Hope for a season

Warhawk Football prepares for comeback from COVID-19 delay


Dane Sheehan

Ryan Liszka, Tyler Precia and Egon Hein run side-by-side in a practice drill during the cool early morning hours Oct. 23 at Perkins Stadium

Jackson Mihm, Journalist

The UW-Whitewater football team is ready to get off the bench and onto the field. In fact they’re already practicing on the hallowed grounds of Perkins Stadium and staying inspired by their coaching staff as they prepare for next year’s football season.
“Is it motivation? Without a doubt. It’s been incredible. More than anything else, we are just happy to be able to practice and be around one another. Just being together during this time is going to pay huge dividends,” said offensive captain and running back Ryan Ponick, “We’re taking each day as it comes down the barrel.”
College Athletic Advisor recently ranked Warhawk Football ninth among the Top 20 Athletic Programs that Inspire. The list compared 500 four-year institutions from the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA levels. UW-W is fourth among Division III schools.
Students in the program are “triple threat” competitors athletically, academically and socially in college and in life. Evaluation criteria to make the list included:
• Holistic development of student athletes in the institution
• Academic achievement & support for the academic success of student-athletes
• Overall college experience for participants within the program
• Affordability/Graduation Rates/Student Satisfaction
“Control what we can control,” has been the gospel of head coach Kevin Bullis from the start.
“It’s really doing everything we can to approach this with common sense, logic and safety,” Bullis said, “We’ll have a linebacker meeting and you can only have so many linebackers in that room. We might have another group of linebackers in another room zooming into that meeting when they’re only 30-feet away. Not criticizing that, but that’s just the adaptations you make happen.”
Besides meetings, the team is staying sharp by practicing all they can to ensure another great season come 2021. Institutions retain the autonomy to establish practice opportunities within the limitations stipulated by the NCAA throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
Everyone wears masks or neck-gaiters under their helmets and social distance as much as is possible with a contact sport.