Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 30, 2016


 Head Football coach Nate Jensen walks in with team.

Strong Leadership Keeps Spartans Hopeful

Jensen Lassiter

At the close of its third week, the Manchester University Spartans football team remains positive after another setback in Saturday's game. The first away-game of the season took the Spartans to Mount Saint Joseph's Schuler Field, where Spartans lost 19-38.
With the team's record currently standing at 0-3, the Spartans have remained hopeful and have put in the hard work needed to succeed. “If you're looking from the outside in, you'd say we're having a rough season so far,” said Cole Sellers, a junior defensive lineman, “and even though things haven't gone the way that we've expected the first three games, there is certainly progress. There will always be some growing pains with a new head coach but we're beginning to find our identity.” “Certain guys are stepping up into their new roles and everybody's getting a little more comfortable as a team; it's only a matter of time until the wheels start turning and we make some noise in the HCAC.”

Within the dynamics of the team, consistency seems to be the one thing that the Black and Gold need to work on. “And this doesn't apply just to game day, but to practice every day,” Sellers said. “I think those things are undoubtedly related; you can't expect to have a solid four quarters on a Saturday if you don't have a focused Sunday through Friday.” The team is keeping those words in mind as it prepares to take on conference rivals, the Franklin Grizzlies.

The foundation for a strong team is centralized leadership throughout. MU's new head football coach, Nate Jensen, has already made a lasting impact. “Coach Jensen has completely changed the culture of the team in his short time here, but he has definitely had a large impact on me in specific,” Sellers said. “He brings certain values to the table that will follow me for the rest of my life. He demands respect but returns it to each and every one of us; his love for his family and this team is blatantly obvious, and his pure love and passion for the game of football are all things that I hope that I can emulate in my future.”
With strong leadership roles solidifying the basis of the team, players have also had their lasting impact. “I just try to lead by example the best that I can and show the younger guys you don't have to be a captain or starter to make an impact on the team,” Sellers said.

With the foundation of support through the team and throughout the Manchester com-munity, the team regards the rest of the season with high hopes. “I'd just like to thank the entire community for their support and change in morale this season,” Sellers said. “MU has become very close-knit and it's comforting to know that everybody else is buying into the culture we're trying to establish.”

As MU enters its fourth game week, the Spartans will host Franklin at home on the Carl W. Burt Memorial Field this Sat. October 1. Throughout the game, donations will be accepted, with the proceeds going to the Samaritan's Feet Organization.