Connor Van Hulzen- Staff Writer
Dordt football was guaranteed an unusual season this year. With managing everything that goes into a season—meetings, workouts, practices, travel, and even the games themselves—all while in the middle of a pandemic, adjustments were expected. Only a few weeks into their season, the football team discovered more changes than expected may be taking place.
After defeating Midland 22-14 in week one, the Defenders prepared to face the Jamestown Jimmies in week two. That preparation was cut short. That week, Jamestown announced a number players on their football team had tested positive for COVID-19. This meant the game scheduled for September 19th would be rescheduled for October 10th and the Defenders were given an extra week to prepare for their next game.
The postponement of the Jamestown game was just another change at the hands of COVID-19. But the football team was determined to not let it alter their game plan.
“We’ve been treating it like any other week.”
“Even with the cancellation of the game on Saturday, we have kept practicing and focusing on the next opponent like usual.” said Ashton Treischmann, a junior safety.
The Defenders are hoping an extra week of preparation will give them an extra boost against their next opponent, Dakota Wesleyan.
“Even with our bye week coming a little earlier than expected, we’ve been able to use it to our advantage and prepare for our game like any other but just with the benefit of some added practice time and some more chances to study the opponent and prepare for what they’ll show us on Saturday,” said Griffin Pelot, defensive line coach.
Dordt enters the game with their 1-0 record while Dakota Wesleyan arrives with a 0-2 record after losing to Hastings and Northwestern in their first games of the season.
In a year with some radical changes, a less noticeable one includes the fact that the Defenders will not play their first home game until week four of their season, because of the postponement with Jamestown.
“It is definitely a little weird to have our home opener that late into the season, but the team has done a good job of adapting to the challenges that are thrown their way.” Pelot said. “I know the team and we as a coaching staff can’t wait to get in front of our fans in Sioux Center and show them what we’ve been working on for this season.”
Dordt football is hoping that in a season filled with change and uncertainty, they will overcome and reach new heights. Every season bears its own challenges – injuries, painful losses, long nights, and early mornings—and the Defenders have worked past them in years previous and are hoping to do the same this season and in the seasons to come.
The Defenders’ next game is on Saturday the 26th against the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers in Mitchell, South Dakota at 1:00pm.