Despite public disdain for its previous record (0-40 in the past four years,) the football team has not lost its extensive zeal for the game. When they aren't at practice (which isn't often because they've been training twice a day) many Yeomen can be found talking incessantly about the team or playing football on Sony Play Station for mind-boggling amounts of time.
In other words, they seem to be constantly engaging in their sport emotionally and physically in order to rack up some points this season. "We're not here to compete," strong side linebacker first-year Ryan Cantignani said, "We're here to win."
With the team's first chance to make good on this statement drawing nearer, head coach Pete Peterson has been administering an intensive workout schedule for the team to follow. The team has just finished two weeks of intense cross training, including running, weight lifting and vast amounts of agilities.
Currently, the Yeomen are beginning "game week", which has included watching videos of practice footage to correct mistakes, and talking about which strategies to use against Thiel College on Saturday. "They're a Division III team struggling to find themselves as well," Peterson said.
Because of pre-season exposure to the Thiel team, the Yeomen know plenty of Thiel's plays and how to counteract them. Although the team would like to score against Thiel on Saturday, by strategizing they will at least ensure that Thiel won't score against them.
In fact many of the member's of the team will vouch for the fact that their defensive team is stronger than ever. On the coach's list of up-and-coming defensive players are Catignani, junior John Edmonds, sophomore Rick Kocher, and junior Damani Johnson.
Last Saturday the team scrimmaged against Mercyhurst College from Erie, Pennsylvania. Although the game was somewhat informal, Kocher felt that "it was a good measuring stick to see where the team was in terms of progress and teamwork."
"We're a young team that's given no respect, but we have the potential to make some noise this year," Kocher said.
"We were definitely not embarrassed on Saturday," Peterson said. "Mercyhurst is a solid Division II team going into a very competitive Division II league this season. We held our own offensively and defensively, and definitely got our first-game jitters out of the way. This Saturday's game should be very close and very hard fought."
The Yeomen have been working incredibly hard to make sure this season will be unforgettable and may even score their first win in years.
Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 1, September 5, 1997
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