It's game week!
First I'd like to talk about our summer lifting. Jared Arnold had perfect attendance this summer and he reaped the benefits as well. Young man improved in his lifts and got quicker as well. Very proud of him. We had many other guys that have worked extremely hard and we will see them to be successful out on the gridiron this season. Juniors Daunte Oepping, Christian Gerot, Juanito Piper, and Noah Freeman really put a hurting on the iron this summer as well. Was very pleased to see those guys improve in their lifts. Sophomore Seth Schurr really made the bar bend as he put up 483 this summer in squat. That is an all time high since I've been head coach in 2011 and we've been keeping strength records since 2014. Impressive to see a young man care about working that hard in the weight room and hopefully it pays off for him on the field. Freshman Noah Sparrow had a dynamite offseason as well with very good attendance and the coaching staff really loves his work ethic as well.
We did something a little bit different for camp. We invited the National Guard to our camp and we had camp from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for two days. We had four practices during that time and three exercises with the National Guard. We introduced our Standards of Excellence at that time and SFC Jason Wesley really helped drive the message home when he talked about how hard men win battles. We also had a Simpson College Hall of Famer, former Iowa Barnstormer, former minor league baseball player, former assistant coach, and teammate of Coach McCarty's, Dusty Kain, come and talk to our team about his experience with football. He talked about being prepared, being a good teammate, and always striving to be the best. We appreciate both of those groups coming to spend their time with us and help our program improve.
We talked previously about our Standards of Excellence. These three standards are ones that will help us improve our lives. They are:
1. Be disciplined, be the best version of yourself.
2. Execute with Excellence.
3. Serve others.
We believe that living to these three standards we will create better people. And by creating better people, we will become better players. We talk about these standards every day at practice and the goal is that they not only live these standards during football but in their everyday life as well.
We discussed the idea of better people become better players. We talked about what it takes to become a Great Wolf. We came up with: living the standards of excellence, embracing expectations, sweeping the sheds (no job is too small or meaningless for anyone on the team), performing under pressure, following the spearhead (all of us must be on the same page in order to achieve the goals set forth by the team), training with a purpose, play with a purpose, keeping it real (where we can give feedback to teammates without it being personal but it is so we can improve), creating our own culture, and leaving a legacy. We talked about each of those at length and there are a couple that stand out. With us starting a new era at WMU with 8 man football I am really talking about leaving a legacy. Everything they do is historical this year. They are the first and need to set the bar at a high level. We talked about planting a tree. You don't plant a tree for the shade now, you plant the tree for the next generation to enjoy the shade. Just like what we do now is laying the ground work for the next generation of WMU football players. We want to create a culture that student athletes want to be a part of with rituals and traditions that remind these athletes that it is special to be a part of WMU FB.
We've had two weeks of preseason practice highlighted by a scrimmage with the team to the West. It was an incredibly beneficial outing for us. We learned what could work, what won't work, some things that we didn't even realize, and other nuances of the 8 man game we really weren't aware of because we just made the switch. Afterwards we shared some time together as both teams provided watermelons and we had a tasty treat and fellowship at the end.
That brings us to this week. Our young men are seeing that we have to do things in an uncommon fashion in order to produce uncommon results. What we've done in the past two years hasn't worked, so we as coaches and they as players need to step out of our box and do things that will change the results we are getting. I look forward to this season because it is going to be historical and give our program to be successful and thrive.
We open up on Friday, August 17th, at Springville. JV starts at 5:30 with Varsity to follow no earlier than 7:00 p.m. I hope to see a good following of WMU Wolves Nation on the road to start this journey!
For those before us, those of us now, and those that follow, WE ARE WMU!