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Mountaineer football kicks off at home for first time this season

Mountaineer football kicks off at home for first time this season

Western Colorado University’s football team has been preparing all summer for the start of the new season after a 1-10 overall record in 2017. Western fullback Tremell Stanley explained how he and his team prepared for the season this past summer.

“Throughout the summer [many] of the guys and myself stayed [on campus] and worked hard to get bigger, faster and stronger for the season,” said Stanley. “[We] became closer as a team by pushing each other during lifting and conditioning.”

On Sept. 15, Stanley and the Mountaineers hosted the rival Colorado Mesa University Mavericks in the world’s highest collegiate football stadium, Mountaineer Bowl. After the first half of play, the Mountaineers trailed the 19th-ranked Mavericks 17-14. While the Mountaineers fought hard during the second half, it just was not quite enough to beat the Mavericks, as they sneaked away with a 24-20 win.

Mountaineers running back Isaac Fuqua ran for a career-high 196 yards, including a 95-yard rush for his first touchdown of the season, in the loss.

While the Mountaineers are 0-3 to start off the season, that does not discourage Stanley.

“The team’s goal this year is to work as hard as we can to obtain Western’s 20th Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference [RMAC] title for the program,” said Stanley. “There are [still many] crucial games left this season that we as a team know we can win, [but] we need all the support we can get from the students, staff and local Mountaineer fans to help propel us to win the RMAC title, so come out and support us this season.”

This season, the Mountaineers will battle Adams State University (Sept. 22), Colorado School of Mines (Oct. 6, Homecoming), Colorado State University-Pueblo (Nov. 10) in front of a home crowd and Black Hills State University (Nov. 27).

Many Western students enjoy watching the team play on Saturday, including sophomore Amalie Ratliff.

“My favorite part of attending Western football games is seeing the support of the fans game after game,” said Ratliff. “No matter [what], fans are there cheering for this team. It is fun to sit [in the stands], make new friends and the popcorn is incredible.”

After the Mesa game, many fans are excited and see improvement compared to last year’s squad.

“Things are looking up for the team,” said Ratliff.

Story by Caitlin Gleason. Photo by Aspen Binder.

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