When you’re coming back after an 0-9 campaign, one of two things can happen. You can be a little down in the dumps. Or you can stew about the whole off-season and use that as motivation.
For Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, coach Kyle Sweeney says its the latter.
Sweeney, who is entering his third year, says he knew his second year would be tough based on the number of upperclassmen on the roster when he arrived. Last year he had 18 freshmen or sophomores who saw considerable playing time.
“I knew it was going to be tough but I certainly thought we’d at least win a couple of games,” he said. ”It was just inexperience and some tough breaks along the way.”
The Stags graduated just six players and have a recruiting class of 24, which is reason enough for optimism. While young players took some lumps last year, they gained invaluable experience. Call it learning on the job.
Since so few graduated, there are plenty of starters returning. But since the team went 0-fer, no one has a job sewn up. The most competition appears to be in the linebacking core and defensive lines.
One of the departed players is QB Peter Kimmey, so there should be an interesting battle there. Junior Sean McKaveney, who played some when Kimmey was hurt, is the only returning QB so he has the inside track. There are also two newcomers to challenge him. Sweeney says the team will be passing the ball more than it has in the past.
Sweeney added his team is probably deepest at wide receiver and linebacker.
There are two new additions to the coaching staff – Jason Reyes (wide receivers) and Augustine Adams (running backs). Reyes was offensive coordinator at Chapman last year.
The Stags open the season at Lewis & Clark on Sept. 14 and plays its home opener the following week against Rhodes (Tenn.).