April 2022, Sports

Falcons strive to soar higher for upcoming football season

RALEIGH, N.C. — Following a rough season for the Falcons football team in the fall 2021, with a finish of 1-7, the Falcons are hopeful about the upcoming season in fall of 2022.

One of the teams’ captains, D’Ontre Gillard, a senior majoring in computer information systems, had a good opportunity to observe the team during the season – he ended the season prematurely following a concussion injury, which kept him off the field for majority of the games. Gillard is hopeful for the team.

The team needs more experienced [players, said Gillard, a quarterback. “Everyone was young and needed development. The team consisted of 90 percent of freshman players and the level of competitiveness was not up to the standard which it needed to be to compete against other institutions.”

Gillard is not returning having completed his last season with the Falcons, but he had many good things to say for the continuing players. “They’re going to be great,” he said. “I know that coach [David] Bowser is going to place more individuals around them to succeed within recruitment, needed equipment and other amenities.”

Other players agreed that the lack of experience was one of the major issues last season. Wide receiver Christopher Pitts, a junior majoring in sports management from Tallahassee, Florida, expressed how he did not want to reminisce about the past but said, “The biggest thing I could point out was the team’s youthfulness, I feel like that came into play throughout the season.” When asked about what might be needed to improve the record from last season, Pitts said, “It’s simple: We all have to be locked in and on one accord. We all have a job to get done and we have to be disciplined enough to finish that job.”

The team included 57 freshmen on the roster last season. Most of the players will rejoining the Falcons in the upcoming season, so the team will start off more experienced.

Returning freshman and cornerback Brenden Tibbs, a sophomore from Fayetteville, North Carolina, added, “I think that most of us were young and inexperienced and losing comes with rebuilding a program from the bottom up.” Like Pitts, Tibbs believes that the entire team needs to be on one accord and locked in on the task at hand. Both Pitts and Tibbs have a good feeling entering the upcoming season, and both believe that greater experience will help. Pitts stated, “I’m feeling pretty good this season. I loved the energy and enthusiasm we had this spring we just have to build up on that. I am looking forward to guys coming back bigger, faster and stronger including myself”.

The Saint Augustine’s University Athletics Department is trying to help create an atmosphere of improvement with a series of changes completed in 2021, including refurbishing of the gym, which some call “the dungeon.” The new gym consists of new workout equipment plastered with the name “Falcons” which has been specially designed for the various sports disciplines to utilize.

The team’s new motto is “change the culture, change the game,” and many of the players are optimistic and eager to improve their game and woo their audience for the new season.

 “I have a good feeling about this upcoming season because we have the ability, talent and experience now we just have to put it all together,” Tibbs said.

The Falcons begin the football fall 2022 season on Sept. 1 against Tusculum.