NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks are gearing up for their Southland Conference opener, and what better way to start the conference off than to go against some familiar faces?
SFA's first-year head coach Clint Conque will be forced to meet his former team where he spent 14 years coaching the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears.
While many would describe opening conference play as exciting, it has some of the SFA coaches who formally worked at Central Arkansas saying it will be weird.
"We left there a bunch of really good players and really good people on the team there. I have a couple good friends on staff as well too so it's always weird when you're playing against a good friend," said SFA defensive coordinator Matt Williamson.
Williamson is just one of four coaches who came over with Conque from UCA.
Conque's time in Arkansas was historic. With the Sugar Bears, Conque left as the second winningest college football coach in Arkansas history, behind legendary Razorback coach Frank Broyles.
"Obviously there is some emotional attachment to the young men that we recruited there, I want nothing but the best for them," said Conque. "It's our first conference game. It's about business."
While many look at the familiarity as an advantage for the 'Jacks, Conque is adamant that those going against him are just as well acquainted with his style of play.
"I think we know each other very well. The offensive coordinator there was an assistant of mine and played for me for five years. He's like a second son. He knows me as well as anybody in this profession," said Conque.
Although each sideline will be able to look across the field and see a familiar face, the game will ultimately come down to the 22 players on the field.
"I care about those young men just like I care about the young men in our program, but this is about business, and it's about trying to win a conference football game," said Conque.
The 'Jacks are hoping to extend their three home game winning streak Saturday when the play Central Arkansas at 6 o'clock.