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St. Mary’s Football season preview

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 2:26 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Every season brings new challenges, in his 47 years of coaching at St. Mary’s, Dan Smrekar has never faced a pandemic that could jeopardize playing.

“Nothing like this. It’s like we just talked about I mean it’s a privilege to play sports and I think this year it’s even a bigger privilege that we get to do this you know you just have to take care of what you have to take care of so we can play. We don’t look at that as a burden, we look at it as just stuff we have to do so we get to play this great game,” said Smrekar.

The Saints have a tight race for the starting quarterback spot. Jackson Uhler and Nick Schumacher will both get playing time to start the season.

“The big thing is leadership and ball security and ball control and not turning it over. I believe that’s what the quarterbacks main jobs are, and you just get a feel for it when the quarterback steps in the huddle, which quarterback does the team have the most confidence in and faith in when its fourth and goal from the one yard line,” said Smrekar.

Whoever is under center, he will have the luxury of playing behind an experienced offensive line.

“We have a special squad up front and they aren’t like any other in the state. I love being behind them because I know I am going to be protected and I know they are going to make holes for our guys to get through and score,” said senior Jackson Uhler.

“We are seeing really good things from the line this year. Last year we were pretty new we had a lot of new guys but this year we are a lot more skilled and talented,” said senior Zach Haas.

After losing in the state semifinals last season, Smrekar wants his team to be more consistent.

“I think we need to get more physical. At times we were and at times we weren’t. I think we need to be better up front both sides of the ball. I think the other thing is we didn’t handle adverse field positions very well and we didn’t travel really well. Those are the things we get better at, and so we are going to find out. We are going to travel this week and see how we get off the bus this week and play,” said Smrekar.

The Saints are in Devils Lake to start the season Friday.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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