Football sets sights for future, building program
After a tough season, the Pacific football team can shake off their first year and look toward the future of the program.
The Boxers recently showed that they can compete with teams in the Northwest Conference, especially with their 42-31 loss against Puget Sound, which is the most touchdowns they’ve scored in a game this season.
In a competitive league, a primarily freshmen based team does not always have the upper hand, but according to Head Coach Keith Buckley they are making the best of a tough situation. The Boxers have a 0-5-0-conference record along with many strains and broken bones, but have continually faced each opponent ready to play.
“We had more talent than anticipated, which was a plus for us as coaches, but we are still not physically developed,” said Buckley. “That will happen over time.”
Buckley said that the transition from high school football to college is a big leap for players in the quarterback position.
“Starters T.C. Campbell, Trevor Okamoto and P.J. Minaya, have done a great job in the transition and I believe that we are ahead of schedule in the long run,” said Buckley.
According to Buckley, the first two years of the football program are used for building the team as a whole. When the present freshmen become juniors and seniors, the conference will be for a winning team.
Having 109 players on a football team can be frustrating for those who don’t get to see much playing time. It is hard to make it so that every player is satisfied with his playing time, but Buckley said he and his coaching staff have tried to make it a positive experience for everyone.
In addition to making strides as a team, “I couldn’t have asked for a better staff. We have a wide range of experience and ages on the coaching staff and each of them have helped significantly this year,” said Buckley.
“There is no manual when starting a football program,” said Buckley. “You are on uncharted territory and you got to do the best with what you are given.”
Overall, the campus and Forest Grove community excitement for the return of football has definitely given the team a boost of confidence. The support at each game is a big part of the football atmosphere.
The Boxers will play in their last home game of the season and first night game in 19 years this Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes.