Rock football seniors prepare for last home stand against IUP

Published by Madison Williams, Date: October 8, 2021
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The ongoing fame of the Slippery Rock football team shines on through week six. Sitting at 5-0, the team remembers to remain humbled and take each game one week at a time. Head coach Shawn Lutz talks about his team’s endurance and notes how they continue to impress him. Each player impresses him in very different ways. Not to mention, Lutz says the energy from the fans gets better each week and is a great motivator for the team to keep playing well.

Over the course of the past month Henry Litwin was awarded a nomination for the William V. Campbell award, a very prestigious opportunity. Rock native Litwin is one of 15 Division II players who have been nominated for this award in NCAA standings. Litwin isn’t the only standout player though, as the whole roster has come together to ensure this season is successful. The goal as always is to win the PSAC Championship, and nationally a title as well.

Every game is exciting for the team, but some more than others. Particularly, one of the many games that players and fans are anticipating is homecoming weekend. Hot dogs are grilling in the parking lot, parents are tailgating in their green clothes and the whole community comes together to cheer on The Rock. The opponent, rivalry Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will head to The Rock for their yearly conference battle. It is projected to be a big weekend, since the university has not celebrated a homecoming since 2019 due to the pandemic.

For senior player and captain Chad Kuhn this will be his final homecoming game. “I want to beat them handsomely, and I don’t want them to score a single point,” Kuhn said. He’s come a long way from being quarterback in high school to one of the top ranked defensive ends in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. “As a leader on the team I can say we take each week one game at a time.” Kuhn’s body frame and height made him a better fit on the defense in the eyes of Lutz. Alongside Kuhn, he says Garret De Bein has stepped up big time and been a team player that has been standing strong on offense. “I honestly prefer it now and think it was the right choice for me,” Kuhn said. As many players are entering their last season of eligibility the stakes are high.

The rate of success showing on the field has a lot to do with the way practices are run at The Rock. “Each week the scouting report is gone over in great detail,” Kuhn said. The senior defenseman was ranked preseason by Lindy sports and the CFB Network, but to him those are just motivation. “It felt good to be recognized,” said Kuhn, who Coach Lutz values. “The success of the entire team is what really matter though.”

Coach Lutz mentions the beast mode mentality as the mindset going forward. “We treat each practice like it is a game,” Lutz said. The tempo is high, and the roster is being maximized to defend the PSAC title.

“For some other teams playing us is like playing in the Superbowl,” Kuhn said. “Many teams within the PSAC are underrated and we can’t sleep on them.” Of those teams, Edinboro University and California University of Pennslyvania included. Homecoming game will be Saturday, Oct. 16, but first The Rock needs to take care of business with Edinboro University this weekend.

 

Madison is a junior communication major with a concentration in converged journalism and a minor in sport management. She is an active member of WSRU-TV and is the sports editor of The Rocket. Upon graduation, Madison plans to work in the broadcasting industry and coach volleyball.

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