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Football - Thu, Jun. 22, 2017

The Briar Cliff University football program is returning to its roots this fall, when it shifts its games back to Memorial Field, in Sioux City, thanks to a partnership between Briar Cliff and Bishop Heelan Catholic High School.

"We believe this is a major step forward for our football program," said Briar Cliff President Dr. Hamid Shirvani.  "We are happy to partner with Bishop Heelan in the process of turning Memorial Field into a first-class facility.  We want Briar Cliff Football to have a large presence in the Siouxland community, and we think bringing our program back to Memorial Field will go a long way toward accomplishing that."

Briar Cliff played its first season of intercollegiate varsity football in 2003 and called Memorial Field its home for 10 years.  However, for the past four years, the Chargers played their football games at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D.  The move from Vermillion to Sioux City was made possible by a shared vision between Briar Cliff and Bishop Heelan to enhance existing athletic facilities.  The new field turf at Memorial Field, which is set to be completed prior to the start football this fall, provides the Cliff a new football surface just a few miles from campus.

"We are thankful of Bishop Heelan's willingness to work with us on this project as we believe it is a win for both institutions," said Briar Cliff Director of Athletics Nic Nelson.  "For Briar Cliff, this is a big step and a great day in the start of a new era for our football program."

According to Briar Cliff football coach Dennis Wagner, this move, along with bringing the football team back to campus for practice are huge positives for the program embarking on this new era under just its third head coach.

"We are excited to be bringing Charger football back to our fan base in Sioux City," said Wagner.  "This move allows for the city's casual sports fans as well as our students, the entire campus and extended community and alumni to fully engage in the gameday experience.  I believe that fall afternoons in Sioux City are going to be special."

For the Charger football program, having places to call home and reducing travel to other facilities for both practice and competition was the right decision. 

"In bringing our team back to campus full-time for practice and by playing on a beautiful, new artificial turf surface, we think we've really increased our football program's opportunity to compete at a high level in the GPAC," said Nelson. 

Wagner and his Chargers will open the 2017 campaign with a pair of road games before hosting Dakota State, Sept. 9.  Kick-off for that contest is set for 1 p.m.

Sep. 22
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