Storm football tackles new program

by Robbie LehmanStaff Writer

Fans who watched the Simpson footbal team open its season with a 38-21 win over Grand View on Saturday, Sept. 6 may have noticed a few new faces on the Buxton Stadium field. It wasn’t that the Storm played more freshmen however, because the team is actually full of experienced and veteran upperclassmen.

The new faces appeared on the sidelines, where a brand-new coaching staff is set to begin a new era of Storm football. All were pleased to get their first win.

“It feels great,” Head Football Coach Jim Glogowski said. “I’m proud of the kids. They played their tails off.”

Glogowski came to Simpson this spring from the University of South Dakota and is the first Simpson head coach to win his debut since 1979. His staff includes Mike Cordes, defensive coordinator and special teams coach, who echoed Glogowski’s enthusiasm after the first win.

“It felt very good,” Cordes said. “It’s very important to have success early when you’re trying to change mindsets and take over a program. The feeling of victory is a good way to start.”

Joe Beschorner, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, graduated from Simpson in 2000 and is excited to be back as a coach. He and the rest of the staff agree that the team’s focus is to simply get better all the time.

“We are just trying to get better each week and every day and the games will take care of themselves,” Beschorner said. “We just concentrate on getting better.”

The team is looking to improve upon its 4-6 overall record from 2007. Neither the coaching staff nor the players, however, are looking too far ahead this early in the season.

“The big picture is this week, one game at a time,” Cordes said. “That is absolutely our focus. We are not really worried about where we finish right now. We are worried about how we are going to play on Saturday.”

Zach Smith, returning starter and senior defensive back, had two tackles and a fumble recovery against Grand View. He is just one leader of a Storm defense that has many contributors back from a year ago. The transition to a new coaching staff for him and the other players was seamless.

“It was smooth as butter,” Smith said. “They’re real personable and they care about you more than just coaches. You can talk to them about anything.”

Smith said he can describe the defense in one word – “tempo.”

*”We try to set a tempo that other people can’t hang with through the whole game,” Smith said. “No matter what the score is, we just try to bring it to them every single play.”

The Storm return a tested quarterback in senior Travis Dietz, who went 8-12 and threw for 147 yards in the opener. He thinks his legs, rather than his arm, make it difficult for defenses to keep him in check.

“I think my ability to run helps out a lot,” Dietz said. “It’s one more thing the defense has to account for during the game. I’m not just sitting in the pocket the whole time.”

Dietz thought the offense ran the ball well against Grand View, but still has a few areas that need attention. He added that this team has a certain identity about them.

“We’re a hard-nosed football team that will do anything we need to in order to get the job done,” Dietz said.

Cordes also described a similar identity for the team.

“I’d say that we are a physical football team, a physical defense, that tackles really well,” Cordes said. “That’s what we preach everyday.”

There has been one dramatic change this season from last, according to Smith.

“We are more disciplined overall as a team,” Smith said. “It’s not just little spurts of discipline, and it’s not just the older guys. It’s everybody in everything we do on and off the field.”

Dietz thinks that extra discipline will help the team throughout the long grind of the season and has high expectations for the squad.

“I think we will be right up there in the race for the conference,” Dietz said. “I don’t think there are any other teams better than us. There’s nothing to say we can’t beat everybody on the schedule.”

Still, no one in the program is looking beyond the next game. For Smith, the first win meant much more than just a W.

“It signified that everything is coming together and all the hard work is paying off,” Smith said.