Season opens Sept. 7 at home --

Cumberland football coach Tim Mathis and his staff welcomed just over 130 players to his second fall camp last Wednesday.

Coach Mathis returns 34 letterwinners from last season’s squad that finished 5-6 (3-3), including First Team All Mid-South Conference players Sam Michael (Antioch), Kendall Johnson (Nashville), Telvin Rucker (Memphis), Aaron White (Nashville) and Tyler Tate (Whitwell).

Saturday afternoon's practice was upbeat and spirited, despite temperatures reaching 94 degrees.

Frequent water breaks kept the players hydrated under the late summer sun.

The 2019 season opener is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7 vs Cincinnati Christian.] Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at Nokes-Lasater Field.

Preaseason ranking

CU was picked seventh in the Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division in a vote of league coaches released Friday by the conference office.

Cumberlands (Ky.) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) each posted 42 points in the poll and two first-place votes and both teams reached the NAIA Football Championship Series last season.

Bethel (Tenn.) followed them earning 41 points in the poll and four first-place votes. Bethel won the Bluegrass Division last season and also made an appearance in the NAIA Football Championship Series.

Georgetown (Ky.) is fourth in the poll with 35 voting points. Campbellsville (Ky.) comes in behind them with 22 points and Pikeville is sixth with 19 voting points.

Cumberland is seventh in the poll with 16 points.

Thomas More (Ky.) rounds out the Bluegrass Division with seven points.

This is Thomas More's first year as a full-time member in the Mid-South Conference.

Reinhardt (Ga.) was selected as the favorite in the Appalachian Division and Southeastern (Fla.) was selected as the favorite in the Sun Division.

CU Leadership Day

All student-athletes participating in sports at Cumberland University during Fall 2019 returned to campus last week.

The students engaged in giving back to the community during the annual Leadership Day.

The teams that went through the Fall Leadership Day includes: football, men's and women's soccer, cross country, cheer/dance, and women's volleyball.

Leadership Day starts in a small group format as the groups circulate between different sessions to either acclimate to the life of a college athlete for freshmen or readjust for returnees.

After completing all the sessions, the teams split up, heading out to learn about servant leadership through community service.

The football team cleaned up around the Jimmy Floyd Family Recreational Center.

Women's soccer played bingo with the residents at The Pavilion Senior Living, while men's soccer painted and picked up at New Leash on Life.

The cheer squad worked at the Cedars of Lebanon State park. Cross country helped at West Hills Baptist church, and women's volleyball helped teachers prepare for the new school year at Wilson Central.

Winter/Spring sports will have their own Leadership Day August 23.

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