The Cornell College football team hopes to move into contention in the Midwest Conference race this season. The Rams lost only seven seniors off last year’s team that finished 4-6 overall and 4-5 in league play.
Coach Vince Brautigam says he likes the team makeup and they are still working on building depth. Three of Cornell’s conference losses in 2012 were by five points or less, including setbacks to league co-champions St. Norbert and Lake Forest.
“I think the one thing that we talked about after last season was, the close games that we didn’t win, true conference champions have to learn to win those games,” Brautigam says. He says they are working on cutting down the turnovers and winning those close games to be in the conference championship hunt.
The offense had nine starters who were freshmen or sophomores last year and Cornell finished 21st in the country in passing. There is also a new look to their home stadium this season as the natural grass in Ash Park was replaced by a new synthetic playing surface.
“I think it puts us on an even playing field, a lot of kids from high school nowadays are coming off of turf. Not only that, our entire campus can see that and have an opportunity to be on it,” Brautigam says. He says it definitely helps in recruiting players and is a start in building the program.
The Rams open the season at home on September seventh against Lawrence University.