Football team looks forward to successful season despite early setbacks

With+Totino-Grace+and+Columbia+Heights+out+of+the+NSC%2C+the+Red+Knight+football+team+hopes+to+emerge+as+a+threat+this+season+with+new+lineups+and+offseason+training.+

Carson Mark

With Totino-Grace and Columbia Heights out of the NSC, the Red Knight football team hopes to emerge as a threat this season with new lineups and offseason training.

Adam Bilski and Stephen Jacobs

Equipped with a new offensive lineup, a strong defense, and dedicated fan support, the football team looks to compete for a title in what should be an exciting season.

The team plays in the North Suburban Conference, which Columbia Heights left this year and Totino Grace left last year, creating space for the team to emerge as a true threat. “We didn’t really change conferences,” senior captain Spencer Shaver said. “The other teams moved up.”

Coming into the year, the football team knows that they are one of the physically smaller teams in the section. Some of the players reacted positively to this fact, including senior safety Nick Viers. “We are smaller, but it gives us a better chance to get on the field and prove ourselves,” Viers said.

“I think that we have the capability to go far this season if we all work together and play to the best of our abilities,” senior running back Garrett Haughey said.

Senior captains Mikey Koller and Spencer Shaver hosted practices this summer to help form a competitive team. These workouts helped the team become more cohesive and prepared before they even started playing games. “We are a pretty dedicated group of guys,” Shaver said. “We worked out four days a week at seven in the morning during the summer.”

Returning for another season as linebacker, senior Barrett Fitzgerald has shown his dedication by encouraging hard work from the entire team at every practice. “We decided that we would have to be the hardest working if we wanted a chance to do well this season,” Fitzgerald said.

The team’s eight returning defensive players provide a sturdy base and confidence, while the offensive line, with only two returning players, introduces a new dynamic to the team. With the defense playing solidly, the new offensive line can play confidently, learn new plays, and most importantly, score touchdowns.

One of the biggest changes to the season this year was the replacement of last year’s kicker Paul Graupner. “John Backes, Matt Arnason, and I are filling in the punting and kicking positions, and doing very well,” Koller said.

But the atmosphere of football doesn’t only depend on the team, it relies on fan support, too. Before games, students gather in the parking lot to tailgate and then crowd the stands to cheer on the team. “We are looking to have a big year and the best tailgating BSM has ever seen,” Shaver said.