Mansfield sprint football opens the season today | News, Sports, Jobs
MANSFIELD – Returning from six athletes from all conferences, including Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year, Mansfield University’s sprint football team is in full swing as they begin their quest for the championship of the Collegiate Sprint Football League on Saturday.
Under fifth-year coach John Evans, the Mounties open the 2022 campaign Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. at Caldwell University’s Bonnel Field.
“I said right away, it was the best first day we’ve ever had since I’ve been here,” Evans on the first takeaways. “We had a lot of enthusiasm, we are strong in numbers and I think we are off to a good start.”
In 2021, the Mounties started the season with wins in three of their first four games, but did the exact opposite to end the season.
“The next step is to come down to Caldwell and play a great game, we’re not looking anywhere beyond that,” Evans on the keys to the season. “I think last year we were very talented and as a staff we looked way beyond the first two games. I think if we can get through Caldwell the schedule is playing in our hand where we could go in. in the last three games of the season against the Army, Navy and Penn in good shape.
When coach John Evans took over the program in 2018, the Mounties hadn’t won more than two games since joining the CSFL a decade earlier.
Mansfield, who had to sit and watch Army West Point and the United States Naval Academy fight for the CSFL championship on their home turf at Karl Van Norman Field, has come a long way since 2008.
Entering the fifth year of the Evans era, the program has never fallen below .500, while surpassing program highs in wins with four in 2018, five (record) in 2019 and four in 2021. Evans, which missed a full season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, is the all-time program wins leader.
That said, the RCMP is far from satisfied. Merely “make noise” in the race for the conference championship is no longer enough. The RCMP has a winning culture in place, it just needs to be proven between the lines.
“We have real talent here – at the moment it’s just about putting the pieces together.” Evans added. “We have positional battles in many places which is a good problem to have. We are excited to start.
The Mountaineers are 3-1 all-time against the Cougars, however, their only loss came last season in a lopsided 51-6 loss on the final day of the regular season.
The rivalry has been full of one-sided affairs, starting in 2017 when the Mounties won the series opener, 49-19, in Caldwell, NJ.
Caldwell is coming off its best season in program history, finishing the year 5-2 overall and 3-1 in CSFL North. Caldwell missed the CSFL championship game in a heartbreaking 4-2 loss to conference powerhouse Army.