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Finishing strong

Despite losing two of their games, Concordia’s football teams dedication and passion continuously shined throughout the seaon

This year Concordia’s football team has continued to mirror the success of their previous seasons. The team has won eight games and had only two losses this year, a record that the team is not unfamiliar with, as they have been 8-2 the last two years as well.

This past weekend, the team played their final game of the season where they defeated the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties with a score of 35-26.

Head coach Terry Horan talked about the importance of the team’s final game and the team’s anticipation of it. While being the last game of the season, it was also senior day, which added to the emotion level of the game.

This year, Concordia’s football team is made up of 19 seniors, including captains Dan Berdan, Domenic Fraboni, Griffin Neal and Nick Leen.

Leen has been playing with the Cobbers for the past four years and credits his love of the football team to his teammates and their dedication to the game.

“Our intensity and expectations are where Cobber football always is,” Leen said. “We look at every game like we can and should win it. That attitude is a big part of what helps us to win football games. The mental aspect of the game is key for us.”

Throughout his time playing for Concordia, Leen has been moved by the dedication Horan has to the team’s success and Concordia’s athletic program as a whole.

“Coach Horan is incredibly invested in this team, and he experiences the feelings that we do right along with us. He always seems to say just the right thing to keep us rolling,” Leen mentioned. “He also knows when we just need to work things out on our own and gives us space to get our heads back on straight.”

This is Horan’s 14th year as head coach of the Concordia football team. As a Cobber ‘89 grad, Horan played football for Concordia as a wide receiver and knows his way around the field.

The Cobbers had a solid season, starting off strong from the very first game. Despite being the conference underdogs, the men had their eye on a spot at the conference championship.

“This is our third year in the row to push for a conference championship,” Horan said. “The championship of our league is out of reach, but we have a team who has been at the top of the league all season long.”

The Cobber’s two losses of the year mirrored their losses they’ve had the past several years, falling to Bethel 17-27 and St. Thomas 32-35. Although the losses dampened the men’s spirit’s, Leen mentioned they were still honored to play for the Cobbers.

“It has been disappointing to lose to Bethel and St. Thomas again” Leen said. “Our senior class has lost to them both in our last three seasons. But no matter what happens, playing football at Concordia is always a blessing.”

According to Horan, the men were ranked as one of the top 20 teams in the nation throughout the season. This accomplishment enabled the men to stay strong during their loses and celebrate their victories.

“While we had opportunities to win both games, all you can ask for is that their players play their hearts out,” Horan said.

This year the men’s Sept. 20 win against St. John’s was a huge accomplishment for Cobber football. Aside from reclaiming the Troll trophy for the third year in a row, the men were able to keep the game’s history strong.

“That is a huge accomplishment for our program,” Leen says. “The Johnnies are our traditional rival, and it always feels great to win a rivalry game that has as much history as our series with St. John’s does.”

Despite having two tough losses, Horan is incredibly proud of his team and finds joy in the recognition the team gained this season. All in all, the team’s bond and determination shined during all of their games and enabled the men to have a great year.

“We’ve been ranked in the top 25 most of the season,” Horan said. “It’s really nice to see those accolades – it shows the players that their hard work is being noticed.”

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