Eat, meetings, practice, eat, sleep, meetings, weights, eat, meetings, and sleep. Then start over and do it again. The life of a college football player during training camp began for 114 members of the Gustavus Adolphus team on Saturday, August 20th. The Gustavus football team was in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) for the first time on Tuesday and Head Coach Peter Haugen has been pleased with the energy in camp thus far.
“It was really encouraging that we had everyone report to camp and the energy level has been great,” said Haugen. “We put a lot of emphasis on the older guys getting together with the younger guys during this first two weeks. Each upperclassman is paired with a newcomer throughout camp and you can already see the bonds being formed. Camp can be strenuous for a freshman, and by doing this, we feel it creates a great environment.”
Last season, Gustavus finished the year with an overall record of 4-6, while taking sixth place in the MIAC with a conference mark of 3-5.
Haugen’s 2011 squad features 33 returning letterwinners, 17 players on offense and 16 on defense. The Gusties lost 18 contributors from last year’s team, yet return nine starters on offense and six starters on defense.
Returning letterwinners on defense include seniors Nick Alverson (LB), Alex Carpenter (DB), Jason Cook (DB), Tom Einberger (DL), Mike Jirik (DL), Todd Kremmin (DL), Brad Kruckeberg (DB), Matt Miller (DL), Dan Opitz (DB), Colby Peterson (DL), and Trenton Pray (LB), juniors Cory Colvard (DL), Jesse Newell (DL), Alec Saunders (LB), and Zach Stackhouse (LB), and sophomores Beau Bachman (DB) and Donte Green (DL).
On the offensive side, returning letterwinners include seniors Logan Becker (QB), Elliot Herdina (WR), Turner Johnson (WR), Robbie Porter (OL), Josh Schroeder (OL), Ryan Steele (OL), Darin Wagner (TE), and Cody Williams (OL), juniors Andre Creighton (WR), Brian Grundmeyer (OL), Tom Huepenbecker (K), Muresuk Mena (WR), Lyle Opdahl (OL), and Ryan Williams (OL), and sophomores Jeffrey Dubose (RB) and Lance Erickson (OL).
The team will hold an inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 27, followed by the team’s annual family barbeque, in which the families of the players and coaches are invited to campus to take part in a potluck inside the Lund Ice Arena.
“I will be looking for whether we play fast or not,” commented Haugen on what he expects to see at the scrimmage. “We’ve implemented in such a way that our guys know what they are doing and we can eliminate excuses. With that said, we have been at it for a week, so we know there will be mistakes. It’s our goal at this point to take small steps each day in preparation for September 10th.”
Gustavus opens the 2011 season on the road with a contest against Wartburg College on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Waverly, Iowa. Wartburg went 10-1 overall and 8-0 in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) last season, winning the league and earning a trip to the NCAA Playoffs. Kickoff for the opener is set for 7:00 p.m.
The team will be in full pads for the first time on Thursday with two-a-days beginning on Monday, Aug. 29. Camp will break on Saturday, Sept. 3, as Gustavus begins the fall semester on Tuesday, Sept. 6.