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49ers reveal football uniforms

By Keith Cannon
Correspondent

It’s still almost three months before the Charlotte 49ers fledgling football team has the opportunity to prove itself on the field.

But as of Saturday night, they at least look a little more like a football team. Coach Brad Lambert and four of his players unveiled the 49ers game-day uniforms as the centerpiece of a silent auction fundraiser for the 49ers Athletic Foundation at Halton Arena.

“It’s good to see what we’re going to look like,” said Lambert, who said the event was the first time he had seen the uniforms on his players. “Decisions like this that we’re making are somewhat permanent, so you want to make sure you get it right.”

The jerseys – green for home games and white for away – went for $3,000 each during the auction, which also offered bidders items such as a round of golf at Providence Country Club with Lambert and offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, and the opportunity to be an honorary coach for the 49ers 2014 spring football game.

“Our players are excited about the uniforms and the fans are excited, and it was fun to do the unveiling in this kind of atmosphere,” said Lambert, whose players wore practice jerseys during the 49ers’ spring intrasquad game in April.

Modeling the game jerseys, all numbered 49, for the auction, were freshman wide receiver Austin Duke, a former Independence High standout; junior defensive back Desmond Cooper, freshman wide receiver and former Northwest Cabarrus player E.J. Rhinehart, and junior linebacker Caleb Clayton-Molby. For the record, there’s no player on the 49ers rosters currently listed as No. 49.

Lambert said the process of selecting the uniform design wasn’t as straightforward as it might seem on the surface.

“One of the things that you want to do it try to look through the eyes of an 18- or 19-year old,” he said. “What’s it going to look like to them and are they going to be excited about it?”

He said the players had the opportunity to look at various uniform pieces and combinations and give their opinions.

The fact that the school’s uniform schemes include four colors – the primary green and white, with black and gold as accents – also presented a challenge.“We wanted to try to keep it simple,” Lambert said. “We looked at some ideas that were just too busy.”

Lambert said that he and his staff haven’t decided on the exact combination that the team will wear when it plays the school’s first football game against Campbell at noon Aug. 31 in the still-to-be-named campus stadium. An all-green outfit is a possibility, but they could go with the green jersey and white pants that were on display Saturday night, he said.

The 49ers 2013 schedule also includes home games against Chowan, N.C. Central, Gardner-Webb, UNC-Pembroke and Wesley College. Away opponents are Presbyterian, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion and Morehead State.

“That first game is 90 days away, and I think that’s what’s making it the most real right now, that ticking clock,” Lambert said. “But tonight was another step toward that.”

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