WICHITA—Langston University and McPherson College have agreed to take part in the inaugural Heartland Classic hosted by the Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Wichita State University on Sept. 7, 2019.
Both the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference commissioners expressed their sentiments and gratitude towards the Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce for facilitating this matchup.
"It's my belief that a real key to the advancement of football in the Sooner Athletic Conference is for our teams to test their merit against teams from other NAIA conferences, and pitting the defending SAC champion against a formidable KCAC opponent is a tremendous opportunity for both Langston and our conference in that regard," SAC Commissioner Stan Wagnon noted about the inaugural Heartland Classic matchup. "It's particularly gratifying when partners like the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce step up to make it possible, so we admire their efforts and look forward to supporting this exciting match-up."
"The Heartland Classic in Wichita, Kan. features a great matchup between McPherson College and Langston University to kick off the Fall 2019 football season," KCAC Commissioner Scott Crawford said. "I hope this game becomes an annual tradition for many years to come. I am grateful to the Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce for making this game possible."
The matchup showcases two of the best teams from the Sooner Athletic Conference and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Lions and Bulldogs are led by fourth-year head coach Quinton Morgan and first-year head coach Jeremiah Fiscus respectively.
This will be the first time the Langston Lions and McPherson Bulldogs have met on the gridiron.
"Thank you to the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce and Langston University for inviting McPherson College to play in the inaugural Heartland Football Classic. What a tremendous opportunity for both our schools to provide a great experience for our students, alumni, and Wichita community," McPherson College Director of Athletics Andrew Ehling said. "I've been very impressed with the vision of this event and look forward to having a very fun filled weekend this fall."
"Langston University is honored to partner with the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce and McPherson College for the premier Labor Day Weekend family sports event in Wichita this September," Langston University Director of Athletics Donnita Rogers noted. "Fans are sure to see some great football, be dazzled by the halftime performance of the famous Langston University Marching Pride Band and learn more about the affordable education offered by our universities by visiting onsite admissions tables."
Langston University president Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. also expressed thanks to the Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce for their help in setting up this marquee matchup.
"We're thrilled to be able to compete against one of the premier football conferences in the NAIA with our matchup against McPherson College," Langston University president, Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. said. "Historically, Langston University has prided itself on our non-conference portion of our football schedule and this matchup is no different. One of our goals every year is to make the playoffs, but we strive for a national championship so we're very diligent as an institution in who we schedule as non-conference opponents."
The inaugural "Heartland Classic" between the Lions and Bulldogs is slated to kickoff at 4 p.m. at Cessna Stadium.