With a 1-3 record this season, it may not look like the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point football team has had many successes, but that could not be further from the truth.
The team started with one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the country.
Early season opponents included top ten-ranked St. Francis of Indiana. It was a tight game throughout, but the Pointers ended up losing 39-31.
The Pointers then played University of Dubuque, a playoff team the previous season, and blew out the Spartans, 55-14.
Next, Stevens Point traveled to University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where the Warhawks capitalized on 6 Pointer turnovers and won 34-7.
Finally, in action last weekend, the Pointers were stunned by a University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse touchdown with just 16 seconds left, bringing the final score to 19-16.
Even considering the loss, last Saturday’s game held greater meaning as it marked the annual Pink Game and the Spud Bowl.
This year was the 26th Spud Bowl. Head Coach Tom Journell knows that it has great significance in the community. “The Spud Bowl shows our history of supporting local farmers,” Journell said. “We are a community team.”
The Pink Game was also a big part of this past week, as it raised $36,000 for the Susan G. Komen and Circle of Friends Foundation.
“Every single person has been impacted by cancer in some way,” Journell said. “It’s been great how this community can rally around a certain cause.”
With the 1-3 record, some coaching staffs may start panicking, but that’s not the message that Journell wants to portray about this team.
“Overall, the system’s in place,” Journell said. “We have done a lot of great things in all three phases: kicking, defense and offense.’
The offense has had its ups and downs, but Journell likes what he sees from them so far. “We have had a great tempo, and we’ve executed our fast-pace, no-huddle system,” Journell said.
The offensive struggles have come down to one main characteristic. “The thing that we haven’t done well is take care of the football,” Journell said.
Coach Journell said that he was very pleased with many members of the offense so far, including junior quarterback Mitch Beau and senior wide receivers Marc Young and Theo Maglio.
The real standout on offense has been Maglio. So far this season he has totaled 23 receptions for 403 yards and 4 touchdowns, all team highs. Maglio was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s offensive player of the week for his 201 receiving yards against UWLAX.
On the defensive side, Journell has been pleased with the effort. “Our guys are playing hard. You see guys flying to the ball,” Journell said. “There are a couple of things we have to clean up, but we’ve been playing good defense.’
The defense is led by junior linebacker Cody Seibel. Seibel has led the Pointer defense with 51 tackles and four and a half sacks.
The Pointers will be back in action Saturday when they travel to University of Wisconsin-Stout. The Pointers return in two weeks for homecoming, against University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.