Team has ‘new attitude’ for season, team chemistry

by Zach James

One of the biggest changes within the Simpson football team: chemistry. Players and coaches alike have said the daily attitude should make the Storm a more fierce competitor.

“The leadership this year has allowed us to take our team to higher levels than we have in the past because the young players finally have a great group of upperclassmen from which to learn,” said Braden Everding, one of the senior captains and inside linebackers for the Storm. “Our team has taken on a new attitude and has pushed ourselves harder than we ever have this offseason to ensure we will have no regrets this season.”

To Everding, this re-born team chemistry will make the team closer.

“The guys on the team get along better than they ever have which really helps to create the “team” atmosphere which will help us accomplish our goals this season,” Everding said.

Everding is expected to be the difference maker on defense. Everding will try to follow up his all-conference season from 2010 where he led the team in tackles (82), eight for loss and five sacks. His 82 takedowns were 12th best and the eight sacks ranked eighth in the Iowa Conference.

Simpson junior defensive back Blake Heitmeier said he hasn’t seen senior leadership like this while playing for the Storm.

“The seniors realize this is their last shot, so they’re shooting it down through the team to step up, be confident in ourselves and just play,” Heitmeier said. “Their leadership has been enjoyable to play for thus far.”

The coaching staff also believes the growth of team unity will pay dividends this season.

“I have seen a number of guys become committed to the overall goal, and the change has been dramatic,” said head coach Jim Glogowski. “Another change I have seen is that the men themselves have taken on more self-responsibility.”

So what does he expect on the field this season?

“I expect another competitive season within the IIAC,” Glogowski said. “I am excited about our senior class and look forward to them providing leadership throughout the 2011 campaign.”

Glogowski is in his fourth season at Simpson, bringing in a 12-18 record.

Assistant head coach Joe Beschorner also has liked what he has seen from fall camp.

“The seniors have tremendously stepped up to be leaders, ” Beshchorner said. “I have been very pleased what I have seen from this group in camp. These guys are ready to go.”

For the Storm on the field, 10 starters will return offensively, and on the defensive side of the ball, eight starters will return. As a whole, the Storm lost 12 letter winners last year while 50 players have returned.

Offensively, quarterback Taylor Nelson got his feet wet early as the starter last year as a freshman. He threw for 1,301 yards while getting nine touchdowns.

The team went 2-8 overall in the 2010 season, and within Iowa Conference play, Simpson turned in a 2-6 record. The two wins last season came over Loras and Cornell.

The coaches of the Iowa Conference have selected Simpson to finish seventh of nine this season.