WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been 71 years since football was played at Barton College, then known as Atlantic Christian College.
The Little Christians back then have long ago been transformed into Bulldogs. The school announced in 2018 that it was re-starting the program.
Chip Hester was shortly afterward announced as head coach, hired away from North Carolina A&T, where he had spent the previous three seasons as offensive coordinator.
Fast forward nearly three years and what was once just a notion will soon be a reality.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, Truist Stadium will be home to college football as the Bulldogs take on Erskine
Hester spoke to ABC11 about the wait, the excitement and the anxiety of opening day for a whole new program.
"I'm really proud of them because it's been a long haul, and we've got guys on this team that have been practicing for literally two years without a competition, so they're anxious to get out there," Hester said. "It's been a long time, so I'm excited. Football coaches want to coach football in ball games, so I know I'm excited, I can feel our guys are excited. We have a 6 a.m. workout this morning and there's a little pop in their step. They're anxious to get after it, that's for sure."
Barton College anxious, eager to play football after 71 years