“They [veterans] are very task-oriented, pay close attention to detail, and have time organizational skills second to none,” Churchwell said. It is these skills that make veteran employees so appealing to employers. It is these non-specific, or “soft,” skills that employers really need.

“We can be trained to do any job required of us,” said Sgt. Eric Caldwell, USAF retired.  “But being able to trust that we will come in, work full blast until we get the job done, is what separates us from our civilian counterparts.”

“Sometimes it’s difficult to match a veteran’s combat job training to skills needed by a civilian employer,” said Patty Hughes, US Army.

“That’s where we come in,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network state director for the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “Veteran-owned businesses have been shown to succeed 43 percent more than their civilian counterparts.”

The UWF Small Business Development Center provides workshops for entrepreneurs to organize, start, and grow their business. “Our goal is to ensure our country’s servicemen and women have the necessary training and resources for their businesses to succeed,” Myhre said.

“It’s a totally different skill set,” Caldwell said. “We are ready, willing, and able to do whatever it takes to lead our team to victory. Whether we are defeating the enemy across the ocean, or defeating a supply deadline to get our customer their goods back home, we attack it with the same sense of focus, concentration and discipline.”

The VEP offers a unique, highly innovative training program built around hands-on learning, personalized interaction, and exposure to inspiring role models.

“Our sole mission is to foster the creation of successful, profitable ventures owned by veterans,” Churchwell said. “A team of world-class faculty, distinguished entrepreneurs, and subject matter experts work closely with delegates, providing a challenging, interactive, and informative experience.”

The program provides opportunities to develop entrepreneurial ideas while also learning leading edge concepts, tools, and the framework needed to grow a business. Most importantly, VEP participants will learn how to apply these principles and tools to their own business concepts.

“That is what I would be most interested in,” said Army Staff Sergeant Deb Henley. “I have been trying to start my own photography business since I got out of the service.”

A junior at UWF majoring in Communications and Film, Henley balances classes, home life, and building her business from scratch. “I don’t feel I have time to do the extensive market and demographic research necessary to start my business right and make it grow and thrive,” she said. “This program really gives me hope. It’s about time we have a program targeted to the unique skills our combat troops have been specifically trained to do. We don’t have specific skills that employers are looking to hire directly out of the service, so it is up to us to become the employers.”

Get to know UWF’s secular students

By Kelsi Gately

Staff Writer

 SSA members Luke Kledzik (left) and Michael Kimball (right) man their table in the Commons. Photo courtesy of Anthony Scott.

SSA members Luke Kledzik (left) and Michael Kimball (right) man their table in the Commons.
Photo courtesy of Anthony Scott.


The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) is one of the many student organizations at the University of West Florida. The UWF chapter started in 2012 and continues to hold weekly meetings every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Commons, room 268.

According to the SSA Argopulse page: “The purpose of the Secular Student Alliance is to organize, unite, educate, and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics.”

SSA always has its doors open to new members or to anyone who just wants to come to a meeting.

“We have been meeting weekly to discuss and educate our members on issues that affect us, while sometimes eating pizza,” said SSA president Colton Seals.

During meetings, discussions cover everything from current events to politics to social issues. Members take sides for or against and debate the topic. The most popular issue up for debate currently is the idea of separation of church and state from the U.S. Constitution.

“The discussions are informal,” said Anthony Scott, junior psychology major. “Each participant is given an unlimited time to get their point across. More often than not it is filled with humorous banter between the members. For some of the more heated discussions, the humor is a nice release. At the end of the day, I love being able to express myself and not be judged for my opinion.”

SSA participates in many community events around the Pensacola area. Members have helped clean up the UWF nature trails, fed the homeless with Food not Bombs and Humanists of West Florida, and participated in Relay for Life.

Members have the opportunity to go on trips to conferences and hear different speakers.

“In 2013, some of us attended the Florida Freethought Conference (now FREEFLO) in Orlando,” said Luke Kledzik, junior computer science major. “We were able to see many popular speakers in the secular community, my favorite being James Randi, who has devoted his life to teaching people how to think critically. While we were there, we met up with the UCF [University of Central Florida] SSA and enjoyed discussion with another chapter.”

The next conference is set for February 20-21.

“We will be heading over to FSU [Florida State University] to cosponsor an event called the Southeast Secular Student Regional Conference,” Seals said. “There will be several guest speakers well known in the secular community at the event.”

For more information about UWF Secular Student Alliance, email ssa@uwf.edu or visit their Facebook page.


UWF Chamber Music choir performs first of three concerts at Old Christ Ch

By Sydney O’Gwynn

Staff Writer


Old Christ Church, located in downtown Pensacola in historic Seville Square, hosts the Chamber music concerts.
Photo courtesy of UWF.edu.


You could still hear the ring of the final note as it hung in the air, but the crowd was already on its feet. The performers wore proud smiles as they gazed into the crowd. But no smile was wider than the one on the face of their instructor, Hedi Salanki-Rubardt.

