UWRF football remains winless
November 5, 2010
The UW-River Falls’ football team has the worst start in school history, which adds to fan frustration.
The Falcons are 0-8 overall, with an 0-5 record in the WIAC. It is the team’s 10th consecutive loss dating back to last season when the Falcon’s dropped two games to Stevens Point and Eau Claire.
O’Grady said that the team simply is not playing to their full athletic potential. Acknowledging that other teams in the conference are more athletic, he said that it’s time for the team to turn back to the past.
“When I first got here in 1989 we were just like the book ‘The Little Engine that Could,’” O’Grady said. “We were not always as athletic as the other teams, but we always found a way to compete.”
Before the start of the 2009-2010 season, O’Grady emphasized the importance of recruiting to the team’s success. He said that the coaching staff wants to broaden their horizons by recruiting from larger city schools.
“This year we did a better job of that,” O’Grady said. “We were looking more for quality than quantity this year, and even though you may not know it, it shows.”
Recruiting and on the field improvements aside, the Falcons remain winless, and students say they are growing restless.
“I can’t even go to the games anymore,” said junior Dillan Edelen. “It’s just not fun when you get beat all the time.”
Sophomore Brittany Oberstadt said she stopped going to games around homecoming.
“I actually went to the game, but it was so bad that I left at halftime,” Oberstadt said.
O’Grady said that problems start with the lack of numbers in the coaching staff.
“We have three full-time coaches,” O’Grady said. “Most of the other schools in the conference have between three and seven.”
O’Grady continued by saying that problems on the field weigh heavily on the Falcons poor record.
“The biggest thing is athleticism,” O’Grady said. “The quality of the player himself, and the number of those that we have at any given position.”
“Anyone who saw the game against Whitewater can tell you that they were a better team positionally,” he said.
O’Grady said that the difficulties on the field have resulted in a complete lack of confidence in the locker room, on the practice field and on the game field.
“Now there is no doubt about it that River Falls, stepping on the field at 0-6, is not going to be as confident as Whitewater is at 6-0,” O’Grady said. “So if you look at it, we really aren’t playing with any kind of confidence right now.”
Senior offensive lineman Joe Gangl said that the team has had trouble coming together all season. He said that a tough schedule combined with the continuous loses are the biggest downfall.
“We had one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year,” Gangl said. “And believe it or not we actually played pretty good football against some of our tougher opponents.”
Gangl said that the team was a bad play here and a miscommunication there away from turning the season around.
“One game our offense could be moving the ball really well, and our defense wouldn’t be playing well,” Gangl said. “The weekend after that our offense couldn’t do anything but the defense was playing great.”
Gangl also said that the team never played a complete game of football as a winning team should.
According to the attendance records kept by the UW-River Falls Athletic Department, home games this season [excluding homecoming] have averaged 965 people.
The away game at the University of St. Thomas on Sept. 11 drew 4400.
O’Grady said that the program is in good hands with newly hired Athletic Director Roger Ternes, and that he feels confident the program will head in the right direction soon.
The Falcons, next home game is scheduled for Nov. 6, when the team takes on UW-Stevens Point at Ramer Field.