Energized Fighting Hawks Football Ready for New Campaign
UND football opens season at home for first time since 2013.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Last season’s 3–8 finish obviously fell below the University of North Dakota football’s expectations. This year’s team already feels different.
“We’re energized,” running back John Santiago said. His buddy Brady Oliveira agrees with Santiago. “I’ve never seen so much excitement and energy on the practice field,” Oliveira stated.
Just four practices into the season , the team morale is already headed in a good direction.
“I think all the guys are just really excited,” wide receiver Travis Toivonen said.
The Fighting Hawks lost a key piece to their defense last season when corner back Deion Harris went down before the season kicked off. He is glad to be back on the gridiron.
“The energy is high,” Harris said. “I love it. This year is going to be a lot different than the others.”
It is not just the players that are noticing a change.
“I think there is a different maturity in our football team that we see early,” head coach Bubba Schweigert stated. “Our veteran players really know how we do things. They’re helping the younger guys. You can tell when you get into these early practices that something went on that was different this summer.”
Coach Schweigert and the Hawks now hope that these enhancements in the offseason progression can lead to wins in the fall.
“There is no guarantees,” Schweigert said. “We have a challenging schedule and we will be tested this fall. Hopefully we see positive results from what we did in the winter, spring and summer.”
The Fighting Hawks open up the season at home for the first time since 2013 when they host Mississippi Valley State on August 30th.