CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (mocsnews.com)—Following Cole Strange getting drafted by the New England Patriots, the Mocs football team looks to keep the momentum going with a strong 2022 football season.
Starting their season on September 3, the team is hoping to open the season against Wofford with a win. Their summer has been packed with training in order to develop teamwork and improve skills.
Offensive coordinator Joseph Pizzo said “The summer is all about getting the team ready for the season. The freshmen coming in have to adjust to playing on this team and they have to develop as a team.”
With the intense summer training, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward sees the team starting to come together.
“They [the football team] have been playing together nicely,” Ward said. “They have been demonstrating teamwork over the summer and it will show on the field during the season.”
After going 6-5 in the 2021 season, the Mocs are “fired up” for this upcoming season. However, most of the team will be playing two teams from Illinois for the first time.
In the 2022 schedule, the Mocs are set to play Eastern Illinois and Illinois. The last time the Mocs played either one of these teams was in 2019 where they opened their season with a 24-10 win over Eastern Illinois.
Defensive back Camiron Smith said, “It’s been a while since we played Eastern Illinois. There is no telling what they are like now so it will be a challenge for us [the team].”
While these teams will pose a challenge due to uncertainty, the team still remains confident in their abilities to “give it their all and take home the win.”
With the start of each season the team is always looking for a way to improve. While finally getting back to normal, their improvement goal for this season is growing closer as a team while also improving in their individual areas.
“Group and individual improvements are equally important,” Pizzo said. “Achieving both helps each player grow individually and shows them how to mesh into a new team of people.”
After losing to VMI and Mercer in 2021, the Mocs will face these teams just a week apart in October. The team is taking the losses as motivation to beat both teams this season. Be sure to come out and watch the Mocs at Finely Stadium as they go head-to-head with Wofford on September 3 at 6 p.m. for their season opener.