The Pacific University Boxers football team showed significant improvements in 2012 as they finished with a 3-6 record with all victories recorded on the road. Now entering their fourth year since their return in the 2010-2011 year, the Boxers are primed to become top contenders in the Northwest Conference.

When the Boxers’ football program was reinstated in 2010, there were more than one hundred freshmen on the roster. Three years later and now seniors, nearly 40 of the original 100 remain.

“It’s been a long journey, but a great experience,” said senior P.J. Minaya. “Having the past two classes come in, it made us a better football team and we’re ready to show that we’ve come a long way in four years.”

Returning this season will be a roster that boasts 11 All-NWC team selections. But maybe the most important question coming into the season is, “Who will be Pacific’s quarterback?”

Over the course of the past few years, Pacific football head coach, Keith Buckley has gone with a two quarterback system, switching between seniors P.J. Minaya and T.C. Campbell.

A 2011 All-NWC Honorable Mention, Campbell suffered a season-ending injury by going down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the fourth quarter of last year’s season opener.

Minaya stepped in and became the Boxers’ starting quarterback while setting individual game records for most completions, passing yards and total offense. His accomplishments resulted in being named a 2012 All-NWC Honorable Mention.

The Boxers’ football team kicked off the 2013 season with fall camp on August 14 and so far, both Minaya and Campbell have been rotating with the first team offense.

“We are just doing our best to compete and push each other to get better every day,” said Minaya. “It’s up to the coaches to decide who’s the guy they want to go with.”

Over the summer, 44 players from the Boxers’ football team took a trip to South America from May 16 to May 28. The team visited Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay; playing a club team in each city.

“It was a great experience just getting exposed to a completely different culture,” said Minaya. “It also allowed for us as a team to spend time with people outside of football that we wouldn’t normally get to and it made us a closer team.”

The Boxers will kick off the 2013 season with a trip to Michigan to face off against Adrian University on September 6. Last year, Adrian qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs but got knocked out in the first round.

Other non-conference opponents include Occidental College, Menlo College and the University of Chicago.

“Our goals are to get to the level of being at the top of the conference,” said Minaya. “Win the games we know we should and pull off some upsets along the way.”

The Boxers’ first home game will be September 14 when they take on Occidental, a rematch of last year in which the Boxers came out victorious, 27-6.

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