Dragon football looks toward bright future after strong finish
by Meg Keim
As the 2014 football season comes to a close, the possibility of next season is on the minds of the young team.
The season has been a rocky one, with only four wins, but that hasn’t discouraged the Dragons from trying to improve.
Coach Steve Laqua explained that though their record ended at 4-7 there are “wins that happen off the field that nobody gets to see.”
Laqua believes that next year the team will achieve its expectations and that this is a sign of growth for the team.
Growth is important to a football team that is rebuilding, and for the Dragons, with their younger talent and growing expectations, is going in the right direction. The current seniors have worked hard throughout the season and their past years as Dragons.
Laqua reflected that this group of seniors are the “last originals who have been taught by the past coaches as well as the current coaches,” and that they are the ones who really can explain how far the program has come.
Abe Roehrich, a red-shirt freshman and current NSIC defensive player of the week is really a team player, like most of the athletes on the team. Acknowledging that he got the defensive player of the week he humbly explained that “it felt pretty sweet but it couldn’t have been done without the rest of the team.” However, the title affected Roehrich positively because he said that he “wanted to work harder” because of it.
Coach Laqua notes that Roehrich has learned that “everything he does affects the rest of the team on and off the field,” and that this is a part of growing as a team.
A young team with only a few seniors graduating has a lot of opportunity to grow. Zayne Medhaug, a junior, noted that he’s looking forward to his senior year.
“It’s my last year of football,” he explained, “and I’ve been playing since second grade and it’s crazy to think it’s almost over.” Medhaug hopes to make the playoffs next season for his final year.
A record-setting game for Medhaug was how he ended the 2014 season. He set the record for MSUM by scoring six touchdowns in one game and the team beat Crookston 66-36 Saturday. Roehrich had five tackles and an interception and helped the team throughout the game.
The Dragons were coming off of last week’s game against BSU, winning the Axe and getting it back to back for the first time in 20 years.
This Saturday they ended their season in appropriate fashion.
Medhaug says that they were “just beginning to play well as a team and that next year they can bring this momentum into the next season.” Ending on a three-game winning streak, the momentum is definitely there.
The players prepare to go into the offseason after Saturday’s win. Medhaug explained that he stays up in Moorhead during the offseason in the summer and that
Coach Anderson helps the players during the summer. In the winter the football teams break up into intramural basketball teams to stay fit and healthy.
Roehrich stays in touch with his “Dragon family” during the offseason and lives with a few of the other players off campus. He said that this influences him and that the other players teach him leadership and keep him working hard.
Laqua believes that the team can keep moving forward and can work towards their goals in the season to come. The Dragons end their season 4-7 and are working to “expect success” according to Laqua.