Photo by Jimmy Lafakis
Above: Sports Contributor Kyle Beery sits down with Butler players in preparation for PFL opener on Homecoming.
CLAIRE JACOBI | STAFF REPORTER
While Homecoming is one of the most highlighted Butler events of the year, the game itself is just as important as any other.
“Everyone looks at homecoming because of the reunions and festivities,” head coach Jeff Voris said. “But we have former players come in and speak to our team at different times during the year. We have great relationships with a lot of the guys who support the program throughout the year because the program means so much to them.”
On Saturday, Butler (2-1) will take on conference foe Campbell (2-1) at noon. Since 2008 when Campbell joined the Pioneer Football League, the all time series between the Bulldogs and the Camels is 4-3, Butler advantage. The Bulldogs lost to Campbell last season 28-9, but beat them in 2013 on Homecoming.
“We have to treat Homecoming like every other Saturday,” Voris said. “Our coaches and our players need to prepare the same way we do each week. We have established a process and we have to respect that every day, regardless of the excitement and distractions that surround us. We want to get off to a good start in conference and Campbell is the obstacle that stands in our way.”
With this being Voris’ tenth season with the Bulldogs, it is also his tenth homecoming game.
“It’s a great weekend for our fans and alumni,” he said. “It’s special to see the guys come back to campus who have been part of our program the past 10 years. For our coaches and players, we try to focus on the task at hand, and that’s winning an important Pioneer Football League game.”
On average, Campbell allows about 135 passing yards and about 100 rushing yards per game, so with the Camels’ strong defense the Bulldogs will have to rely heavily on their offense.
Butler quarterback Matt Shiltz finished with 293 passing yards and 78 rushing yards against Taylor last weekend.
On the receiving end, Danny Cotter had 110 yards receiving and Guy Dibalsamo had 84 against Taylor. Sam Schrader lead special teams with 77 punt return yards, including a 69 yard punt return for a touchdown. He was named the PFL Special Teams player of the week.
“If we focus on doing things the right way, preparing the right way, and performing at high level on Saturday, the scoreboard will take care of itself,” Voris said. “That’s our approach every week.”