1988 EU football team to be inducted in Athletics Hall of Fame

1988 EU football team to be inducted in Athletics Hall of Fame

For Release: (Immediately: Oct. 1, 2013)

Springfield, Mo. – The 1988 Evangel football team will be inducted into the Evangel Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday as part of Homecoming weekend.

The 1988 Evangel team was the first EU football team to make the NAIA national playoffs. They went undefeated in the regular season winning two non-conference games and all seven Heart of America conference games. The Crusaders won NAIA postseason games against Nebraska Wesleyan 45-14 and Bethany (Kan.) 22-10. Their first on-the-field loss came in the NAIA semifinals to Westminster (Pa.), the NAIA’s number one ranked team that eventually won the national championship.

Evangel forfeited their 11 wins shortly after the season ended when it was learned two players participated in a scrimmage five years earlier that, under the rules at the time, cost them a year of eligibility meaning they were in their fifth season of competition. The NAIA rule would be changed shortly after Evangel’s self-reporting of the violation.

The ’88 team still stands, however, as a program-altering event for Evangel football. It was just the fourth winning season in the program’s 12 year history at the time and two years after the ’88 campaign, Evangel would post 13 consecutive winning seasons from 1991 to 2003, win five conference championships and advance to six NAIA national playoffs. They are one of two teams in program history to advance to the national semifinals and are one of just five Evangel sports teams to reach an NAIA semifinal round in any sport.

The 1988 squad is the third Evangel team to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. They join the 2001 men’s basketball team that won the NAIA-II National Championship and the 1966 men’s track & field squad that won each of their nine meets that season.

Players and coaches from that team will be acknowledged before the game individually and formally inducted into Evangel’s Hall of Fame as a group at halftime. Included in the group will be the family of Dave Schroeder, head coach of the ’88 team, who cannot attend due to his declining health.

A reception for the team will held at Crusader Hall Saturday night at 9:15 p.m.

The Crusaders host Culver-Stockton for Homecoming game. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. at Plaster Stadium on the Missouri State campus.

For additional information, contact:
Kevin Kennedy, Evangel University Athletics, (417) 865-2815, ext. 7260