By Gabby Gamez
Hearing the booming base of music blasting through head phones and typing furiously away at a cell phone screen to mom who you know won’t be at your game, but will call to encourage you with words of wisdom is what Lekendrick Jordan, business senior, goes through every game day.
With a new football season beginning this week; the excitement to see new changes and improvement can be felt in the electricity in the air. Brad Griffin, head football coach, approaches his first season as not only a head coach, but also Southwestern’s 28th head coach. Knowing change was something that the team needed Griffin brought six new coaches onto staff while keeping seasoned coaches Jimmie Tagg, Victor Redd and Wyatt Jiru. With the pressures of being a head coach for the first time, Griffin takes it one day at a time.
Armed with a game plan not only for on the field but also off, Griffin and the coaching staff are working on “giving our guys confidence in themselves and being humble at the same time.” Using encouragement is how he has approached healing the wounds from the past while reminding the upperclassman of that “edge” which might have been lost due to lack of triumphs.
Jordan said, “Coach makes us believe that we can go to the play offs, and I believe that.” With a positive mind set leading the team to a new mentality the players are responding well to Griffin’s encouragement.
Connor Seaba, chemistry senior, said “I think we will surprise ourselves and the conference this season.”
The coaches’ approach to this weekend’s opponent is to let each player prepare for the game in their own manner.
Griffin said, “We don’t want to get too hyped up before the game. With so many new freshman on the team and few upperclassman we’re limited in the depth of the team.”
Griffin said he plans to give the freshmen roles in crucial backup positions and possibly offensive starting positions.
With rising stress and anxiety, “keeping calm” is something that senior Jordan has been telling the freshman in order to prepare for the game mentally. Undergoing his own preparations of watching film looking for “cheat codes” that might give a player’s intentions away or a specific formation.
Seaba said, he tries to “Stay as relaxed as possible, if you go into the game stressed you don’t play as well.” Seaba explained how he wasn’t going to take anything for granted this season; knowing that it is his last.
With so many players from Texas and Oklahoma the Griffin anticipates a large supporting crowd including some die hard Kansas families.
The Builders will face Wayland Baptist at 6 p.m. in Plainview, Texas Saturday, August 29th.
Gabby Gamez is a senior majoring in communication. You may contact her at email@example.com.