Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 13, 2017

Football Team, Coaches Optimistic about Homecoming

Evan Harris

Everyone knows how the old saying goes, “The third time’s a charm.” Well, on Sept. 23, the first home game of the Spartan football season, this saying was not the case.

The three-and-a-half-hour game against the competitor, Mount Saint Joseph University of Cincinnati, was a game filled with excitement around every corner: wild cheers from the students’ sections on both sides of Burt Field, as well as the chants from the cheerleaders. That day was also sweltering, with the thermostat set on high heat, which also sparked some intense moments on field, as two scuffles broke out in the third and fourth quarters. Despite the high energy, the Spartans lost to the Lions 31-14, making the team’s current stand 1 win, 2 losses.

Sophomore quarterback Alex Downard, shares how the how the two losses so far this season affected him. “The losses were pretty upsetting,” he said, “but they (losses) only drive us, as a team, to do better and grow together.”

Head Coach Nathan Jensen shares a similar experience. “It’s upsetting, but we have to be consistent,” he said. “Last year, we had three losses, so we have to able to give not fifty percent, not ninety-nine percent, but one-hundred percent every single time.”

Through victories (against Alma College) and losses (Mt. Saint Joseph and Trine), the team holds their values close. “We’ve built a strong family atmosphere,” Downard said. “We work very hard and we all share a common goal (winning)”

Jensen believes that trust is a major component. “ Everyone trusts each other: the players, the coaches and everyone else who is associated with the team.”

Downard and Jensen both share the common goal of making improvements towards their performances on the field, and becoming a better team off the field as well for the next season. “I hope to improve on leadership skills,” Downard said. Jensen said, “We hope to get bigger, faster and stronger. I want my boys to be exceptional players, yet exceptional stewards of Manchester.”

Homecoming, the biggest highlight of the football season, draws hundreds of current students and alumni, alike. Jensen has an optimistic outlook on the game. “Hopefully, we will get a victory over the opponent,” Jensen said. The game will be held Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1:30 p.m, as the Spartans will battle against the Rose-Hulman Elephants.