“I am so proud of the kids,” said Salanki-Rubardt, director of the University of West Florida’s Chamber Music Series at Old Christ Church in Pensacola. “I cannot tell you how happy they make me every time I see them blossoming and performing so beautifully.”

The chamber music class performed its first concert of the year on Wednesday, Feb. 3, which consisted of eight pieces. The song selection was mostly fun, love-based songs, but there were some serious pieces. One was the concert’s opening piece, Bach’s “Sonata in E minor” performed by Ramel Price on the violin, Marcus Baker on the double bass and Nyasha Brice on the harpsichord.

Salanki-Rubardt created the class 13 seasons ago and said that even she can’t believe how much the class has grown. She said she sees students develop into professional musicians throughout the course of the semester.

“It’s a unique class,” she said. “I don’t think anywhere else you can find chamber music in a class setting.”

The class offers a wide variety of musical genres, including Baroque, contemporary and jazz. The class meets once a week, Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 12:50 p.m., in the Music Hall in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

“It’s a beautiful performing facility, and it’s nice for the students to listen to each other,” Salanki-Rubardt said.

The class is designed for students to have experience performing outside of their school as well as turn them into what Salanki-Rubardt calls “all-around” musicians.

She also said those class periods are dedicated mostly to students performing their pieces and fellow students giving critiques.

“They learn how to coach, they learn how to be kind when they are coaching and critiquing each other, because that is so important,” Salanki-Rubardt said. “I think we learn the most by listening to each other and critiquing each other in class. If you are a performer, you are a teacher.”

Students put on three concerts every semester at Old Christ Church downtown in Seville Square. They only have three or four class periods per concert to practice their music.

“It is absolutely amazing how quickly they learn the pieces,” Salanki-Rubardt said. “This is fast, fast training.”

Salanki-Rubardt said the level at which the students are performing is very high, to prepare them for life after they graduate.

“In professional life, you don’t always have the luxury of preparing for weeks or a month,” she said.

Piano performance major Nyasha Brice is a seasoned veteran of the chamber music class. Despite the class only being required for two semesters, Brice has been enrolled in the class for her entire UWF tenure, minus one semester.

“Being in chamber not only forces you to prepare, but it forces you to constantly be in performance mode,” Brice said. “I don’t think I would have been able to do stuff like the Steinway showcase or my recital had I not had the experience of being on stage so often.”

Brice also said the class helps combat a performer’s nerves and that the students in the class work together to put on the concerts.

“It’s our group collaboration,” she said. “It’s our work.”

Sheila Dunn, chair of the Department of Music at UWF, said that Salanki-Rubardt holds her students at a high level and is also dedicated to them.

“She is, without question, one of the most passionate teachers of music I’ve ever known,” Dunn said. “She does it all with joy.”

Dunn also said she sees the class as an engagement opportunity for the university and the community.

“We have regulars that always attend and then we have new people,” she said. “Then they’re hooked.”

The community support is evident as the concert saw a full house, despite the rainy weather.

“There is something very special about giving this to the community, and we have wonderful followers who are there every concert,” Salanki-Rubardt said.

The Chamber Music Series has a profound effect on anyone who attends the concerts, as well as on the students performing in them.

“We get to find our own voice on our instruments through this class in different ways that we don’t get to do in our lessons,” Brice said.

For a list of future performances by the chamber music class, visit the Department of Music website.


National Signing Day scores 16 new players for UWF

By Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer


The Argos’ football uniform was on display at Signing Day on Wednesday.
Photo by Spenser Garber.

On National Signing Day, the University of West Florida football team grew by 16 players: Ten defensive players, five offensive players, and one special teams player were added. Of the 16 new players, 14 are from Florida.

The 16 signees were joined by the eight mid-year transfers who enrolled in January and are currently practicing with the team. Among these transfers are three wide receivers, consorting with the three wide receivers that signed on Feb. 3. Two quarterbacks were added to the team: a college transfer from Valdosta State, and the other from University Christian High School in Jacksonville. Chris Schwarz, a running back from New Port Richey, ran for more than 5,000 yards in his past two seasons for River Ridge High School.

On the defensive side, three linemen and two defensive backs were signed. Head Coach Pete Shinnick said he is confident in their athleticism.

Ke’shawn Showers, a local linebacker from Pine Forest High School, signed on to the team. He made 13 starts as a captain while on the team and led the Eagles to a District 1-6A title.

“We feel like we have added a great group of young men,” Shinnick said. He said he is enthusiastic and optimistic about how the team will play in the fall in what he describes as “the toughest football conference in the country.”

These additions to the team will boost the roster to a projected 115 players, including a few walk-ons the coach said he expects over the next few months. According to Shinnick, about 70 of these players will be red-shirt freshmen.

The UWF football team will commence its inaugural season Saturday, Sept. 3, at Ave Maria University. Their first home game will be hosted at Wahoos Bayfront Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, against Missouri S&T University.

Maritime Park will serve as UWF’s home field until the completion of its stadium on the UWF campus.