ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) — The Gustavus football team is busy preparing for the upcoming 2019 season.
Ally Dudgeon has more as the Gusties look to improve on a 6–4 record from last year.
“Really excited to see guys when they came in yesterday and you see how the bodies have changed, the guys came in in shape and I think that really is a great sign that they’re ready to go, they’re excited to play football,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said.
“We had a great off season and I think it’s just boosting us into this fall and a lot of the players came into fall camp looking a lot more ready to run around and hit some people so it will be an exciting season,” senior tight end Brayton Finch said.
The Gusties’ practices are run in a very organized fashion to keep the squad focused.
“I think a big thing with that is just doing the same things every day, staying consistent with all that stuff and then when it comes down to the field we practice these situations every day and we’re used to it so when we get to it in game day, we’re as comfortable as we can be,” senior linebacker Avery Bachman said.
“I think it’s really important you know you have to have, you have to have a plan, our coaches do a great job of putting a plan together every single day and then we want to have a positive environment but we want it to be structured and we want it to keep moving on,” Haugen said.
It is easy to recognize that the team uses a scheduled system during practices but that doesn't mean any of the fun is taken away.
“Definitely, we’re here to work hard but also to have fun, we’ve got all of our friends out here so it really helps the practice go smoothly, it really helps us engage more into the practice but also having fun with it,” sophomore defensive lineman Zachary Jakes said.
“You have to have a positive environment, a great work environment, we have that and so just excited to take care of the littler things that you have to do daily to win championships,” Haugen said.
Along with a lax setting Coach Haugen makes it a point to help new members on the team adapt quickly.
“We have a mentoring program where each freshman is paired with an older guy and we kind of just lead them through camp, they can ask us questions at any time and it makes it pretty easy for them to adjust and makes camp life a little better,” Finch said.
“A big thing especially for camp is just helping them learn the playbook, it’s insanely overwhelming especially these first couple days, we just keep throwing so much at them and a big thing even outside of meetings, meeting with them and your position group and keep going over things and just help them wrap their head around the schemes and things like that so they can start to feel comfortable and feel like they can actually contribute,” Bachman said.
The Golden Gusties will kickoff their 2019 season at home on Sept. 7 as they take on Martin Luther College.