A sign that fall is fast approaching is that football teams are starting up practice. You can now add the University of Mary to the list.
The Marauders are coming off a one-win season and are looking to improve in the always tough Northern Sun with many players returning, like junior wide receiver Luke Little.
He lead the team in catches, yards and receiving touchdowns.
The Marauders also return many key pieces on the defensive side of the ball, like outside linebacker Grady Blewitt and defensive back Jarad Zittleman.
They are all excited to get started.
"So excited man the off season it is what we look forward to its just every day you are one more day closer to camp, one day closer to the season starting and it feels amazing to be out here," said Little.
Marauders head coach Craig Bagnell said, "Yes, it feels good. It is nice to be back on the field. You know, spring ball wrapped up in April and we had recruiting all summer and then we started getting ready for this. The guys had the end of April and May to kind of work out from home then they came back June and July to work out, so we had 60 plus guys getting ready for the season. So, we are excited to be back out and ready for some football. I know the guys are excited to be back out here. The first two days are in helmets so I am sure Wednesday when we are in pads it is going to sound a little bit different but we are excited to be back out."
"It is awesome man! We have been waiting for this day since last November and all summer we have been itching to get back out here with the whole team and its just been a lot of fun," said Blewett.
With no where to go but up, the University of Mary used its off-season as a time to help rebuild and improve their program.
"It was great best off season I have been apart at UMary. We had a great group of guys who stuck around right after school in May that carried into June and July. Then we had a lot of guys who came back in June and July, so we had a good group of numbers getting bigger faster and stronger up in the weight room," said Grady.
"It was great, you know, it gets a little long waiting for the season to come but you know you got to put in that work and I think we had a lot of guys doing that doing things the right way and I think it is paying off as the season starts here," said Little.
"You know, our guys have done a great job through out the summer, so I think all of them have came in with the expectation of where they are supposed to be. There are a few freshman who have come in and shown they might be ready to play at a college level a little bit earlier than we need them to but they might be ready to. Then the older group, they have all been training and doing a good job so they showed up to what we expect them to be as," said Bagnell.
UMary starts the season September 5 at home against St. Cloud State.