St. Peter, Minn. - The Gustavus football team was in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) for the first time on Tuesday morning at Hollingsworth Field, and the familiar sound of thudding pads could be heard on the north end of campus. Head Coach Peter Haugen, who in his fourth year at the head of the Gustie football program, invited 115 players to fall camp. Coach Haugen likes the tempo at practice thus far and is excited to see what his young team brings to the table this season.
Senior quarterback Muresuk Mena (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) has been pleased with the team’s attitude as well, stating, “The tempo at practice has been great. Today was probably the best tempo we’ve shown in three years and that’s good to see. Guys are excited and working hard.”
Among the group of 115 players are 27 returning letterwinners and 55 new players to the program.
“We keep it simple for the younger guys, but I give the older guys a ton of credit,” said Peter Haugen on the dynamic between the rookies and veterans during the early stages of fall camp. “We talk a lot about leadership and a lot about mentoring, and our older guys have done a great job.”
After a productive spring and summer, Coach Haugen and his coaching staff want to focus on small details, concise planning, effort, and making every play count.
“Camp is long so everyone is still feeling pretty good right now, but it is really going to be about maintaining the consistency throughout camp and the rest of the season,” commented coach Haugen.
Gustavus will practice in shells on Wednesday and will be in full pads for the first time on Thursday. The team will hold an inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. on Hollingsworth Field. Coach Haugen wants to see his players focus on the basics during the scrimmage – alignment, drops, technique, and effort.