Football victorious in home opener


by Jessica McDonald

Simpson football fans showed their school spirit before and during the home opener last Saturday.

“School spirit is important, and it’s something that has been lacking at Simpson,” sophomore Luke Mize said. “We wanted to tailgate to show our school spirit and start the season off right.”

The parking lot west of the stadium had several groups of pre-game tailgaters, including students, parents and Indianola residents.

Mize set up a grill in the bed of his truck and grilled burgers and bratwursts for his friends. He said members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon plan to tailgate before each home game, and he hopes more students join them.

Junior Trisha Atherton was impressed by the turnout at the game. “I think the whole campus was pretty excited about the home opener,” said Atherton.

First-year head coach Jay Niemann has renewed some fans’ team pride.

“A lot of people are looking for a new brand of Storm football,” said senior Brad Ewing. “There has been a lot of anticipation to see how the team will react under a new coach.”

Crazed fans made T-shirts saying, “We got a plan…WIN” or “football butts drive us nuts.”

“We wanted to show school spirit and support the guys,” said junior Katie Espenmiller, who sported a homemade T-shirt.

The enthusiasm will continue throughout the season, according to sophomore Lindsey Ehrenfelt.

“We want to dress up for every game we can get to,” said Ehrenfelt.

The Storm gave its fans a lot to cheer about during their 20-17 win over Buena Vista. Simpson had a bye after losing to Washington University in the season opener.

The players were eager to play in front of the home crowd for the first time. Senior linebacker and captain Todd Samuels was excited for the home opener.

“It’s a new era of football with a new coach, and we want to get out there and show the community what kind of team we are,” said Samuels.

“We’re not going to focus on [Buena Vista], but on ourselves and work on making fewer mistakes,” said Niemann before the game.

Niemann said he was pleased with the Storm’s performance Saturday. Some of the mistakes the team made against Washington University were gone in the Buena Vista game.

“We found a way to win in a close game, which we couldn’t do against Washington University,” said Niemann.

Junior tight end Greg Dreyer scored twice in an exciting Storm-dominated first quarter.

“Offensive production was better this game. We got more yardage output,” said Niemann.

“We wanted to get the offense going and run the ball,” said Dreyer. “We played really well overall, but especially in the first quarter.”

The Storm managed a pair of field goals, one in the second quarter and one in the fourth quarter, after a strong start. The Storm did maintain good field position throughout the game, which helped keep the momentum to pull off the season’s first win.

“The team needs to put together a whole game now and not give them a chance to put points on the bored,” said Dreyer.

The Storm play at Coe this Saturday at 1 p.m.

“The IIAC season is pretty balanced,” said Niemann. “There is literally not an opponent we can take lightly.”