Bods lineup with new look, hope for similar success

John Henderson

The Washburn Ichabods have shown a lot of confidence and talent in the opening chapters of the 2008 football season. Under head coach Craig Schurig, offensive coordinator Brian Miller and defensive coordinator Chris Brown, the Ichabods will try to reach the ultimate goal, to win an NCAA championship. However, this is no easy task and it is a long road to glory.

The Ichabods have been ranked fourth in the MIAA for this upcoming season. “It’s a motivation factor,” said Schruig, “Players feel like they can win the MIAA.” Players share this confidence with their head coach.

“We want nothing less than an MIAA championship. We just have to play well and put it all together.” said Joe Hastings, junior wide receiver for the Ichabods.

The team has been practicing since Thursday, August 6, and coach Schurig likes what he sees.

“The players have practiced hard. They are very anxious to play a game.”

During practice, the defense showed enthusiasm throughout all the drills and the offense looked precise and showed great awareness and focus. The players looked relaxed, yet maintained a business attitude. The team displayed their talent to the public for the first time this season on Friday night, August 15. Coach Schurig had positive things to say after the game.

“There were big plays on both sides of the ball. We have fast and explosive players on both offense and defense,” said Schurig However, Coach Schurig also left room for improvement. “I would like to see more consistency.” he said. “We need to be more consistent running the ball [on offense] and stopping the big pass plays on defense.”

The ’08 football squad is filled with talent, with a lot of position battles and competition for starting jobs. Some of the more intense races are at Quarterback and Linebacker. At quarterback, there are three players vying for the varsity role including, Jake Iverson, Dane Simoneau, and Cameron Kasel. They also have red shirt freshman Jared Brill, the younger brother of Jordan Brill, who holds the school record for career passing yards. The linebacker position also has a lot of talent, with multiple players competing for the right to be called “starters.” Some of the leaders in this position are seniors Bruce Ringwood and Jake Righter, juniors Zach Watkins, Michael Wilhoite, and Michael Krajicek, and sophomore Ray Trice.

During the past two years, Washburn has had two players drafted into the NFL. A couple years ago, WU saw defensive tackle Trey Lewis go to the Atlanta Falcons. This past year, cornerback Cary Williams was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round. Coaches believe that there are some pro-quality players on the squad this season, as well. Coach Schurig listed running back Brandon Walker and defensive end Eric Lawrence as possible pro football candidates. If one or both players go pro next year, it would make three consecutive seasons that Washburn sent players to the NFL.

Just as Washburn students and fans are excited about another season of Ichabod football, the players are also pumped up and ready to set out on their mission, which is, to bring home a NCAA championship. But for now, fans must sit back and wait patiently for the opening kickoff.