Over the course of the season, the football team has suffered seven losses in games and only two wins. Though their losses have been frustrating, they keep working to improve. Now, with the last game of the season coming up on Saturday, the team is hoping to go out with a victory against Cornell College.

As upsetting as the season has been, none can deny the chemistry that exists between players on the team. Everyone knows that sports groups at Grinnell become like a tight-knit family, and members of the football team can attest to that fact.
“I feel like the group of guys we have this year really mesh well together… we have fun playing with each other, even when some of the outcomes aren’t what we expected. It’s a great group of guys to play alongside,” said offensive lineman Morgan Kingsinger ’14.

Kevin Hwang returns a fumble for a touchdown in a 20-12 loss to St. Norbert. Photograph by Alysia Horcher.

Although the chemistry is great among the team members, this does not always correlate to victories in game. There are several factors that come into play that account for their losses. According to wide receiver Cody Weber ’13, there are several small things that can go wrong during a play that could lead to a loss.

 

“You can work so hard during the off-season, year round, and the game is won or lost on the littlest things. All it comes down to is a couple plays where the other team messes up or you mess up and then it could be a loss or a win,” Weber said.  “[A] beautiful thing about football that can also be frustrating is that there are 11 guys on the field all working together as one unit… All it takes is one guy not doing their job and the whole play is busted.”

 

“Sometimes it’s just a costly turnover, or just a few mistakes here and there that end up not working in our favor,” said Jayson Campos ’14.

 

Many experienced members of the team suffered injuries earlier in the year that kept them out of the game, which has had an impact on the team’s success.

 

“Our defense has been playing exceptionally, they’ve been keeping us really close in games, but our offense has had a struggle, especially ever since Cody Weber got injured,” Kinsinger said.

 

The great thing about the team is that everyone has stepped up to take part of the responsibility and substitute for the players that are out.

 

“We’re used to heading into games with fewer players, and we’ve been battling through injuries all year.  Certain guys have gotten their chance to play earlier than they expected and we’ve counted on a few guys to play on both sides of the ball,” said head coach, Jeff Pedersen ’02. “Everybody on the team has a role, and they all know that role can change in an instant if somebody else is hurt.  They’re all ready when their opportunity comes.”

 

At this point, the team is hoping to make this last game, according to Kinsinger, “the exclamation point at the end of the season.”

 

“This is the last time that this team will be able to play together, so I think there’s a little bit extra motivation to do well. We’d like to go out with something good to remember,” Campos said.
“We talk about Pioneers having vision, courage, and conviction. Well this is where conviction comes into play.  Will we stick with it, and keep putting forth the effort necessary to have the kind of success we want?  So far we have, and I expect nothing less this Saturday against Cornell,” Pedersen said.