Gator football anticipates a hopeful season

By CHLOE KEDZIORA
Junior Sports Editor

[email protected]

 

Allegheny’s football team has been preparing for the start of their official season. This year’s preseason has a bright future thanks to some changes made by coaches and team members.

“The way we kick changed,  the way we play offense changed, the way we play defense, as far as the systems go,” Coach Matlak said. “I think those are probably the major changes that we’ve made.”

Struggling after an 0-10 season, the Gators are trying to rebuild for Sept. 6, against Thiel.

“We’re trying to get a fresh start, we had a difficult year,” Coach Matlak said. “We really did some soul searching and reevaluating what we were doing and how we were doing.”

The Gators look forward to putting all they have learned into motion.

“Only the execution of what you do brings out the quality,” Coach Matlak said. “I think that’s the main focus, trying to improve our execution and incremental progress.”

Matlak is happy with the progress the team has made thus far.

“Well see if it translates,” Coach Matlak stated.  “When the bright lights come on it’s a little different than playing in the backyard. We’ll see how that goes Sept. 6.”

Senior fullback and member of the senior leadership team, Nick Hollinger, looks towards moving forward this season.

“I thought offensively and defensively we looked pretty strong throughout camp,” Hollinger said. “The coaches pushed us hard to make sure that we are working hard and are prepared for the season.”

The football team is mentally and physically preparing for their first game of the year.

“My hopes for this season are just to rebound from a bad year last year,” stated Hollinger. “I have high expectations for the team, I think we have a lot of good senior leadership, so I think that a lot of wins is possible with the group we have.”

Portia Hoeg, Allegheny’s Athletic Director, talks about what the Bicentennial means to the football program.

“I think it is a celebration of their tradition of excellence and continuing that,” Hoeg stated. “So with this being the 200th anniversary, it’s just a time to reflect on all the great things we’ve done in the past and try and build on that for the future.”

Hoeg is looking forward to the 2014 fall season.

“I think just from a statistical stand point, it was only the second losing season we’ve had in like, fifty years. So it’s not a trend of the program going down, I think it was a blip on the radar screen. “

The last losing season the Gators had was 2005, finishing with a record of 3-7.

“The guys are pumped and ready to go, they don’t really need a lot of motivating because they know the record speaks for itself,” Hoeg stated. “I think the guys are really positive and it’s just a matter of us continuing to be positive and continuing to remind folks what we stand for in the athletic department and what the college stands for, using that as motivation as we go into the year.”

Hoeg has attended some of the program’s practices to see the progress.

“They just seem really in tune with what’s going on as I’ve talked with some of the guys on the team and I’ve talked to the coaches, it’s just a totally new mindset than from last year. I think they’re going to have a really good year.”

Wishing the best for Gator football, Hoeg shared her hopes for the program.

“I hope that the team gives their all in everything that they do,” Hoeg said. “I hope that they experience the success that they’ve worked so hard for, and I hope that they have fun playing the game that they love.”

 

AMASA SMITH/THE CAMPUS Coach Ryan Jones helps Tyler Seibert, ‘16, during football practice at Robertson Field on Tuesday Aug. 26, 2014..
AMASA SMITH/THE CAMPUS Coach Ryan Jones helps Tyler Seibert, ‘16, during football practice at Robertson Field on Tuesday Aug. 26, 2014..