STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) — Last season, the Buena Vista football team won their opener and then lost nine straight to end the season. The Beavers will try to turn things around with 11 returning starters, five on offense and six on defense.
BVU Head Coach Grant Mollring is looking for a new starting quarterback, but there is plenty of talent catching the football. Junior Eric Pacheco had over 1,000 yards receiving and was a first-team All-Conference pick. Another starting wideout and starting tight end return, along with two offensive lineman.
The Beavers lost four games in the fourth quarter last year, so little things could make a big difference.
“They know that they’re not far off,” said Mollring. “They know they’re a very competitive group of guys that we have. It’s just that they’ve got to clean up the details and get back to work and gain some confidence too. That was a big part of it.”
“We’ve been practicing this in the spring,” said Pachecho. “We’ve had more competition and we just need to finish out games. I think having a strength and conditioning coach on the sideline will help with that too.”
On defense, All-Conference lineman Gary Weaver is back after 53 tackles. Junior linebacker Reed Kruse, from Newell-Fonda, led the team with 99 stops and also earned league honors.
The Beavers gave up over 42 points per game last season and that has to get better for a better season.
“Penalties really killed us last year, like in the fourth quarter when we needed it the most,” said Weaver. “We need to capitalize more. Getting more first downs, more turnovers for our offense.”
“We got to push ourselves harder,” said Kruse. “We got to condition to play in the fourth quarter, we can’t die in that fourth quarter. We got to be able to play the whole game.”
BVU starts the season at Hamiline of Minnesota on September 5. The home opener is against Concordia of Nebraska is September 14.