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Kelly Kiernan

Sac State football team wins ‘Best Team Uniform’

Hornets’ winning uniform first released in 2016

The Sacramento State football team won “Best Team Uniform” in The State Hornet’s fourth annual Best of Sac State poll.  

The Hornets unveiled their newest uniform in 2016 before the season’s opening game against Western Oregon University on a Hornets Sports YouTube video

Former Director of Football Operations Ryan Smaha explained in the video that the significance of including the hornet flying backwards on the black pants was to “honor and embrace the past” of previous alumni.

“The bug looks behind us to honor those guys behind us,” Smaha said. “It’s a constant reminder that we will never forget our past.”

The video announced three jersey designs and colors, with a different look for their home, away and alternate uniform. 

The green and gold colors have remained the same since Sac State was founded in 1947. Sac State’s colors were inspired by the foothills and trees for green and discovery for gold.

“They are unlike any other in the FCS,” said defensive back Marcus Aponte via Instagram direct messages. “We have a variety of combos that will never get old to see on the field.”

RELATED: 10 new members and entire 1988 football team to be inducted in Sac State Football Hall of Fame

The main home jersey is green with white numbers outlined in gold. The uniform is completed with a dark green helmet adorned with Sac State’s logo.

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Eucario Calderon
Sac State juniors, quarterback Kevin Thomson and running back Elijah Dotson, run an option play against Montana State on Oct. 19, 2019 at Hornet Stadium. The Hornets main home jersey features a dark green look.

The alternate jersey features a black-out look, complete with gold lettering and green accents. 

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Shaun Holkko
Sac State junior quarterback Kevin Thomson rushes for a first down against UC Davis on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at Hornet Stadium. The hornet on the pants is flying backwards to represent Sac State’s alumni.

The away white jersey has the same color pattern as the black jersey with large gold numbers and green lettering, but includes “Sacramento State” on the front to let the opposing teams know who they are facing. Compared to home games, where “Hornets” is read across the top of the black-and-green jersey. 

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Brian Burke – The Lumberjack
Sac State freshman tight end Marshel Martin catches a touchdown pass against Northern Arizona on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Arizona. Defensive back Marcus Aponte cites the white jersey as his favorite because of its “clean” look.

“My favorite uniform is (the) white jersey, white pants and white helmet,” Aponte said. “All white is just super clean, looks real good on film.”

The colors have changed from various jersey and pants combinations over the years. In 1988, the numbers at the front and on the shoulder were gold with the rest of the jersey being green. The players wore gold pants – a signature look for decades.

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The Sac State football team walking onto the field. The Hornets made it to the Div. II semifinals in 1988, the farthest they have ever gotten in playoff history.

A change of color on the outline of the number and “Hornets” letters to white in 1999, it featured a white filling color for the letters and number. The gold pants stayed the same. 

By 2001, the gold and black color appeared on the jersey around “Sacramento State” and the number. 

Seven years later, the gold pants were retired. The team was given green pants with a gold line on the side in 2008.

At the 60th Causeway Classic in 2013, the football team played with a new gold jersey, featuring dark green numbering and letters.

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File Photo – The State Hornet
The Hornet football team makes their entrance onto the field at the Causeway Classic on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2013 at Hornet Stadium. The Hornets sported a different bright yellow jersey for the game.

The all-black home jersey appeared in 2014. Both the home jersey and pants were black. The “Hornets” lettering appeared in all white with a black outline.The away jersey was all white with “Hornets” in green lettering with a black outline.

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