Rocky Mount, N.C. - The North Carolina Wesleyan College football program is headed back to the Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium. In a joint press conference held today on site, the two parties announced a partnership that brings the Battling Bishops back to the venue where they played their inaugural game in 2004 and secured their first USA South championship in 2007.
Mayor David Combs offered opening remarks, while attendees also heard from N.C. Wesleyan President Jim Gray, Director of Athletics John Thompson, and Head Football Coach Jeff Filkovski. The event concluded with President Gray and City Manager Charles Penny signing the official agreement.
The Bishops had played their previous five seasons at Northern Nash High School, and Thompson was quick to offer his gratitude to the Nash-Rocky Mount School System for their hospitality in recent years. The move back to the stadium, however, should prove beneficial for Wesleyan, which is just four miles from the complex. Located at 600 Independence Drive in Rocky Mount, the stadium seats more than 5,000 spectators and features a large pressbox and elevated coaching areas.
"We have a home now," said Filkovski. "We can put our logo on the field, hang our blue and gold banners, and give our current players and recruits a sense of pride in 'their' field. I hope we can continue to foster this relationship with the city and make the Battling Bishops Rocky Mount's football team."
Those sentiments echoed previous comments by Gray, who expressed his wishes to engage more students and alumni with Wesleyan athletics.
"This is a beautiful facility, and we value this partnership with the city very highly," he said, continuing, "It is our ultimate goal to make N.C. Wesleyan Rocky Mount's team by providing a high quality of play and a great atmosphere."
The Battling Bishops' schedule includes five home dates this fall, beginning on September 14th versus Southern Virginia University. Other key dates include a Homecoming contest with LaGrange College on October 5th and a Senior Day match-up on November 2nd with Ferrum College. All games at the stadium are set for 1:00pm kick-offs.