On Saturday, the Foresters welcomed the Concordia University of Chicago Cougars to Farwell Field for the Foresters’ first game of the season! Although the Foresters were defeated with a final score of 52-23, there are many positive lessons to be taken from this year’s season opener.
Five outstanding players from the game were Brock Stenberg, who had 23 carries for 99 yards, 3 catches for 20 yards and a touchdown; Austin Sobey, who had 5 carries for 82 yards; Luke Butts, who had 10 tackles during the game; Kenny Clady-Mason, who had 7 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble; and, Tanner Compton, who had 5 tackles and 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Following the game, the general consensus is that the Foresters have plenty to work on, but show great potential this season. Coach Cat said, “I am confident that our team will mature greatly before the next time that we are on Farwell Field. Of the 22 starters on Saturday, for 13 of them, this was their first start as a college athlete. There is no doubt that you will see tremendous improvement from our team now that we have experienced ‘game speed’ as opposed to practice speed. Concordia had that opportunity a week before us with a scrimmage, and it took us a quarter or two to get some of our wrinkles out. [Editor note: Midwest Conference schools are not allowed to scrimmage another school during their preseason.] I think individually, you'll see better play from Justin Novak as he continues to get some experience under his belt. His performance as the game went on was encouraging for the upcoming games."
As the Foresters work through this season, they will be refining how they play football as a team. When asked about the game, sophomore linebacker Aidan Price said, “Obviously, I am disappointed about the outcome, and we have a lot to work on. However, we are a young team, and I am excited about the potential that the freshmen show.”
When asked how the team reacted to the outcome of the game, Coach Cat said, “Our team got caught up in playing the game, and forgot about some of the basic fundamentals that they have been practicing for three weeks. I know that when our guys watched the film on Sunday there was a lot of head shaking. The reaction that many of them had was, ‘Wow, what was I thinking?’ or ‘I didn't realize I was doing that.’ This is why video watching is so important for football players. They can really see what they are doing, as opposed to what they think they are doing. I look forward to our guys using this game as a learning experience as we prepare to open up conference play against Ripon."
Midwest Conference play officially begins this coming Saturday, as the Foresters go on the road to take on Ripon!
-Elise Beckman, contributing author