2008, 2009 NAIA football title games to be played in Rome, Ga

Updated: January 3, 2008, 5:12 PM ET
Associated Press

ROME, Ga. -- Shorter College and Rome-Floyd County have been awarded the 2008 and 2009 NAIA football championship games.

The 2008 championship will be played on Dec. 20 and the 2009 game on Dec. 19, both at Barron Stadium, home of the Shorter College Hawks.

The championship game has been played in Savannah, Tenn., for the past dozen years. Carroll College of Helena, Mont., won from 2002-2005 and in 2007.

"We have so many great memories from our travels to Savannah, Tenn. and the relationships we've built with the great people in Hardin County," said Bruce Parker, Carroll's director of athletics. "Winning five national titles in the past six seasons at Jim Carroll Stadium in Savannah will never be forgotten."

Carroll football coach Mike Van Diest added: "We appreciate the 12 years that Hardin County (Tenn.) has hosted the championship game. Their hospitality has been wonderful and the friendships that we developed have created some memorable experiences."

Both Parker and Van Diest said they are excited about the new venue.

Shorter athletics director Bill Peterson and football coach Phil Jones began the process of submitting a formal bid to the NAIA early last year.

"We are excited about the opportunity to put the NAIA national football championship game on a national stage," Peterson said.

Ninety NAIA schools play football, and 16 qualify for the playoffs.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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