New Coaching Staff, New Attitude
Will Rossmiller
wross460@uwsp.edu
journell.jpg

The new approach and work ethic put in during the off season for this year’s Pointer football squad can be brought down to one statement by senior wide receiver, Marc Young. “There is no offseason”, said Young.

This attitude and hard working philosophy can be attributed to a new Stevens Point coaching staff, led by former defensive coordinator, Tom Journell.

Journell has been defensive coordinator for four seasons, and has coached a total of 25 seasons. During his tenure, the Pointers have had one of the strongest defenses in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“The coaching change in my eyes has been good for the program and the athletes,” said Young. “I couldn’t have asked for a much more talented coaching staff for my senior season.”

The coaching staff has improved, but a coach and staff can only go as far as their players can take them. That, Young explained, is a big reason why he thinks this team will be successful this year.

“Our attitude and outlook at every situation is very different. As a team we have all 100 men buying into the program and what it stands for,” said Young. “There is a sense of unity among our entire team, instead of just offensive and defensive units.”

Although some of the previous coaching staff is gone, the Pointers return some of their key players in all three aspects of the game, offense, defense and special teams.

​UWSP Football Head Coach ​Tom Journell.
 

Junior, Mitch Beau, comes into the season as the starting quarterback, hoping to stabilize what was an uncertain position last season. Beau started the majority of last year’s games, but had his ups and downs, throwing 9 touchdown passes, while also giving up 12 interceptions.

Beau will have plenty of playmakers around him. Young will bring a veteran presence to the wide receiving corps, with his game experience from last year when he tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions, with three.

In the backfield, the Pointers will be led by a rushing attack by committee, with senior Ethan Lockhart, and sophomore Brian Kampstra, sharing the load.

Linebacker Cody Seibel will look to repeat the success he had last season, when he made 79 tackles, 9.5 for loss, and tied for the team lead with 3 sacks.

Both the secondary and the return game’s success will fall on one player this season, senior Colton Zimmerman. Last year Zimmerman led UWSP with more than 700 all-purpose yards, mostly coming from returns.

Zimmerman also played an important role on defense, adding 29 solo tackles, an interception, and 7 passes defensed.

Even with many improvements on and off the field, the Pointers are picked to finish second to last in the WIAC, but that doesn’t affect the team explains Young.

“We must focus on what we can control and everything else will fall into place. We take things one day at a time, while working hard, playing smart and fast,” said Young.

The Pointers started their season with a tough 31-39 loss last Saturday to number 9 ranked St. Francis. UWSP takes the field again September 15 at the University of Dubuque. The Pointers home opener doesn’t come until September 29 against UW-Lacrosse.