The Drovers’ first stop to Fresno, Calif., and the NAIA National Championship: Hastings, Neb.
The Drovers, of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, (17-1-1) will take on the Hasting College Broncos (15-4-2) at 5 p.m. Saturday in Nebraska.
“I think for us, of course we want to win (the tournament) because we’re in it,” Head Coach Jimmy Hampton said. “We can’t win it without winning Saturday.”
The winning team will compete in the second round of the tournament, which begins Nov. 30, but Hampton said they aren’t looking beyond Saturday’s game. The national championship will be at 3 p.m. Dec. 5 in Fresno, Calif.
The Drovers are seeded No. 11, and Head Coach Jimmy Hampton said the team has a good shot of going far in the tournament.
“Anything can happen with this group,” he said.
USAO is the only Sooner Athletic Conference team to compete in the tournament. The team became SAC champs on Thursday with a 2-0 win over Oklahoma City University at home.
“From a member of the SAC, I think it’s a travesty that another team isn’t in,” Hampton said.
Both OCU and Southern Nazarene University were qualified to compete, he said. This is the first time in five years when two SAC teams haven’t gone to the national tournament.
The Drovers leave Thursday afternoon for Hastings, Neb., and Hampton said the team won’t be doing anything different than usual this week.
“I’ll tell you what we’re focusing on: What we do well,” he said. “We don’t really care what they do as long as we do what we do well … We’ll continue to focus on the things that go us here."