August 29, 2013

Effort has Pirates excited for gridiron return

More news about: Southwestern

GEORGETOWN – Where do you start when you haven't played a football game in over 60 years?

That is the question tasked to head football coach Joe Austin and his staff. On August 13, Austin and the Pirate coaching staff welcomed more than 100 student-athletes to campus as Southwestern University football was officially revived.

Southwestern University will be one of 11 schools to field a football team either for the first time or by reinstituting the program this fall. The main difference however, Southwestern is the lone program that resides in the football hungry state of Texas.

When the Pirates take the field September 7 against Texas Lutheran there will be a winner and loser. Despite the outcome the first season of Pirate football will not be judged by the scoreboard.

"Getting better every day and constant improvement is our number one goal," Austin said who helped turnaround a Hanover College football team that won just two games prior to his arrival. "We want to continue to get better and some weekends how well we play may not be reflected by the final score."

With limited college game experience on the field, the Pirates will lean on effort and development. Austin compares Southwestern's first season in 2013 to the academic side of campus.

"We look at the season as 10 report cards," Austin said. "We want to get better every game. Our staff will look and see what direction we are heading on a weekly basis as individuals and as a program. The roster most likely will change every week. Players that see lots of playing time early may not be the same ones on the field in game 10."

Not only has fall camp produced great effort but the ability to quickly learn the offensive and defensive schemes has impressed the Pirate coaching staff. Regardless of seasons played most fall camps see their defense shine early in practice; however, the Pirates have picked up Austin's high tempo offense and have coaches excited about the learning curve.

"These guys are very intelligent. They have all learned quickly," Austin said. "Not only do our guys want to give effort and fight for positions, but they are picking up our playbook. It makes these guys really fun to coach."

Fans can expect a fast paced offense from the Pirates in Austin's first season at the helm. As he continues to preach tempo in practice he cautions that Southwestern will not be the fastest team in college football however.

After helping set offensive records as the offensive coordinator at the University of Dubuque and on the offensive staff at NCAA-II Concordia-St. Paul the Pirate offense is in more than capable hands to put points on the scoreboard. Austin feels as though the depth developed at wide receiver will help the Pirates reach the end zone.

"Offensively we are really strong at our skill positions. Wide receiver we feel really good about and maybe as much as any position," Austin said. "Colten Shea returns as a member of our first class and teamed with Tanner Snow and Brandon Fieischmann that group can be pretty dynamic."

"Our running back core is also extremely deep. With as many players that we will have rotating it's a good problem to have obviously. Two returners, Dillon Wilburn and Codey Mann have helped step up as leaders and Tate Taylor helps solidify our backfield."

On the defensive side of the ball, the Pirates will look to their front line to help create space for their linebackers. After working together at Hanover, Austin and defensive coordinator Tom Ross have helped develop a scheme that has the defense even with the offense as fall camp comes to a close.

"We are going to lean heavily on our ends. They are going to be important pieces to helping get the defense off the field," Austin said. "Justin Broussard has impressed us and has been a playmaker during camp. Justin Powers and Alex Tyson will also help on the interior as Tyson is one of our original players. He has also stepped up as a leader on defense."

Austin hopes if his Pirates have taken anything away from camp its effort and fundamentals. Although the Pirates boast one of the youngest teams in college football the rollercoaster ride is sure to be fun. One of the largest takeaways fans will be able to see on Saturday's is that Southwestern football will grow, not just on the field but off the field as well.

"If we can give 100 percent and be fundamentally sound the outcome of the game will take care of itself," Austin said. "Pirate football is about being leaders not just on the field, but in the classroom and the community. If constant improvement is our number one goal, we want our student-athletes to apply that in their everyday life."

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
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7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
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TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
Sewanee at Kenyon
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
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12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
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12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
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1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
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2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
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2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
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2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
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2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
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2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
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6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
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7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
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7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
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7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
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8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
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8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
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8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
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