The seniors on the Wartburg College football team will try to accomplish a first this season. They will try become the first class at the school to win four consecutive Iowa Conference championships. The Knights are coming off an 8-3 record in 2004 in which they shared the league title with Coe. They also qualified for the division-three national playoffs for the third straight year. The talent and experience is there to make another title run.
Wartburg coach Rick Willis says they’re striving for some consistency right now and still need time for all 11 people to be doing the right thing. Willis says the pre-season is the time team chemistry is developed. He says one of the great challenges is to take players who didn’t know each other and get them to become a team.
There are several returning starters on both sides of the ball but Willis says some young players may be called upon to fill some of the holes. He says they have an interesting mix of experience and youth. He says a number of the newcomers have impressed him, but he says they need to learn the system to be ready by the opener.
On defense, the Knights are experienced up front, and Willis says that should be one of their strengths. One of the seniors is quarterback Reed Hoskins. The Grinnell native enters his third season as the starter. Hoskins says his ultimate goal is to be the conference champion. Wartburg is ranked 24th in the division-three pre-season poll. They open September third with a visit to Millikin University.