Dragon football team confident after spring game

Looks to build off of 2013 season

BY MEGHAN KEIM
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Dragon football has come very far in the past few years, but after Saturday’s spring game it looks as if they are headed for a successful 2014 season.

Before the start of the afternoon game, the air was heavy in anticipation of the upcoming season. From alumni and students in the stands to the players on the field, the excitement was truly undeniable.

Troy Peterson and Aaron Bohl are known leaders on the team and are eager for the 2014 season to begin. The spring game is normally used to get a fresh sense of the outlook on the season, and that was exactly what happened.  eterson was excited to “set some bench marks” on the field as Bohl was similarly excited to “get back out there and get more depth for the team and especially the defense.”

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Senior wide receiver Chris Kroeten catches a pass during the Dragons spring game.

Coach Steve Laqua’s focus on the spring game was primarily on progressing the defense. “The defense certainly is one of our greatest challenges, and as much progress as our offense has made, they need to catch up,” he said.

The defense, however, isn’t the only place where the players acknowledge what needs work. Bohl explained that special teams could use some attention. Peterson agreed.

When he got moved from tight end to offensive lineman, he noticed the offensive line factored in to the whole team’s success. “We could improve everywhere by building up off of where we currently are,” he said.

Laqua added it has been tough to build from the bottom up on most aspects of the team and believes that it will take a while, but their “persistence will pay off.”

The Dragons have overcome great obstacles but have a strategy to keep moving forward. Laqua explained that they are focusing on “winning the day” and if they “keep acting how winners do, they will ultimately become winners.”

Peterson agreed with his coach and said “the team needs to play with a winning attitude.” While they only won four games in the 2013 season, they have been building off of past seasons when they won only a single game. In the 2013 season the Dragons won the most games since 2007.

To have a winning season, the leaders of the team are expected to step up. “There are seven all conference underclassmen that can take a step forward in the next season,” Laqua said.

Junior wide receiver Adam Jiskra looks to evade a defender during the game on Saturday.  Photos by Ben Gumeringer

Junior wide receiver Adam Jiskra looks to evade a defender during the game on Saturday.
Photos by Ben Gumeringer

Two of the seven players Laqua mentioned are Bohl and Peterson. Bohl, a red shirt freshman, plans to step forward as a linebacker on the team next year and be a defensive leader. He states “we all have a year or two under our belts now and our experience will help,” His new knowledge learned from the leadership class the team takes will aid them as well. The players take a course from Coach Bosch and use their new skills on and off the field, some of which include time management and goal setting.

Bohl, son of NDSU’s former football coach Craig Bohl, has been around football his entire life and uses that to his full advantage. “Being around the sport for so long has made me a better player,” he said.

Peterson has also been around the sport his whole life. He explained that football has taught him a few life lessons he’s appreciated learning over the years. He said he’s learned to have “a level mindset”, and that to succeed he knows “hard work is essential.”

Peterson and Bohl added there are many other leaders on the team like Jake Hodge, Lomumba Ismail and Nick Seedorff.

The Dragon’s offense was truly shining during the scrimmage, scoring 42 points to the defense’s 23. The offense scored seven touchdowns as Jake Hodge and Demitrius Carr connected with receivers Zayne Medhaug, Brock Kolander and Dan Grande. The team is looking forward to the 2014 season and is hoping to improve with every game.

In the spring game the gray team (offense) defeated the red team (defense) 42-23. Freshman Brock Kolander scored twice for the gray team.

Both Hodge and Carr threw for touchdowns during the game. The Dragons finish the spring part of the season this week with a scrimmage on Wednesday.

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