KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIBW) – After a long wait, football is finally returning. Both Washburn and Emporia State are gearing up for a football season. Speaking first about the ‘Bods, they return one of the best quarterbacks in the MIAA in Mitch Schurig.
“Not really focused on my individual goals and what not,” Mitch Schurig, Washburn quarterback, said. “I’m just focused on what I can do help this team win.”
“You know in ’19, I think as the season went on, particularly how we ended the season, he played at a very high level and I think the whole team did,” Craig Schurig, Washburn head football coach, said. “Obviously you don’t carry that momentum being two years away.”
“He’s one of the smartest guys I know on the football field,” Grant Bruner, Washburn linebacker, said. “Just having that guy at quarterback. Your main guy. Being a senior. Being here for 6 years. Being a coaches kid. Everything. It’s a huge boost. We’re happy to have him.”
“His leadership skills, I think all of our seniors did a really good job of leadership,” Coach Schurig said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it when we start camp is how those seniors really take charge.”
Emporia State’s usual high flying offense struggled to take off in 2019. Meanwhile, the defense locked down. The Hornets expect to pack their toughest sting again on the defensive side with returners like all-MIAA linebacker Jace McDown back.
“It’s awesome,” Garin Higgins, Emporia State head football coach, said. “I mean he’s like an NFL guy.”
“I’m not going to sit here and say whether we’re going to be good or not, that’s our expectation,” Jace McDown, Emporia State linebacker, said. “But, our mindsets to take over the game and if offense scores a touchdown, we should win the game. Like if, defense can truly control the game if they don’t score, we win the game at some point.”
“It’s great knowing that if we have a couple of bad series or even a bad quarter, knowing that we’ve got a defense that we can really fall back on if we need it that they can pull through and they can pull the win out for us.” Hayden Reed, Emporia State offensive lineman, said.
“If you have a great defense, it’s going to give you a chance to win games,” Higgins said. “And I really feel like that will be the strength of our team going into this fall.”
While there is a lot of excitement to get the football season underway, there’s still some time before some actual games are being played. Washburn kicks off first against Lincoln on the road September 2, 2021. And Emporia State also kicks off their season on the road against Northeastern State September 4, 2021.
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