Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men’s Football Gears Up for Game Against Suny Cortland


Football is back, and Augustana begins their season in New York against Suny Cortland. Finishing last year at 2-7, the football team is looking to make this year more successful.
Head coach, Stephen Bell, was clear about the goals of the team heading into this first game.
“We want to play a clean game,” Bell said. “You’re going to have some physical mistakes; things are going to happen during the game. Our main goal is that we can walk out of that game knowing that we played the best football that we possibly could.”
Senior captain, Riley Donald, had similar goals going into this Saturday.
“It’s a hostile environment,” he said. “Our goal is to come back with a win no matter how we get it done defensively or offensively.”
Suny Cortland finished last season with a record of 5-6.
The football team fell to Suny Cortland this weekend in a close game 34-32. The Red Dragons hit a game winning field goal with 18 seconds remaining in the game.
Junior running back, Ryan Pitra, ran for 150 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite the loss to begin the season, the goals the team has set for the season are still alive and well. Coach Bell talked about what those goals exactly are, and weaknesses the team is looking to improve upon.
“We were playing a lot of kids last year that were in high school bodies,” stated Bell. “Now they’re in college bodies and that will continue to progress throughout their years here. The work that they put in in the off-season has taken a major weakness and hopefully turned it into a strength.”
Coach Bell put a big emphasis on size and experience. Also, how a lack of it last year kept them from being the best they could be.
Riley Donald also talked about weaknesses that they are trying to change.
“Last year, when things went wrong in a game or in a practice things spiraled out of control, and I think we made a big improvement on that. We stopped it, corrected it, and got right back on track.”
With the experience and size of the team both increasing, the expectations the team has for itself have also increased.
“Our expectation is that we are going to be good,” Bell said. “We’ve gone through that initial lull that we anticipated as a coaching staff. Changing the roster, bringing in new kids, a lot of new kids playing, we are past the point now. Now it’s time to produce. That’s the mindset that our kids have going in: they expect to be good.”
Augustana takes on Central on the road next Saturday, September 9 at 1:00 p.m.

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Men’s Football Gears Up for Game Against Suny Cortland