OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s been nearly two years since the UW-Oshkosh football team played a competitive game under the lights, but getting back on the field this fall is important to players and coaches.
The Titans are coming into the 2021 season with high expectations. After a season that was lost due to COVID-19 in 2020, UW-Oshkosh is predicted to finish second in this year’s Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
In 2019, the Titans finished with an 8-3 record overall but it’s been the conference match ups where they have strived. They’ve won 48 of their last 56 games against WIAC opponents.
Head Coach Pat Cerroni explained to Local 5 just how important playing a meaningful game meant to everybody in the program and how much of a whirlwind last year was for them after getting their season cancelled.
“It was crazy. You know, I can’t even describe everything. You don’t know who is coming back or what is going to happen. You have to re-develop the culture of the program. It’s been 21 months we’re talking”, says Cerroni.
Seniors on the Titan football team had a tough decision to make when their season got cancelled. Some, not knowing if they would even step on the football field again.
“When you’re 18 and now we’re 23, 24, that’s a quarter of your life that we spent together. It’s really special just to grow through the program with all the guys and then all of the guys deciding to come back for a sixth year when a lot of those guys could’ve graduated, it just means the world to be able to come back here”, says senior defensive lineman Trenton LaCombe.
As the season gets closer and closer, players are just itching to get back on the field after being away for so long.
“It’s just about getting better every day. We’re kind of getting sick of playing each other because we’ve been doing it since last year fall, but yeah we’re excited and finally happy to be playing another opponent”, says senior tight end Justin Kasuboski.
Before the Titans kick off their 126th football season on September 4, grateful is the word being used around the program when discussing being back.
“The message is, we’re just lucky to be out here. If anyone ever knew the realities of all of the things they have to do to be out here, we’re just lucky to be practicing. This is where they’re most happiest. This is where I’m most happiest, is on this field. But like I said, it’s just tough”, says Cerroni.
With so much expectations surrounding the UW-Oshkosh football program, Cerroni knows what it will take for the Titans to win this fall.
“The talents there, it’s just a matter of how are we going to handle the adversity? It’s going to be the team that handles the adversity the best that’s going to win. It doesn’t really matter until we start and until we get punched in the mouth, right?”, says Cerroni.