HOPE MATHER, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER
The Wartburg College Football Team’s victory this Saturday was a first for many but a bittersweet last for some. The team has six players returning for their fifth season of football.
JoJo McNair being one of the six, took the fifth year because it will allow him to finish his education and to play football for Wartburg College one last time.
“I think it’s a good thing to have the option of a fifth year available for all students. Everyone should take this opportunity because anything can happen in a year. Good things and opportunities can open up for anybody,” said McNair.
Head Football Coach, Chris Winter said their first game felt like they were finally back to doing things the way they normally do in the Fall.
Winter said this year’s football team is a different blend than past years. The fifth-year players and seniors have really stepped up and made a huge difference.
“We have two classes that have never played a college football game until this past Saturday. The fifth-year guys and seniors have really helped build a family environment to lead the way and that was a big part of our success on Saturday night, “said Winter.
Winter said the fifth year is a great opportunity for student athletes especially for the athletes who lost an entire season last year.
“Last year with COVID, these guys missed out on an opportunity to be involved in football. It’s nice for our team to have some of this talent come back and for each athlete to have the opportunity to finish their career the right way,” said Winter.
Winter said within the last year he has noticed his team starting to value their opportunity to play football.
“Football can be a bit of a grind by practicing more than we play, but you start appreciating the time that you have out there with your friends, and your team a lot more when you don’t have it,” said Winter.
Winter said that his team is off to a great start. They still have things to work on, but their main focus is to simply just get better.
“My overall goal for our team this season is to not worry about who we are playing or to be worried about winning. It’s more about just taking it day by day and staying focused to get better as a whole,” said Winter.
Winter said he hopes to become a nationally ranked program and win the national championship this year.
McNair said he is aiming to become an All-American this season and win the conference and national championship with his team.
Winter said by the end of the season the team will be exactly where they want to be.