MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Along with many other sports teams, the Minnesota State Mavericks Football team began practice Monday for the 2019 fall season.
We had a chance to catch up with the team to see what their day consisted of.
“We did a lot of testing this morning, we did a walk through in the afternoon, now we’re finally at an opportunity to work with these young men for the first time in a practice,” said Head Coach Todd Hoffner.
“I’m excited, we’ve had a great summer, put in a lot of work, it’s senior year, last ride with some of these guys that we came in with five years ago so I’m pretty excited to put it all on the field and finally play the game that we love. Love lifting weights, love training with the guys but playing football’s a whole different creature and we love to do it," Quarterback Ryan Schlichte said.
This year’s roster is stacked with veterans that are ready to show the rest of the team what Maverick Football is all about.
“You know we always have high expectations and it’s just holding everyone accountable, try to be a leader and this year I’m going to try to be more of a vocal leader on and off the field so it’s just leading guys to where they can’t go themselves and just taking them to that next level,” Wide-Receiver Shane Zylstra said.
“I think leading by example is the best way, hustling in practice, always doing the right thing even when nobody is watching, hopefully we’ll show the young guys how it’s done,” Linebacker Alex Goettl said.
Even though it was only day one, the team has high expectations from themselves and goals they are looking to accomplish.
“We talk about it all the time in our team meeting, it’s round six, basically what that means is to win the national championship and be the last ones standing at the end of the day but to do that we’ve got to go 1–0 we talk about that every day, it’s in our locker room so today in practice we had to go out there, do the best that we can, we’ve got to compete against the defense, try to go 1–0 today, do the same thing tomorrow and that will carry on,” Schlichte added.
“We’re going to be as dangerous as we allow ourselves to be, you know the biggest and best team we’re ever going to face this whole season is going to be Minnesota State, Mankato,” Running Back Nate Gunn said.
As day one of camp wraps up Coach Hoffner hopes to see the momentum continue on into the season.
“We’re just trying to have the positive energy throughout, right. It’s easy to get up for the first practice, how are you going to be able to get up for practice 15, practice 23 leading into your first game on September 7th, so they’ll be a lot of energy, a lot of excitement, a lot of enthusiasm out here, sustaining that is the trick so we’re hoping that will continue throughout,” Hoffner concluded.
The Mavericks will travel to Southwest Minnesota State for their first game on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.