OLATHE, Kan. – Head Coach Steve Schneider highlighted player development during the summer and continuing to invest in the football program as two key steps for the Peru State football team to get to a level where they are competing for conference championships.
The seventh-year head coach made the comments during the Heart of America Athletic Conference Media Day on Monday in Olathe, Kan.
He says Peru State College made strategic investments in the football program when the Bobcats joined the conference in 2014.
“Our weight room and stadium is as good as anybody in the conference. We made some modest upgrades in operational support and scholarship support. I would argue the talent of our football program has improved fairly significantly. The next step is to continue to recruit guys so we don’t have a drop-off in depth.”
The coaching staff helped players find employment in and around southeast Nebraska to keep them in the area to participate in summer drills. They made it a goal to grow the number of participants during the 12-week summer period.
Peru State’s strengths this fall will be along the defensive line and secondary, according to Schneider.
“We lost 17 starters (on defense) during the course of the season last year. Guys that missed two or three games and a couple guys that missed half the season. A lot of young guys got an opportunity to play in ’17 which is going to prepare them much better for ’18. We really feel the strength of our defense will be our defensive line.”
Schneider’s main concerns will be at linebacker. He expects freshman, like Auburn graduate Michael Lombardi, to play and contribute.
The big holes to fill will be on the offense. Peru State graduated five three-year starters and two two-year starters, but Schneider likes the guys coming back.
They will be untested in game situations and Schneider thinks it’ll take two to three weeks for them to figure things out, so they will bank on the defense to carry the load early in the season.
Peru State opens fall camp on Aug. 6. They kickoff the 2018 season on Aug. 25 at Hastings at 7 p.m. The game will air live on B103 (103.1 FM and b103.fm).
Listen to Steve Schneider’s full comments at the Heart of America Athletic Conference Media Day here:
Peru State at Hastings
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 25
Where: Lloyd Wilson Field, Hastings
Radio: 103.1 FM, b103.fm
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