MOORHEAD — Although Concordia College is known for its history and excellence in musical extracurriculars, Cobber athletics are on the rise of interest for this coming fall, especially Cobber Football.
There is a long-standing history of support for Cobber Football. In 2005, Jake Christiansen Stadium held 24,550 total fans, an average of 4,091 fans per game making them the fourth most attended Division 3 football team in the nation.
In 2019, they were 12th in the nation. The pandemic has since lowered the attendance numbers and the stadium has yet to see that many fans again.
Head football coach, Terry Horan, has an eager attitude for the season to begin and high hopes for larger turnouts.
His players give Horan a positive outlook for this season.
“You can see they put the time into it. The guys’ energy and their commitment in the summer and the off-season and their workout programs, they’re competitive and they’re having fun,” Horan said.
“The biggest thing is to create synergy between the teams,” Horan added. “Player-led teams are your best team.”
Horan is staying positive about attendance for this year.
“Winning helps,” Horan stated with a grin. “Trying to get as many people to the games is super important to us.”
One way Cobber Football hopes to do this is through its new media presence and hype videos on social media. Cobber Football is collaborating with Off/Szn Media this year, the same company that runs the media for Fargo’s semi-professional hockey, the Fargo Force.
The football team’s first media sneak peek was released in collaboration with Off/Szn Media in mid-August. The videos are lively, filled with smoke, anticipation and excitement. Off/Szn media will also be occasionally traveling with the team and capturing the in-season action starting with their first game at Wisconsin-Eau Claire on August 2.
Just like their dedication to the game, Cobber Football players put their hard work and energy into fundraising over the summer to generate funds that allow them professional media videos.
Caleb Parker, a junior defensive back, helped work as a Cobber golf fundraiser this summer. Alumni, donors, coaches, and others from the Cobber Athletics program got together to fundraise and play golf while the Cobber football team worked the green.
“All I was in charge of was getting hotdogs and drinks,” Parker laughed. “It was a cool experience to see all the guys that have been through the program.”
President Colin Irvine made an appearance at the tournament. In his free time, President Irvine enjoys having lunch with coaches, players and staff of Concordia Athletics. He especially enjoys dining with the football team. Parker met with President Irvine at the golf tournament and received the opportunity to lunch with him.
“He seemed like he really loved that football and athletics program as a whole,” Parker said. “It’s good to see we’re appreciated.”
Horan also has a fondness for the new president.
“For our college community, he is going to be outstanding,” Horan said. “He’s met with players for lunch, he’s met with all of our head coaches for dinner, he’s sitting in on classrooms for different majors…he wants to learn more about Concordia.”
When President Irving received the presidential role, Horan called his friend who worked closely with Irving when he was executive vice president of Augustana University in Sioux Falls.
“He said to me that in all his years of higher education, he’s never been around a better leader. When you hear it from a peer that you really respect…it speaks volumes for the excitement we should all have for this man,” Horan stated.