On Valentine’s Day in 2012, I received a letter that would shape the next decade of my life in ways I could have never imagined.  The oversized white envelope inscribed with the words “Future Niner, You’re In!” held my acceptance letter to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Within days I enrolled into the university, chose my housing, signed up for orientation, and began to count down the days until the football home opener on August 31st, 2013 against Campbell.

On the second play from scrimmage against Campbell, Mark Hogan took an interception 32-yards to the house and Jerry Richardson Stadium erupted, and I went all-in on the Niners. Since then, it’s been an interesting ride as a Charlotte fan. I’ve seen the basketball team upset the 14th ranked Michigan Wolverines. I’ve seen the soccer team play deep into NCAA tournaments. I’ve seen the baseball team attempt to make a run through NCAA regionals. Charlotte sports are this close to making noise on a national level. That Valentine’s Day in Huntersville when I received my acceptance letter was just the beginning of a lifetime of fandom. I am brimming with excitement to join Agent 49 and write about a school and athletic program that means so much to me. My past English and Journalism professors would also be brimming with excitement knowing that I’m taking the things I learned in Colvard, Denny, and Fretwell and using them to share takes with my fellow Niners.

Photo credit: Sam Roberts / Freeze Frame
Matt Alquiza, Class of 2016

With football season starting in less than a week, there is no better time to for me to join Ross and Cameron in this venture of bringing high-quality coverage of Charlotte sports. While Charlotte isn’t the biggest, the most prestigious, or the most successful athletic program in North Carolina, it means a whole bunch to thousands of alumni like the three of us. In order for Halton Arena to be packed out for basketball games, and for Jerry Richardson to be packed out for football games, people need to care deeply about Charlotte. I believe that Agent 49 pumping out Charlotte sports content will only help that passion grow. If you’re reading this, I know you are one of those passionate Charlotte fans and I look forward to interacting with you and discussing what happens on the field and the court over the years.

The future is bright for Charlotte athletics and it starts on Saturday in Boca Raton. Will Healy leads a talented offense and a revamped defense into an early (and final) C-USA opener against FAU, and Charlotte fans like myself are desperate for success. Will the Niners meet their potential and go bowling this year? Who knows, but the pieces are in place for Charlotte to take a leap in 2022, and I can’t wait to see it play out.

Shake that Axe!