The 2016 school year has started back up here at Olivet, students are back in classes, and sports teams are starting up games. This means that Olivet Football is back in action.
The Comets return as Michigan Intercollegiate conference champions after a tremendous 9-1 overall 2015 campaign. This year the Comets now have a target on their backs for the first time since the 2007 season. A conference championship brings a lot to a school the size of Olivet including 100 new recruits.
“We are excited for the season, we have a great mix of young and old. This might be our best freshman class since our first year,” said Head Coach Dan Pifer, “We have to be ready to play every weekend, everyone wants to beat the defending champs, and I think we are definitely up for the challenge. We just need to make sure every rep, every drill, and every day counts. Trust the process.”
The 2016 Comets are determined to leave last season in the past and just focus on the future. Olivet football now needs to tackle another task, staying hungry, and humble.
“Last year was great, but it’s over with, this year we are out to prove that it wasn’t a fluke,” Senior Running Back Damorria Lilly said, “We are determined to stay focused on our goals and to treat every game like a championship game.”
During the first week of the season Olivet took one on the chin losing to St. John Fischer (N.Y.) 52-10 on Sept. 3.
“It was a devastating loss, but it just showed we still have things to work on. This season is going to be more difficult than last year. Every single week people are going to have to bring their best,” Senior Defensive End Justin Madar said, “Everyone wants to take out the best team and I believe that is us. We have to be more prepared mentally and physically than ever before. Our goals are the same, win conference, beat Albion, and win a playoff game.”
With week one over, Olivet made the most of its opportunity to get back on the right track beating Elmhurst 27-13 in the Comet’s home opener.
Olivet played sound defense with two players having seven total tackles each, junior defensive back Walter Love 111, and senior defensive tackle Robert Cuba.
The offensive played efficiently as well. Senior Quarterback Braden Black was 11-of-28 for 153 yards, and threw for three touchdowns. Lilly plowed through the slick field conditions rushing 24 times for 64 yards.
The Comets travel to Wisconsin Lutheran College out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the third and final tune up game before conference play. Kick-off is at 2 p.m. Sept. 17, and can be heard on WOCR 89.1 The One with Sophomore Matt Scher calling the game.
Comet football is at Hope on Oct. 1 under the lights at 6 p.m. Homecoming is against Kalamazoo at 2 p.m. Oct. 8. It;s Albion on Oct. 15 at 1 p.m., and Benedictine of Illinois comes in on Oct. 22 at home at 2 p.m. Comets travel to Alma College Oct. 29 to face the Brits at 1 p.m., and then it’s a game at Adrian on Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. The final season game is Nov. 12 at home against Trine at 1 p.m.