Aaron Ladzinski – Staff Writer
Coming off of a 2-9 season, Dordt College football has reason to believe this could be a year where the program takes a major step. With a recruiting class of over 60 new faces bringing an influx of youthful talent, the potential for positive growth is there. With a senior class of only 6 individuals, these recruits will be looked to right away to provide immediate playing time. Senior running back Dan Fennig offered his feelings toward the freshman lineup.
“I feel that we have a great pool of talent and we need these freshmen to stick around. I like most of them.” said Fennig.
Freshman Alex Vasquez from Carrollton, Texas looks forward to the challenges that a new level of football will inevitably ring.
“It’s definitely a challenge but also a fun experience,” said Vasquez. “I’m comfortable stepping in right away to help lead the team, even if some of them are old enough to have jobs and kids.”
Other freshmen expected in rotation are running back Xavier Caffe e, offensive linemen Ricky Nelson and Sam Ackerman, defensive lineman Ben Bajama, and defensive backs P.J. Trammell and Markeis Goodman while many others fill special teams positions.
Such a large class allows the Defenders to reactivate a junior varsity team which will play Monday nights against schools also found on the varsity schedule. The JV squad will primarily be made up of the remaining players not found in a varsity rotation to gain playing experience.
Even with the youthfulness and inexperience of the incomers, Fennig and his fellow seniors are optimistic about what their team can do.
“We have a great chance to be the best we have been since I have arrived here. Saturday will be a great gauge to see how we do,” said Fennig.
Youth often times goes hand in hand with energy, something this team is hoping to be full of. With the experience and heart of upperclassmen and new life brought in this year, everyone is looking for a strong season, and a strong future for the Def enders.
The Defenders go on the road this weekend to Fremont, Nebraska to kick off conference play against Midland College before a two week homestead against Morningside College and Briar Cliff University.