CRETE – The Doane football team is preparing for another year that they hope will bring a third straight playoff appearance.
Head Coach Matt Franzen spoke Thursday during the annual Great Plains Athletic Conference Media Day. The Tigers will look to build on a 2016 season in which they went 9-2 before losing a thriller against Eastern Oregon in the first round of the playoffs.
The Tigers will see some new faces including on the coaching staff with Anthony Dunn taking over as offensive coordinator following the departure of Josh Littrell to become head coach at Waldorf College.
Franzen says Doane only graduated 10 seniors from last year’s team, but most were key players.
:25 “…has to offer.”
Franzen says he expects special teams to be a major strength again this season.
:35 “…to the table.”
There will be several new starters on defense after all three starting defensive linemen and two linebackers graduated from last year’s team.
:51 “…end for us.”
Franzen says he expects the defensive secondary to improve with all of last year’s starters returning, led by Cole Wiseman.
Offensively the Tigers will look to replace All-American running back Nate Meier, who set several school records last season.
:23 “…of the backfield.”
Quarterback Jack Shadley will return under center with a deep receiving corps that lost Mitch Marvin but regains Jacob Cornelius after he missed all of last season with a knee injury and three starters on the offensive line.
The conference’s preseason predictions were revealed at the end of the day. The media picked Doane to once again finish second in GPAC behind Morningside while the coaches predicted a third place finish behind Dakota Wesleyan. Doane received one first place vote in each poll.
The Tigers will begin the season on Sept. 2 with a tough road matchup in Kansas against Sterling, which was a playoff team last year. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m.
Once again every Doane game can be heard live on Ol Red 99-5 with home games also televised on News Channel Nebraska. The games will also be streamed online at NCNSportsNow.com.