Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Football faces third CCIW game

Augustana Vikings take on Elmhurst College during week 6. Photo by: Kevin Donovan

The Augustana football team is looking to come back strong in their game against Elmhurst College this Saturday at home after a tough defeat against Carthage College last weekend.
So far in the season, the Vikings are 2-2 and have a 1-1 record in their CCIW record. They just faced a tough defeat against Carthage losing 27-24. The Vikings are hoping to use this week to prepare for their game against the Elmhurst College Blue Jays during the homecoming game.
Head coach Steve Bell, whom is embarking on his second year as a coach at Augustana, believes they have had many important changes from last year to this.
“Last year kids were on the learning curve,” Bell said. “It’s much easier to tap into how to do things as a opposed to what to do this year.”
Bell said his team have to become stronger in their ability to adapt to how the game swings
“We have to learn how to handle success and on the flip side, recover from failure and in addition learn from it,” Bell said. “(We don’t want to) get too high on the highs and too low on the lows.”
The Vikings have also now had a full year in the weight room with Bell and his coaching staff. Sophomore running back Ryan Pitra believes the changes the team is making are not only showing in the Vikings performance, but in their family-like culture.
“Having a year under my belt has given me a chance to really bond with a lot of the guys on the team,” Pitra said.
Bell attributed the strong play during these past games has been leadership by not only the upperclassmen, but the underclassmen as well.
“We have a lot of older and younger leaders on the team,” Bell said.  “The captains, of course, and then Zach Fuller and Ryan Pitra have been a voice and presence on the field.”
Throughout the week Bell said the coaches are working with offense and defense to learn to battle Elmhurst’s challenging tactics and players.
“They have a terrific running back.” Bell said. “Defensively, they structure their defense drastically different than anything you usually see.”
Regardless, members of the team, such as captain and senior Danny Lattner, have confidence that they can take ahold of the CCIW with a victory in vital game.
“I don’t hope for anything. I expect to win every single game for the rest of the season because I know we can. Simple as that,” Lattner said.
The Vikings are not without challenges. One of the challenges Bell has dealt with this year is a younger team as many freshman and sophomores are earning varsity playing time.
“Trying to navigate your freshman year is tough,” said Bell. “In three years. we’ll be playing juniors and seniors and the freshman will get a chance to learn,”
“We have some really good kids willing to work really hard and as coaches we have to develop them,” Bell said. “If they want to be developed we can go a long way.”

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Football faces third CCIW game