WAYNE, Neb. -Wayne State College athletes are shaking off some rust despite the past year-and-a-half.
"It's been basically 20 months since they've played a football game," said Wildcat football coach John McMenamin.
The Wildcats are two days into fall camp.
"Players are ready to play," said WSC senior Kevin Ransom. "We didn't get to play in a long time so there's going to be a lot of energy, a lot of excitement. We're going to be running around and causing havoc."
With last season stripped away by COVID-19, WSC football is returning 15 of its 16 seniors.
"I didn't want to be 30 years from now and look back be like 'oh I should've done this,'" said Joshua Taylor, WSC senior.
"We have super seniors, is what we call them, that have come back," said McMenamin. "They're phenomenal kids. It's Division II. You've got to pay to go to school and so they're paying an extra year. So I'm truly honored they're coming back to play with us."
Even with a veteran-heavy roster, pre-season polls put the 'Cats at No. 10 in the NSIC.
"We feel like we shouldn't have been there, honestly," said Ransom. "We've got to prove that to everyone else in the conference."
"I want to see us win," said Taylor. "It's been a long time since we've had a winning program."
The "super seniors" have high hopes in their last year, while this will be McMenamin's first real season of competition.
"We've done scrimmages which are great," said McMenamin. "But there's something when you're in that fourth quarter and you're down and you're sweaty and you're tired and you just don't know if you have that team until you get there."
The Wildcats will face their first challenge against the University of Mary on September 2 in Wayne.
"Our first goal is to get a win, start 1-and-0 and see what we can do from there," said McMenamin.