WPU Announces End of 2020 Gridiron Season

Oskaloosa–Although the Statesmen football team was healthy, ready to play, and committed to finishing its entire 2020 campaign, the pandemic caused its final opponents to have other plans.

WPU (4-3, 2-1 North) wrapped up its campaign with three postponed games still on the docket. Unfortunately, two of those opponents–Clarke and Peru State–announced last week that they were undeclaring (with the NAIA) their commitment to finishing the football season (therefore withdrawing from postseason consideration), leaving no chance for either of those contests to be played.

The other bout, versus Baker, is a Heart of America Athletic Conference crossover matchup and the Wildcats, due to postponements, are already booked to the end of the month against teams from within their own South Division.

“As a coach, this year has been like no other,” Head Coach Todd Hafner said. “As a coaching staff, we have so appreciated how our football team has handled many different and changing situations, doing so with class and character. As a team, we had a motto “I am responsible for us”, making sure we did our part as individuals so we had the opportunity to play each and every week. We were very disappointed that the season came to such an abrupt end.”

Unfortunately, the Statesmen, who played just twice at home this fall, will not be able to give their seniors the recognition they deserve with a Senior Day contest.

“This senior class has battled through some tough times during their tenure here,” Hafner said. “They have not only done everything we have asked, they have done much more. They are all going to be highly successful at whatever they choose to pursue. We cannot say thank you to them enough for everything they have done for our program.”

“Our athletic department dedicated this summer to putting together a return-to-play plan that had mitigation steps in place that was going to give us the best possible chance to pull off a season,” Athletic Director Nik Rule said. “We made sure that our staff understood the plan every step of the way, and then we were very intentional about communicating it to our student-athletes over the summer, when they arrived, daily at practices, and in our athletic facilities. Our team, across the board, rose to the occasion and our student-athletes took the mitigation steps extremely serious. Navigating intercollegiate athletics in a pandemic takes a great deal of coordination, belief, and across-the-board buy-in. Our football program bought into it and we were able to deliver an uncommon experience.”

Posted by on Nov 12 2020. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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