ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN)- The Covid-19 pandemic stripped last year’s Eskymo squad any chance of a normal season. But this year, they’re not letting anything stand in their way.
“We’re gonna be good to season,” said Nathan Howes, a senior running back and defensive end for Escanaba. “We got great team chemistry. We’re very excited as a team. Yeah, we’re gonna bring it this year.”
“We only had three football games,” said Dave Wilson, head coach for Escanaba. “We had two regular-season football games and then we had a playoff game, and none of them were at the Escanaba home field. We didn’t have any home game so it was certainly a tough 2020 deal with COVID. We’re excited this year, hoping not to have to wear the masks anymore and just take you one day at a time and trying to get better as a football team every single day.”
Dave Wilson takes over the program replacing Dave Howes as the head coach. Wilson has spent over two decades with Escanaba high school and is excited to roam the sidelines.
“I’m just excited,” said Wilson. “I mean, I’ve been here a long time. I’ve been a teacher, assistant coach, athletic director at Escanaba. As far as head football coach, I’m just really excited every day to come in and feel the energy, having fun, and take it one day at a time. Just focusing with the guys on the little things, the fundamentals, you know, stance, certainly alignment, technique, a lot of conditioning here early in camp. We’re just trying to get better every single day.”
Wilson and his staff have been focusing on the trenches in camp. Putting an emphasis on winning the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
“The offense and defensive line,” said Wilson. “We are really focusing on both sides of the ball here in camp. Some of the more skilled positions guys are younger or haven’t played a lot of varsity football but we are catching them up to speed.”
“Some guys on the line. We have Mathew Zimmerman as our center, he’s the leader of the line,” said Joey Kositzky, a senior wide receiver and defensive back for Escanaba. “Tristan McGuire, Adam Willette our tackles. Some skill guys we got Casey Bray our QB. Scott Hiller is a big wide receiver for us, we are gonna expect a lot out of these guys.”
And with 28 seniors returning to play this season, the sky is the limit for Escanaba.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun to step out on that field for the last time,” said Kositzky. “It’s gonna be sad when it finally comes but until then we are just going to enjoy the ride.”
“They’re really the focusing leaders in the offseason in the winter conditioning summer conditioning lifting program has been the seniors, just looking for them to enjoy it,” said Wilson. “Being out here, and you know, just for them to take that leadership role only to take this team where it needs to go. My thing as a football coach has always been to try and be a very disciplined, tough football team, also to play with high energy, and also to come out here and embrace the moment every single day. And enjoy every second of the season, practices, games, going back to school, and just having a normal year.”
The Escanaba Eskymos kick off their season on August 27th at Antigo, Wisconsin.