New Loras football coach Paul Mierkiewicz says if the Duhawks want to be a contender in the Iowa Conference race they will need to become tougher. The Duhawks have 14 starters back from last year’s team that finished 5-5.

He says you have to be pretty tough mentally to deal with adversity, and there’s a time every Saturday where you face some, so that has been their focus. Mierkiewicz played at Loras and had been the head coach at Hastings of Nebraska. He says the transition has gone well and he says he has been pleased with how they team has worked and bought into working hard to get better.

Six starters return from a defense that ranked third in the Iowa Conference last season. Mierkiewicz believes the defense can be solid as they did not change a lot of things, while they will have more changes on offense to adjust to.

He says they want an offense that uses as many people as possible in a system that the players can understand. Loras opens September 3rd at Elmhurst College.