Fall sports engage in spring practice for the first time

The soccer, football and volleyball teams are taking advantage of their spring practices to help keep players focused on fundamentals and individual development.

This is the first time fall sports have been given the opportunity to engage in athletically-related activities in the spring. The Iowa Conference adopted the Division III non-traditional season for fall sports this year allowing eight practices per team within the course of a continuous three-week period.

“Our practices have been centered around the individual,” Cory Chapman, head women’s soccer coach and athletic facility manager, said. “My focus has been development. I want our players to develop while they are here and reach their full potential.”

Chapman believes the spring practices give them time to focus on the individual strengths and weaknesses their players have. As a result, he believes this will help the players reach their potential as student athletes.

“The women’s soccer team has benefited greatly from these practices,” Chapman said. “Being able to get together as a team and train is something we’ve missed out on, which will help this fall especially.”

Junior Johnna Kripal, a member of the women’s soccer team, thinks the practices have been beneficial to the team as well.

“The practices were effective because we focused on fundamentals, which is something you don’t have time to focus on during the season,” Kripal said. “It was nice to have a chance to get together as a team and play in the spring.”

The men’s soccer team has also been practicing, and they are experiencing the benefits to these practices as well.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with the team,” Mike Wilson, head men’s soccer coach, said. “We are a little rusty, but I have been impressed with the effort and energy the team has exhibited.”

Wilson has been focusing on individual training and small-sided games. Wilson commented how the players are getting a lot of touches on the ball and working with different players which will enhance team chemistry.

“The greatest advantage for the team is the opportunity to play together again before going home for summer break,” Wilson said. “It provides each individual a foundation to build upon for their summer training.”

The football team has been in practice for about a week, focusing on specific aspects of their game.

“We are really trying to focus on fundamentals,” Head Football Coach Jim Glogowski said. “We’re trying to establish a tempo to our practices so our kids understand how to practice and the effort it’s going to take to make our program successful in the fall.”

Glogowski would like to implement the offense, defense and special teams as well, since there is a new staff this year.

“I am looking to evaluate the players on their attitude and effort,” Glogowski said. “I really believe that those are the two things that they have control over no matter what.”

Junior captain Luke Stover believes spring practice will be a great opportunity for the football team.

“We have a new coaching staff that we as a team need to get to know, as well as new offense and defensive schemes to learn,” Stover said. “I’m really excited to see what kind of atmosphere practices will be in with the new coaching staff.”