Written by Clayton Alvaro Buhler. Media by Morgan Johnson.
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Podcast By: Deloy Cole
Overcoming adversity has characterized the Greenville College football season. No one knows this better than interim head coach Robbie Schomaker. It was a day during June when coach Schomaker would come to find out that Greenville’s head football coach, Ordell Walker, would be stepping away from the program. On that very same day he also got news that a player on the team, Luke Moore, was diagnosed with cancer. Not long after, conference offensive player of the year Manny Gamble would suffer a career ending heart condition. The football team also lost their assistant head coach during the summer. The Panthers found themselves facing all of this before the season had even started, and it was into such a climate that Robbie Schomaker assumed the role of interim head coach. However, coach Schomaker and the rest of the team were ready to face the challenge. “A lot of credit could be given to the senior class. They were really built and trained for adversity, and they’ve responded extremely well,” said coach Schomaker. In fact, the Panthers have responded so well that they stand undefeated with two games left in the regular season. The mental toughness of this team can easily be seen by the numerous victories the Panthers have been able to pull out of several incredibly close games.
How has the football team acquired such fortitude? Coach Schomaker attributes it to their adoption of a “terminator mentality.” For years it has been instilled in players to be, as Coach Schomaker puts it, “man-like machines who will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal.” The Panther squad will need to continue to play like terminators if they hope to end the season undefeated and make it to their first NCAA Division 3 playoff game. The winner of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference title will receive an automatic bid to the playoffs, and at this point in the season Greenville is competing for the title against St. Scholastica, who are also undefeated in conference. November 9th, the last game of the season in which Greenville plays Scholastica, is looking to be a showdown to determine which team makes it to the playoffs. The Panthers need Greenville to rally around them as they look to finish out the season on top and make their first playoff appearance.