Todd Hafner

William Penn football coach Todd Hafner says there will be a sense of relief when the teams line up for the opening kickoff on Saturday night. In a year where much of small college football is sidelined the Heart of America Conference is a go and the Statesmen open at MidAmerica Nazarene.

“You can’t take playing football for granted ever again”, said Hafner. “Look at all the teams around the country that aren’t playing. When the whistle blows and the ball gets kicked off it is a blessing for everybody.”

The pandemic has changed the way the team will travel. There will be no overnight trips requiring a hotel stay and Saturday’s game in Olathe, Kansas,  has been moved to night to allow the Statesmen to travel on the day of the game.

“If something would happen it is not because we are not trying”, added Hafner. “Our kids have been great and the school has been great. Our players have embraced the opportunity that many others don’t have.”

The Statesmen were picked to finish second in the North Division in the Heart of America preseason poll. Their home opener is September 19 against nationally ranked Baker University.