Expectations have become a part of the William Penn football program. After posting a 19-3 record the past two seasons coach Todd Hafner’s squad enters this season ranked 14th in the pre-season NAIA poll and the Statesmen are picked to finish second in the Midwest League of the Mid-States Football Association.
“It’s helped us that we have great kids, kids that have now started to come through the program that know what winning is about, what it takes to be a good football team,” Hafner says. He says it’s not always talent, but team chemistry and other things that allow the team to play winning football.
You could not blame the Statesmen if they look back to last season and wonder, “what could have been?”. Both losses were by one point to St. Francis of Illinois and Grand View. Hafner says the coaches bring that up anytime they feel the team needs a little extra motivation, and he says the players talked about it in the offseason as they focused on getting better.
Junior quarterback Taylor Parsons returns after directing Penn’s option attack to just over 34 points per game in 2011. He rushed for more than a thousand yards and tossed seven touchdowns. He says they return free safety Jake Batterson who is the leader on defense and it helps to have both back.
Penn opens on August 25th with a visit to Iowa Wesleyan.