ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – The Escanaba Eskymos will be under new leadership in 2022 with the arrival of Bailey Lamb as their next head coach. Day or night, Lamb has been able to get the best out of his players early in camp.

“We practiced the other night at midnight and the kids were really fired up about it,” said Lamb. “We had a ton of fun. Its been good to get to know these kids a little bit more now. We’ve been learning about them; they’ve been feeling us out and seeing how we do things. Its been good, we’ve been intense, we’ve been fast, and we’ve been flying around. So, it’s getting off to a good start.”

“It’s exciting to get back out on the field with the boys,” said Casey Bray, a senior quarterback for Escanaba. “It’s a brotherhood. It’s one of the best team sports out there.”

Escanaba is looking to bounce back after an underwhelming 2021 season. The Eskymos finished at the bottom of the Great Northern Conference with a 0-4 conference record, 1-8 overall.

“It’s fueling us,” said Caiden Brown, a senior receiver and defensive back for the Eskymos. “We want to do better and coach Bailey has been pushing us and getting us pumped up.”

“They’re fired up,” said Lamb. ‘They’re ready to prove to everyone around that last year our record was not us and they just want to prove it.”

Lamb and his coaching staff have been pushing the players to their limits early on as they try to get back to playing Eskymo football.

“Fast, physical, and confident,” said Lamb. “I think those things will translate well to the football field and on game nights. Just being a confident team. Going out there and knowing that we have a shot against anyone. Maybe there will be some times where people won’t give us a chance and maybe we will go out there and turn some heads.”

They do some pieces in place that will help the turnaround, including senior quarterback, Casey Bray.

“Casey’s been my QB ever since freshman year,” said Brown. “He got such good QB awareness and it’s great to have him. He’s a team player and he’s been getting us going and everything throughout the summer. He’s being a leader and that’s good.”

“I think he’s going to thrive and do really well,” said Lamb. “He’s locked in and he’s on a mission. But we have a ton of guys, Caiden Brown, and Trent Lawson. Some senior O-lineman in Timmy Sylvester, and Lane Johnson. They’re really ready to erase last year and what it felt like and really pave the road for something new.”

“We have some pretty fast guys out on the edges,” said Bray. “We can throw the ball pretty well. Our defense will be improved this year, so I’m looking forward to that.”

The Eskymos open up their season on August 25th at home against Sault Ste. Marie.

“I haven’t played to Soo before but I’m excited,” said Brown. “I know they’re a pretty good team so I’m excited about the battle. I think we’ll be more than ready. So, I’m just ready to get out there and start balling.”

“They’re coming a long way,” said Bray. “We don’t have to go there so I’m happy about that. We start it off with a home game and it will be pretty exciting.”

“I can’t wait,” said Lamb. “This is where I played. This is where I grew up watching games growing up. I made some of the best memories out here with my friends here back in the day and if we can give that to them and these kids now and help them facilitate that I think it will be awesome. The first time we run out on the field in two weeks, on that Thursday night, it’s going to be kind of a trip. It’s going to be awesome.”