Bismarck, N.D.- When you think of August, the first thing that could pop into your head would be football season. NFL teams are starting their preseason, the Bison and Fighting Hawks have begun their fall camp and so have the University of Mary Marauders.
“I think we’re all really excited,” says senior slotback Brennan Doan. “We’ve had, you know, a good off-season, and we’re just excited to get back to playing football.”
While day one of fall camp is complete, Head Coach Josh Kotelnicki is pleased with what he’s seen so far.
"I like the attitude, I don't have any leadership concerns, I don't see any cliques on the team as of right now. So I feel pretty good about everything," said Kotelnicki.
Every football team needs a good offense, and with this being their second year running the triple option, we should expect to see it executed better, with the help from Coach Bob Jones.
"Compared to this time last year, we're light years ahead,” mentions Kotelnicki. “You know you look at our spring game from this past year, and our spring game from the year before, we're light years ahead. Part of it is doing a better job as coaches, and part of it is also, like I said, our players having more bank reps at the stuff we ask them to do, being better, faster, stronger."
Junior Quarterback Colton Farmer said, "I'll speak for my team, we're hungry to win, I'm sure everybody's already told you that we're tired of losing, and we have made sure to put in the extra work, and I expect to win. Our offense, I expect to score touchdowns, we all expect the same thing, and everybody believes it, we all believe it."
When it comes to the Marauders’ defense, experience and effort makes all the difference. While Defensive Coordinator Jason There is happy with what he’s been seeing, there’s always room for improvement.
"We've got to do a really good job at trying to control the line of scrimmage. We've got to make sure we're not getting blown off the ball with our front guys. Our linebackers have to be triggering hard against the run, we got to be trying to make plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage with those guys, and we really need to make sure we understand where we're supposed to be," said There.
With only a handful of upperclassman, the Marauders aren’t letting that define their level of skill on the field.
"We got a lot of experience. I think defensive line wise, we should be in a decent position," said senior defensive lineman Brock Pittsley.
"I've seen a lot of progress just from the upperclassman, even the underclassman coming in just wanting to put their foot in there and just try and put their effort in there, just try to be better as a whole,” said junior defensive back, Ryan Naki-Poomaihealani. “And the upperclassman just being out here, being leaders, and just talking over and showing these young guys how to do it."
With only a few weeks until the start of their season, the Marauders are preparing to show the NSIC what they’ve got.
“I think we’re really excited, you know going 1-10 the last two years, we got a lot to prove,” said Doan.
The Marauders first game of the year is Thursday August 31 as they host Minnesota State Mankato.