Football expectations remain high after a full year off

Photo+Credit%3A+Jacob+Thompsom%2C+Thompsom+sports%3A%0A%0A%0AThe+2021+CWU+Wildcats+continue+to+have+high+expectations+for+themselves+even+after+nearly+a+full+year+off+due+to+COVID-19.%0A

Photo Credit: Jacob Thompsom, Thompsom sports: The 2021 CWU Wildcats continue to have high expectations for themselves even after nearly a full year off due to COVID-19.

Jared Galanti, Sports Editor

After a full year off from their regular scheduled season, the CWU football team is once again playing in the fall. They are off to a pretty good start.

The Wildcats have started the season 2-1 with wins against Eastern New Mexico 66-24 and Simon Frasier 36-14. Their only loss this season has come against Eastern Washington University 63-14.

Redshirt freshman quarterback JJ Leming said despite the weird year last season expectations have remained the same for the entire team.

“Our expectations haven’t changed at all even with COVID and everything,” Leming said. “We’re obviously trying to be a national powerhouse and try to play at the national level here at Division ll, get to the national playoffs so that’s always been our goal.”

Leming has had an up and down start to the 2021 season. In the first game against Eastern New Mexico he completed 14 of 22 pass attempts for 322 yards, five touchdown passes and no interceptions. However, over the last two games he completed a combined 18 for 46 passing for 175 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions

Leming said the team is still trying to work out a few issues but hopefully they will get it together soon. 

“Right now we’re going through some kinks,” Leming said. “But we’re working through them and I think we are going to be alright for the rest of the season.” 

During his weekly press conference head coach Christopher Fisk said that despite a couple of blowout losses to Eastern Washington University this year and Montana University in the only game they played last year, the team feels really good on how they stack up to the rest of Division ll (DII).

“We’ve played four games since March, and two of them were against two top 5 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) programs,” Fisk said. “Two of our games this year we’ve gotten blown out by those FCS teams and it’s not the way we want to perform, but if you measure us against our Division ll opponents we feel pretty good with where we are at and where we are progressing.” 

Leming said leadership from some of the older players has helped the underclassmen to get in the right mindset for a full season.

“I think one of our biggest leaders on the team is (Linebacker) Donte Hamilton,” Leming said. “Everyday he comes with the same juice level and energy whether it’s practice or a game, it doesn’t change for him. He really implements the team that it’s us versus everybody. He goes about everyday and tries to bring on the younger guys if they need a little help and for the older guys he just continues to get on those guys when they need to get on and celebrate when it needs to be celebrated. Donte’s one of those bigger guys that we look up to. Not only me and the younger guys, but definitely the older guys and the entire team.”

The Wildcats will return home to play their first home game with fans on Saturday Sept. 25 against the Angelo State Rams.