Football, soccer scrimmages held amid season cancellations

Hunter Kiburz, Staff Writer

This past week, the Wayne State College football and soccer teams held their scrimmages out on the football team last Thursday for their first unofficial college games that has taken place here on campus.

Many teams across the country are having their season start off way later than usual. Almost all the D-II schools have agreed to start their football and soccer seasons in the spring compared to during the fall. Even though it’s starting late, we should all be happy that sports are finally back and it’s starting to feel like a college campus with sports coming back and having as much fans as you can at these scrimmages.

“This scrimmage was about putting a nice cap on our fall practice season,” Joseph Cleary, WSC soccer head coach, said. “We are a very young team, I really liked the growth we saw from many of the players and out team as a whole this season.”

With the seasons starting off so late, many of these players are having a chance to show their coaches that they can play significant minutes and be a key player on this team. The younger players are having the opportunity that they might not always have if the season started at the same time.

“There have been a number of standout performers in our team this off season, all of our players have been putting great effort on the field and in the weight room,” Cleary said.

Since the season is starting at a later date than usual, this can a good time for your younger players to step up and show what they have. “Megan Philips and Madison Kemp have been the standout performers amongst the upperclassman, there are also a handful of fresh man on this team that would be starting if we had to play a game today,” Cleary said.

Even with a later soccer season and maybe not as many fans this year due to COVID-19, coaches here at WSC really do appreciate all the fans and students that have taken the proper protocols seriously and hopefully there can be fans later this season.

“I want to applaud our students for coming together and following the protocols set out by our college,” Cleary said. “We got to practice and go to class this fall because students and faculty committed to staying healthy and doing their part to control the virus. I hope we continue to wear masks, social distance, and follow all the other guidelines set forth by the school.”

The WSC football team also held their scrimmage before the soccer team, the football team has big expectations this year and hopefully they can improve from last year. Masks were required for both scrimmages as well and social distancing was also in place to help protect everyone that attended these scrimmages.

The scrimmage took place at Bob Cunningham Field on the campus of WSC on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. This scrimmage was open to all Wildcat fans and it was free to attend. Pac N Save sponsored the tailgate that happened before the game which cost $5 unless attendees had a Cat Club membership.

The WSC football team finished 4-7 last year splitting the final four games and showing what they were capable of at the end of the year. This year they hope to get off to a fast start and show everyone that they are a legitimate team in the NSIC conference.

“All in all it went pretty well, it was as close of a game feel as we could have expected and we owe a big thank you to the administration for putting everything together,” Ryan Kennedy said.

WSC football wants to prove everybody wrong this upcoming season and prove they can compete and win the NSIC.

“We’ve got a mindset as a team that we need to be better today than what we were the day before,” Kennedy said.

Even though it was a scrimmage many players on the team were able to show the coaches what they could do on the field to try and help them win. This was a good time for players that wouldn’t normally play to showcase their skills.

A few young players that showed a lot of progress this off season are freshman offensive line Jett Janssen, freshman running back Darren Jordan, as well as Alex Kowalcyzk who plays linebacker.

“They come in and work, learn and want to improve every day,” Kennedy said.

The WSC football has come a long way to get better and they believe they will be ready to show that on the field this spring when they compete in their first game. They’ve been working to getting bigger, stronger, faster in the weight room this off season and are focusing on coming together as a complete unit on the field.

“We have a lot of selfless guys that are making this whole thing as much fun as it can be,” Kennedy said.