Sam Houston State University will be moving from the Western Athletic Conference to Conference USA in 2023. Sam Houston will no longer be in the same conference as Stephen F. Austin State University, and whether the annual Battle of Piney Woods game will happen or not has not been decided. 

“We will still play [Sam Houston] at least one more time next year,” SFA Athletics Director Ryan Ivey said. “However, we don’t know how this change will affect the Piney Woods game after that.” 

A tweet from however, stated that during a Texas State University System meeting, the topic of the Battle of the Piney Woods game was brought up and the meeting members decided to table the agreement. 

“SHSU and SFA regularly scheduled football contest at NRG Park [is] likely to conclude in ‘22,” the tweet stated. 

Sam Houston running backs Coach Christopher Buckner said he does not think this will be the end to their rivalry with SFA. 

“I think SFA will always be one of our rivals.” Buckner said. “We just need to find another time to play with them. Whether it’s having SFA come to Huntsville for a scrimmage game at the beginning of the season or finding another time to play during the season. We know that this rivalry is important to students, and I’m sure we can figure out a way to compete.” 


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