Barton's ‘Countdown’ to football begins: Rescheduled kickoff reception is next week

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


Barton College has planned a series of events building up to the opening day of its new football program.

"365-Day Countdown: Bulldog Football" is the kickoff event from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the area adjacent to Electric Supply Co. Field.

The date was rescheduled from Sept. 5 when Hurricane Dorian caused a postponement.

The 365-Day Countdown will be the first of a series of events over the year with three purposes: to build momentum for a big football program opening day, Sept. 5, 2020; to celebrate all Barton athletes; and to increase visibility for Barton College.

According to a Kathy Daughety, director of public relations at Barton College, the Oct. 16 event will include music, food trucks, giveaways and games. Barton's cheer and dance teams will perform. Coaches, athletes and training staff will be available to meet visitors.  

A new costumed Barton College bulldog mascot named Blue will be unveiled. 

At 5 p.m., Barton will face Mount Olive in women's and men's soccer matches on Electric Supply Co. Field, located at Whitehead Avenue and Woodard Street.

"As you might expect, bringing football to Barton is a very significant and newsworthy event," said Dennis Matthews, president for enrollment and marketing at Barton College. "There is a lot of interest growing in our community. We want to build on that momentum and use it to showcase all of the great work of our students -athlete and non-athlete - faculty and staff."

Matthews said the events are an opportunity for Barton community members to spend time together. 

"I hope that students will see a broader purpose for the entire series of events, which is to showcase the talented, gifted, bright, service-focused, diverse students and faculty that make up our community," Matthews said. "While football may provide an impetus to get more community leaders on campus, we want them to see the 'whole' of what makes Barton distinctive so that they will return to campus for a variety of events and continue to support our work and our growth."


For the next year, Barton will host opportunities to become more engaged with the campus and its athletics programs. 

  • Oct. 18-19: For homecoming weekend, students and visitors can visit the 365-Day Countdown display under the tent.
  • Nov. 13: Barton College and the Wilson community will hold a food and supplies drive for Hope Station food pantry and the new Westview House family shelter.
  • Dec. 5: A big announcement is planned.
  • In January, Barton's new costumed mascot, Blue, will make a month-long series of appearances. Dates and locations will be announced.
  • Feb. 5: A football signing day party and the Feb. 14 Barton College/Wilson Symphony's Love the Symphony concert will have a tribute to football and Barton athletics.
  • March 28: The Bulldogs' blue and white game is at Electric Supply Co. Field.
  • April 21: At Football 101, test your knowledge of the game with Chip Hester, football coach, and Doug Searcy, Barton president, at Electric Supply Co. Field.
  • May: Beach blitz will include billboards and publications near or at the coast featuring Barton athletes.
  • June: Barton celebrates the Wilson community with commemorative posters and giveaways distributed by local businesses and partner organizations.
  • July 1: An Independence Day picnic is planned for Barton College faculty, staff and summer school students. Sports camps and a new Bulldog football camp will be in high gear.
  • Aug. 22: Plan to attend a countdown scrimmage and pep rally on Electric Supply Co. Field.
  • Sept. 5: Opening game day for Barton football finally arrives.

Visit www.barton.edu/365 for updates on locations and times and other information.