This past Saturday, the Gustavus football season concluded with a loss to the University of St. Thomas, who are currently ranked 4th in the nation according to d3football.com. Despite the loss, the Gusties had a rather successful season. The team ended with a record of 7 wins and 3 losses, the best record the team has had since the 2001 season. Compiling a conference record of 5 wins and 3 losses, Gustavus finished in third place in the MIAC Conference.
The team had many impressive wins throughout the season. One big win this season came from a conference victory in the Homecoming game over Augsburg College.
“We are continuing to make progress. We had a great homecoming day with awesome alumni and fan support,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said.
Another huge victory this season came when the Gusties defeated the nationally ranked conference opponent Concordia-Moorhead.
“Beating Concordia in the wildest game I’ve ever been a part of and partying on our field when the clock hit zero was probably the best feeling I’ve ever experienced in my athletic career,” Senior Captain Nick Frandsen said.
The finish of the wild game that Frandsen was referring to included an onside kick and a go-ahead touchdown with less than one minute to go.
Two seniors who have left an everlasting legacy on the Gustavus Football program are quarterback Mitch Hendricks and wide receiver Matt Boyce. Both have had historic careers and seasons for the Gusties. The two players’ connection throughout their time together has led to the breaking of multiple season and career records.
“They were awesome on and off the field. They both set the bar high and were great leaders. Their play on the field will always be remembered,” Coach Haugen said when asked about the duo.
In the last game of his career, Hendricks etched his name in the record book one last time by taking over the school’s top spot of total career completions.
“The records are a combination of everything this offense has done over the last three years that I’ve been here. I’ve had some great help along the way and have really enjoyed it. It is a great honor though and I will cherish them for as long as they last,” Hendricks said.
Not only did Hendricks and Boyce have an impact on the team’s success, but also the entire 23-man senior class. The team’s senior class was a large, talented one and will be missed dearly.
“Our seniors were awesome. They were very committed to their roles on the field and mentoring the young guys. This group of seniors helped so much in building a strong legacy,” Haugen said.
The team has progressed extremely well since the senior class first came to Gustavus.
“Our seniors have worked incredibly hard over the past four years and it shows with the records we have had. Our freshmen year we were 3-7. Sophomore year we were 6-4 and junior year we were 6-4 again. Then finally this past year we ended up going 7-3. I think this continual improvement is really telling of the character of this football team,” Frandsen said.
The senior class will be missed and definitely miss playing here at Gustavus.
“I couldn’t be more thankful for the guys that I’ve played with here at Gustavus. I’ll miss spending time with my teammates on a daily basis more than anything,” Frandsen said.
The Gusties hope to build on this seven win season for years to come. For the coaches and underclassmen, that starts now with recruiting and weightlifting. There are definitely some big cleats to fill.