Football expands pre-season

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With the 2013 Pacific University football season now in the history books, the Boxers will look to prepare for their opponents in the 2014 football season by expanding their preseason travel to the east coast for two games.

For the second consecutive year, the 2014 season will feature a full 10-game schedule with three non-conference opponents.

To finish up the non-conference schedule, the Boxers will travel to Iowa and Chicago to play against the University of Dubuque and the University of Chicago, respectively.

This is the farthest the team has traveled and is proving to be an effective recruiting aspect and contribution to the teams collegiate experience.

When it comes to finding games, Buckley mainly focuses on where they can go and not who they can play.

“Being able to take the team different places is a great part of the overall experience,” said Buckley.

Being that it is Division III, the act of traveling several states across the country to play games can be very appealing to recruits.

In 2013, the Boxers played four non-conference games, but with the addition of George Fox University to the Northwest Conference football schedule, the Boxers’ schedule will be reduced back to only three non-conference games.

The importance of non-conference games is to help teams with figuring out their identity as a football team as well as building confidence and momentum riding into the beginning of the conference season.

The biggest issue for head coach Keith Buckley and Athletics Director Ken Shumann has been finding schools to play against.

“We’ve had some games dropped on us,” said Buckley. “It’s not a necessarily fun part of the job.”

For the upcoming season, the Boxers’ conference schedule is pretty generous for away games, as they will only have to travel out of state once to play Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.

As for scheduling future teams that could be an “easy win” to increase the chances of going undefeated, Buckley feels that the only games that matter are the NWC games.

“Ultimately for us, the conference play is what matters,” said Buckley. “Undefeated doesn’t matter necessarily in terms of getting to the post-season. It’s about winning the Northwest Conference.”

The Boxers will open the 2014 season at home against the College of Idaho. The Yotes participate in the NAIA and, much like the Boxers a few seasons ago, 2014 will mark the revival of their football program.


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