The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Football team labored in summer sun, determined to pull underdog victory

For most college students, summertime means no homework, lazy days by the pool and hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock. This year, Guilford’s football team gave a brand new meaning to the word “summer.”

“We’re on a mission this year to be better than the best,” said senior safety Alex Smith.

The team trained diligently to start its newfound mission successfully.

“I did a lot of my speed and agility training at Proehlific Park,” said sophomore quarterback Matt Pawlowski.  “I would also come to the school and throw with the other guys on campus.”

Their summer grind has paid off — the team jump-started preseason focused and determined.

“We all looked strong and in shape,” said Pawlowski. “The team’s confidence is high, and we all have big expectations for the season.”

“When you watch us practice and play, you can tell that we are in shape,” said senior captain Faris El-Ali. “Everyone on the team put in a tremendous amount of work this summer.”

The battle to be the best team on the field became a motivation for the players individually and as a team.

“A few players stayed on campus because of Cadre,” said Smith. “The main reason was to be around each other and grow stronger as a unit.”

The proud Quakers are sporting much more than skills this season. The sense of unity between the players radiates on and off the field.

“I think I speak for everyone on the squad when I say we are a family,” said Smith. “We grind together, we eat together and we go to war together.”

Whether it is in the classroom, in the weight room, or on the field, the upperclassmen are setting solid examples for the incoming first-years.

“The biggest difference is that we now have more upperclassmen on the team than in years past,” said El-Ali. “Freshmen have older guys to look up to who know how to succeed on and off the field.”

Their camaraderie has gained attention among each other, fans and the coaching staff.

“We stress that the ability to come together and inspire each other will help in many ways on and off the field,” said Head Football Coach Chris Rusiewicz. “The more they do of that, the more success they will see.”

The football team is ranked fifth in the preseason polls. With only eight teams in the conference, this places them in the lower half.

“We battled hard in conference last year, and they still put us at the bottom,” said Smith. “It just makes it that much sweeter when we win.”

These hungry Quakers are determined to taste victory, despite doubts based off their previous records.

“Our preseason ranking just goes to show that we are still underdogs in our conference,” said El-Ali. “Everyone will be surprised.”

The 2013 summer grind quickly progressed into a season-long team mission. The Quakers are fighting to win their conference and surprise everyone that doubted them.

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