WAYNE – About 90% of the Wayne State College football team has been in town from mid-June into July with many of the student-athletes taking part in the voluntary workouts handed out the WSC coaching staff.
As a 10-day period of camps closed out in late July, the Wayne State College football team will next focus on themselves preparing for a later start to the season.
John McMenamin is entering his first year as the head coach at Wayne State College. Coach McMenamin said it was great hosting the camps and the staff saw a lot of players they really liked.
“Just a chance to show off what a beautiful place Wayne State is,” said McMenamin. “We had over 500 kids that stepped foot on campus. So, our coaches got a good chance to evaluate a lot of talent and then those athletes got a chance to evaluate us.”
The NSIC Board of Directors made the unanimous decision to delay the start of the fall sports season early last week. For football, the first permissible practice will now be Wednesday, September 2 with their first competition being a cross division road trip to Minnesota Duluth on Saturday, September 26 at 6:05 p.m.
Coach McMenamin added this is a really hungry group.
“I’m really proud of them because they’re doing all of this work with a big huge unknown” McMenamin added. “There’s nothing guaranteed that they’re going to play football this fall and that excites me as hard as they’re working. They’re getting up really at 5:30 a.m. most of the week and getting some weights in and working out.”
Coach McMenamin also appreciates head strength & conditioning coach Grant Darnell and head athletic trainer Muffin Morris along with their staffs. There are no more than 24 student-athletes in the weight room at one time and all of the screening is done at 5:45 a.m. each day.
Once the first day of classes start on Monday, August 17, each fall sport will follow their non-championship practice schedule which is eight hours a week and two days off from athletic related activities for football. Coach McMenamin mentioned the student-athletes will hit the strength and conditioning aspect early on before September 2 is full practice mode.
“Each coach can only have eight athletes, so it’s more individual work,” McMenamin mentioned. “We’ll have two weeks to kind of hone in our craft now. They’ll be in the weight room, they’ll run, they’ll lift, we’ll do our academic meetings, study halls and then we’ll be out on the field with them working on more of the individual aspects of it for two weeks.”
Only a handful of returning starters are not on campus as the incoming freshman will start to arrive the week of Monday, August 10 to get checked into their dorms. Coaches won’t be able to do any voluntary work with incoming freshman or transfers unless it is led by the players.
The now eight-game schedule will feature four home and four away games. WSC’s home opener will now be homecoming weekend on Saturday, October 3 at 1 p.m. hosting Winona State. The ‘Cats will also visit Minnesota State-Mankato on Saturday, October 10 at 1 p.m.; host Augustana on Saturday, October 17 at 1 p.m.; visit Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday, October 24 at 5 p.m.; visit Upper Iowa on Saturday, October 31 at noon; host Sioux Falls during the Egg Bowl on Saturday, November 7 at 1 p.m. and close out the season hosting University of May (previously scheduled home opener on September 5) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 14.