Sam Houston State Bearkats Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: K. C. Keeler

Team Mascot: Sammy Bearkat

Year Opened: 1986

Capacity: 12593

City / State: Huntsville / Texas

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Battle of the Piney Woods

Rival Team: Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

The rivalry between Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin is the second longest continuous running rivalry in the FCS dating back to 1923. In 2007, a 21-pound cedar trophy depicting pistols and a tombstone was added to the rivalry. Head down to Huntsville to watch the Bearkats take on the Lumberjacks in the annual Battle of the Piney Woods.

Sam Houston State Bearkats Tailgate Guide


In Texas, tailgating is a huge part of the gameday experience, and it’s no different at Sam Houston State. Bearkats fans arrive at Bowers Stadium bright and early to get the tailgate started as the lots surrounding the stadium open six hours before kickoff for tailgating. Everywhere you look, you’ll see fans in orange, white, and blue tailgating with friends and family.

The festive atmosphere is an excellent way to pump up the fans before the game. Although, nothing will do a better job of getting you ready to cheer on the Bearkats than the pregame pep rally. The pep rally is a must-see part of any Bearkats game, so don’t miss it during your trip.

While tailgating, you’ll be surrounded by plenty of friendly Bearkats fans who cook some incredible barbecue. Bring something to share, and you’ll make friends quickly giving you the opportunity to enjoy some of the best barbecue you’ve ever had.

Tailgating is a big part of the game day culture at Sam Houston State, so arrive early and take part in the fun tailgating atmosphere outside Bowers Stadium.


Pregame Pep Rally

Make sure to see the pregame pep rally outside Bowers Stadium before the game. The pep rally is the perfect way to get into the Bearkats spirit and a must-see part of any Sam Houston State tailgate.

play Watch video

Where to tailgate

Sam Houston State Bearkats Stadium Guide

In Game

Bowers Stadium is one of the toughest places for opposing teams to play thanks to the incredible support of the Bearkats fans. All throughout the game Sam Houston State fans cheer and chant to get into the heads of the opposition.

No group of fans is louder than the Kat Krazies. The Kat Krazies sit near the 50-yard line and give the opponents a hard time by cheering and chanting, as well as banging mallets and drums. If you want to sit with the most die-hard Bearkats fans out there, then make sure to get a spot in the east stand near the 50-yard line.

It’s not just the great fan support that makes attending a Bearkats game a fun experience. The band and spirit squads also put on excellent performances. The Bearkat Marching Band’s shows are great and will get everyone ready to cheer on the team throughout the game. You also won’t want to miss the performances of cheer squads, Orange Pride Dance Team, or Sammy Bearkat during the game either.

A Bearkats game is an excellent road trip for any FCS football fan, so start planning your trip to Huntsville for a Sam Houston State game today.


Things to check out

Bearkats Entrance

Get to your seat early, so you don’t miss the Bearkats entrance. Before the game, the Bearkats enter the game by running through an inflatable helmet working the crowd into a frenzy. The entrance is an incredible part of any Bearkats game making it a must-see.

play Watch video


Sam Houston State installed a new 32 ft 4 in by 79 ft 6 in video scoreboard in 2015 giving you a fantastic view of every replay. The new video board makes a world of difference, so enjoy it when taking in a Bearkats game.

play Watch video

Bearkat Marching Band

The Bearkat Marching Band’s pregame and halftime shows are both excellent performances, so don’t leave your seat when you see them take the field. The band also provides a great atmosphere throughout the game with their in-game music as well making them a fantastic part of any game.

play Watch video

Kat Krazies

You can spot the Kat Krazies in the first few rows near the 50-yard line cheering on the Bearkats. The Kat Krazies are the wildest and craziest fans at Sam Houston State games, so keep an eye out for them and their antics at the game.

play Watch video

Sammy Bearkat

Fans young and old enjoy Sammy Bearkat and his in-game shenanigans. If you see Sammy Bearkat during the game give him a hug or high five.

Cheer Teams

Get up and cheer along with the Bearkats cheer teams during the game. The cheer teams do a fantastic job of pumping up the crowd, so join in and show your support for the Bearkats.

play Watch video

Orange Pride Dance Team

You won’t want to miss the performances of the Orange Pride Dance Team. The Orange Pride will dazzle you with their dance moves making them a can’t miss part of any game.

play Watch video

Fight Songs

  1. Bearkat Fight Song

    Fight, fight you Bearkats!
    Fight on through!
    We’re here in back of you!
    You know again we’re here to win
    So fight until the end.
    Loyal we’ll ever be and true to SHSU
    We’ll fight and fight with all our might
    For Sam Houston’s Orange and White!


  2. SHSU Alma Mater

    Hail to Sam Houston, school we love best.
    Mighty in battle, true to the test.
    Bearkats so loyal, Ever we’ll be,
    Orange and white will lead us to victory.

    Hail Alma Mater, hats off to you.
    Ever you’ll find us, loyal and true
    Firm and undaunted, ever we’ll be.
    Here’s to the school we love,
    Here’s a toast to thee.

  3. Sam Houston Chant

Sam Houston State Bearkats Bars & Restaurants

  1. Humphrey’s

    Pizza Palermo Subs Missys Village

    We serve foods such as pastas, salads, pitas, burgers, wings, pizza, quesadillas and a variety of sandwiches.

    1930 Sam Houston Ave, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  2. 12th Street Bar

    12th Street Bar

    Proudly offering the best atmosphere in town, the rustic fixtures and charming architecture lend a familiar feel to the karaoke and cocktails.

    1024 12th St, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  3. City Hall Cafe & Pie Bar

    southern food

    Character, charm and southern hospitality abound in our downtown Huntsville location serving fresh, made from scratch home cooking and homemade desserts.

    1421 Sam Houston Ave, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - cafe - $$

  4. Arnaud’s Cajun Kitchen

    Arnaud Cajun Kitchen

    We specialize in boiled crawfish (in season), boiled shrimp and gumbo! Fried fish plates, fried shrimp, stuffed shrimp & crab cakes.

    2615 Montgomery Rd, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  5. Toasted


    Breakfast - Lunch - Drinks - Breakfast. Yep, breakfast all day!

    1932 Sam Houston Ave, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  6. Mr. Hamburger

    Tooties Restaurant Burger Galaxy Diner Burger Chicken Box Restaurant Burger Buddys BBQ Burger TJs Restaurant Burger Lazy Palm Sports Bar and Grill Burger Skids Iggys Sports Grill

    Faithful fans knew Mr. Hamburger for its never-frozen, hand-formed beef patties, handmade onion rings, homemade chili, and, of course, the KILLER BURGER.

    918 11th St, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  7. Farmhouse Cafe

    Farmhouse Cafe

    Friendly staff and great southern food.

    1004 14th St, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  8. Church Barbeque

    Grannys Home Cooking BBQ Flying Pig Moes Original Bar B Que

    The best Ribs, Brisket, Sausage & Chicken you'll ever eat, not to mention the Buttermilk, Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie.

    2601 Montgomery Rd, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    bbq - $$

  9. Potato Shack

    Potato Shack

    The place for tasty food served up with a smile.

    1229 Josey St, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA

    Bar website

    american - $