The Flying Dutchmen will open their season with the traditional Hope-Holland Community Day game at Holland Municipal Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 11 against first-time opponent John Carroll University of Ohio.

Kickoff at Holland Municipal Stadium will be 1:30 p.m.

The game will be broadcast by WHTC-AM (1450) and WFUR-FM (102.9). The WHTC broadcast will also be available on the internet at

The game marks the start of a new football rivalry. John Carroll University is located in suburban Cleveland, Ohio and is a Catholic, Jesuit liberal arts institution with an enrollment of 3,600 undergraduates.

Both teams are coming off a successful 2003 season. The Flying Dutchmen were champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and competed in the NCAA Division III playoffs, finishing with a 7-4 record. The Blue Streaks posted a 7-3 mark while finishing fourth in the Ohio Athletic Association and enter 2004 with 17 consecutive winning campaigns.

The Flying Dutchmen will be seeking their first season-opener since the 1993 season. This will mark the 95th year of Hope College football and the team's 26th season at Holland Municipal Stadium The Flying Dutchmen were undefeated at home a year ago and are 73-38-3 all-time at the stadium.

Neither of Saturday's starting quarterbacks has started a game for their team. Hope QB Joe Schwander has collegiate experience having started for Tri-State University last fall. Getting the nod for John Carroll is junior Doug Phillips who was the backup quarterback a year ago.

As part of the pre-game festivities, Hope College President James E. Bultman will be joined by Holland Mayor Pro-Tem Craig Rich and Congressman Peter Hoekstra.

During halftime, the 2003-04 Commissioner's Cup of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association will be presented by MIAA Commissioner David Neilson. Hope has won the MIAA Commissioner's Cup a record 26 times, including nine of the last 11 years. Accepting the Commissioner's Cup will be President Bultman, Senior Woman's Administrator Eva Dean Folkert and Men's Athletics Director Ray Smith.