Football schedule for 2012 announced

by Kinsey Bak

The Simpson football team announced its new 2012 schedule, and with Cornell leaving the conference, there are new opportunities for the Storm.

Cornell leaving the conference after this school year is over, leaves the Storm playing only seven conference games in its season and three non-conference competitions.

Junior defensive back Blake Heitmeier has mixed feelings about Cornell leaving the conference.

“You never want to see a team leave a conference, but if it is for Cornell’s best interest then I hope the best for them,” Heitmeier said. “Personally, I wish they would still be in the (Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) due to the fact playing at Cornell was one of the closest places to my hometown and a place that was easier on my family’s travel.”

Head coach Jim Glogowski was also sad to see Cornell go but makes sure to stay positive.

“I liked playing eight conference opponents, so I am sad to see the league shrink, but I am excited about the idea of playing new teams,” Glogowski said. “I think any time we can go out as a conference and play other teams in our region, it gives us a chance to prove ourselves as a quality conference.”

Simpson’s non-conference games are against three new schools. The Storm, who are members of IIAC, will go against the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), which include Hamline and Gustavus Adolphus. They will also battle against the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), which contains UW-River Falls. These three schools will match up against Simpson for the first three games of the season.

Sophomore running back Michael Chia is excited to play other schools from different conferences.

“Playing another non-conference game now that Cornell is gone gives us another chance to see somebody else other than our conference foes,” Chia said. “I like that we get to play other teams from around the country. It gives us a chance to see how we match up with the other DIII schools not in our conference.”

The season starts off on the road against Hamline on Sept. 1. Under first-year coach John Pater, the Pipers went winless in 2011.

Simpson then hosts their first home game Sept. 8 against Gustavus Adolphus. Finishing seventh in the MIAC, the Gusties went 2-8 in 2011.

The last non-conference game will take place at River Falls, Wis. on Sept. 15 for a match up with UW-River Falls. Last season the Falcons went 1-6 in the conference and 1-9 overall while being coached by first-year head coach Matt Walker.

After a bye week, Simpson jumps right into playing its Iowa Conference schedule. The Storm face the top four conference teams in the first five games.

The first conference game is scheduled Sept. 29 against Wartburg (8-2, 6-2) at home The following week, the Storm will travel to Central (7-3, 6-2) on Oct. 6 and then host Loras (1-9, 0-8) on Oct. 13.

Junior defensive lineman Taylor Stockdale is looking forward to Simpson’s first two conference games.

“Starting off conference play with Wartburg and Central back to back will be a great challenge for us, but I am excited to see how much we have improved from last year,” Stockdale said.

Simpson will host its Homecoming game against Coe (6-4, 6-2) on Oct. 20. The following two weeks the Storm will be on the road, playing Dubuque (9-2, 7-1) on Oct. 27 and Buena Vista (2-8, 2-6) in Storm Lake on Nov. 3. The season closer is Nov. 10 against Luther (3-7, 3-5) at home.

The Storm’s game plan will remain the same under the new schedule, according to Glogowski.

“Our strategies will not change,” Glogowski said. “We will play to the strengths of our players and really focus on making Simpson the best we can be, focus on what we need to do and worry less about what the competition is doing.”

Sophomore wide receiver Ryan Olson has high hopes for the 2012 season.

“I believe that if we play the way we’re capable of playing that they are all winnable games,” Olson said. “I think we have a chance to do pretty well in our conference as well as out of it.”

Stockdale is not sure how everything will pan out with seven straight conference games, but is excited to be a senior on the field for the upcoming season.

“It will be a grind, but the 2012 season should be a one to get excited about,” Stockdale said.