The season is here!

The rigor of the preseason is a memory. Classes have begun. The 6:00 a.m., practices are over scrimmages and exhibitions have concluded. Freshmen have had their first taste of college competition.  Every game from this point forward matters. The season begins…..

On Thursday, our women’s soccer team official kicks off the 2013-14 season for the Tornado when they travel to Brevard to battle the Tornados….not the Tornado, a small difference, but a difference nonetheless!  Yes, the King Tornado will battle the Brevard Tornados, just an interesting little side note to the game itself which should make the post-game stories interesting for our sports information folks!

The women’s soccer team will follow Thursday’s game with their home opener on Saturday, a 2:00 p.m., kickoff against Bluefield College at Parks Field. Live video and live stats will be available for the game, but don’t let that stop you from coming out to support the team! We’re expecting a big crowd and hope to see a lot of folks there!

Our men’s soccer team opens the season on the road, at the Lee University tournament. On Friday, first year head coach John Miglarese makes his regular season debut against the host team, with a 7:00 p.m., kickoff.  The Tornado will return to action Saturday at 4:30 p.m. against Shorter, and will follow that with the home opener on Wednesday, September 11 vs. regional rival Tusculum.

The Tornado women’s volleyball team opens up this weekend at the West Georgia Invitational. The team will play twice on Friday and twice on Saturday, then follow with a game against cross-town rival Virginia Intermont on Wednesday, before opening the home season September 13 -14 with the King Invitational.

Finally, our Cross Country teams begin their quest for NCAA Championship appearances on Friday at the Eye Opener Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C.

As the Athletic Director, the opening weekend is very exciting, as you see all of the hard work pay off in on the field performance. Coaches have been working hard all winter, spring and summer on recruiting, training plans and preparation, while the student-athletes have been getting faster, stronger, and honing their skills. For each sport, in a slightly different way, it all comes together with the excitement of opening weekend.

Experience tells us that each team will have surprises. Each team will have a student-athlete or two or steps up in the game situations and surpasses expectations, and each team will likely have some disappointments from the opening weekend. That’s part of sports, and the good news is that it’s a long season.

I encourage you to follow and support our student athletes.  Come out to a game. Hop in your car for a road trip. Click online and watch the live video feed (www.kingtornado.com ), follow us on twitter (@KingAthletics, “like” us on Facebook (King University Athletics), or sign up for text messaging updates (http://kingtornado.com/list-signup). There are plenty of options to follow the Tornado and support our student-athletes all year long!!

GO TORNADO!