By Erik Johnson
Staff reporter

The smell of hot turf. The click-clack of cleats. It’s finally here. The 2011 Southwestern football season is about to be underway.

Looking to rebound off a 2-8 season last year, Alex Fernandez, sophomore offensive lineman, has high hopes for the season. “I feel like we are more focused and dedicated to the program,” said Fernandez. “If we play as hard as we have been working we will not disappoint this season.”

Nick Qualls, junior offensive lineman, agrees. “I feel great about this season,” said Qualls. “We have been working hard and staying focused. We feel like it’s our time to shine.”

With preseason rankings out, SC is ranked eighth in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, in one of the closest polls in recent memory. The Moundbuilders have 40 returning lettermen coming back to continue this season. They have also added 25 freshmen to help build the program. The Builders have multiple offensive formations, but their main set is the multiple-I formation. On defense, they look to come out in the 4-3 set.
Northwestern College is from the Great Plains Athletic Conference in Iowa. Northwestern is ranked seventh in the Victory Sports Network preseason poll. This will be a tough test for the Builders, but it is a task they are very capable of tackling.

“I feel like we all are experienced ball players now, and we have grown this team into a brotherhood that can’t be broken,” said Fernandez. “Our coaches have prepared us for this moment against Northwestern. We’re bigger, stronger, and more prepared than we were last year, so we do not look to disappoint.”

The game kicks off at 6 p.m. September 3 at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.

Erik Johnson is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email him at erik.johnson@sckans.edu.