The Valdosta State football team announced both the 2016 regular-season schedule and the spring practice schedule in a release Thursday.
The Blazers open their 2016 campaign with their third consecutive season opener against the Albany State Golden Rams. The opener represents one of five home games on the year and one of three games slated for a 7 p.m. start Saturday, Sept. 3 in Valdosta.
VSU opens up conference play on the road two weeks later with a rivalry matchup against the North Alabama Lions in Florence, Alabama, before returning home to face the West Florida Argonauts, who will compete in their inaugural football season this fall.
Kentucky State and Valdosta State will meet for a neutral matchup in Waycross on October 1, before the Blazers return home to face West Georgia on October 8 for a rematch of the second round of the 2015 NCAA DII playoffs. A long trek to Clinton, Mississippi, ensues for an October 15 game against Mississippi College, which will take place one week before Valdosta State returns home on October 22 to welcome the Delta State Statesmen to town for homecoming weekend.
VSU's final stretch features an October 29 contest against Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida, followed by the final regular-season road game of the year against the West Alabama Tigers in Livingston, Alabama, on November 5.
The Blazers close out both the regular season and conference portions of their schedule within the friendly confines of Bazemore-Hyder Stadium against the visiting Shorter Hawks on November 11.
The 2016 spring schedule is right around the corner, as the Blazers will take to the field for the first time under the guidance of first-year coach Kerwin Bell in less than two weeks.
Beginning on March 28, VSU will hold three straight days of 6:30 p.m. practices, before a short hiatus leads into another two-day stretch on April 5 and 6. An early 5:15 a.m. session follows on April 8, before the Blazers hold their first scrimmage of the spring on the morning of April 9 at 9:30 a.m.
Practices continue from April 12-23 with an additional scrimmage slated for April 16 at 9:30 a.m. The spring schedule closes out with the annual spring game, slated for 4 p.m. on April 23 at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.