Aug. 2, 2012
Media Day adds excitement to opening of camp for Bearcats
By David Boyce
Devising a game plan to knock off Pittsburg State will be a difficult chore for Northwest Missouri State second-year football coach Adam Dorrel.
Dorrel has two months to think on it. The Bearcats face the Gorillas on Oct. 13th in the Fall Classic XI at Arrowhead.
Before the Bearcats participate in the best rivalry in the MIAA, they will have faced Northeastern State (Okla.), Nebraska-Kearney and Central Oklahoma, three of the five new members in conference – including Southwest Baptist who rejoins the league.
“It is different,” Dorrel said. “There is not a lot you can do now except research them on paper. For example, you look at Nebraska-Kearney and what they did in 2011, and they were 10-2 and they got beat in the second round of the playoffs.
“You get stuck in your own little world in the MIAA and your region and now you add teams that weren’t a part of it. It is kind of interesting. You look at Lindenwood and what they are doing down there from a facility standpoint. They have always played well in football.”
Pitt State, other rivals and new conference members will give Dorrel a few sleepless nights. He will spend hours looking at film, discussing strategy with his coaches and motivating his players to perform in the Bearcat way.
However, the toughest job for Dorrel is less than a week away. On Monday in downtown Kansas City, Dorrel will join the 14 other head coaches in conference for the annual MIAA football media day.
Dorrel enjoys talking about football and has such an easygoing personality that it compels people to ask question after question because of his enthusiasm and knack for telling the truth.
Last Saturday Dorrel spoke at a meet and greet in Platte City. He talked about the Bearcats and then spent 45 minutes answering questions.
“We have a lot of alumni in that area,” Dorrel said. “We gave them a preview of the season and then they have questions. It is their time to ask a question to me and get an answer.
“They are passionate. The thing they want to know most is who made strides in the summer.”
Because of the longevity of Northwest’s success on the football field, the head coach at the MIAA media day is usually the most popular person in the room.
Media from Warrensburg, Mo., to Pittsburg, Kan., want to know what the Bearcats are up to in the new season. Will they make a run to the national championship? Will they claim another MIAA title?
Remember, Dorrel is the antithesis of a crusty, old-school football coach. He enjoys talking.
Dorrel will try to talk less on Monday and that will be difficult.
“I try to be honest without giving away too much from a competitive standpoint,” Dorrel said. “My No. 1 goal is go there and not talk too much and kind of give them a brief overview of our kids who are going to be seniors. I always try to highlight our seniors. I highlight the kids who have done everything we’ve asked.”
The real work for Dorrel and his staff begin a couple of days later when the players report Aug. 8. They will go through a series of tests and say their goodbyes to their mom and dad.
Dorrel said that can be an emotional moment for incoming freshmen and their parents. A few tears are shed.
The next day begins fall camp, the official start of practice.
“We show the new kids, whether they are freshmen or transfers, the tempo we practice at. It is very high. We don’t walk on the field. We introduce our drills.
“That’s all we are concerned with. I don’t care how many passes we catch or interceptions we have. I just want both sides of the football and special teams to understand the drills we do and how we do them.”
After the first day of practice, the grind begins. The Bearcats will spend the next three weeks preparing for the first game of the season, which will be 7 p.m., Aug. 30 at Bearcat Stadium against East Central (Okla.).
Until the first kickoff, there will be plenty of words written and spoken about the upcoming season. It’s a time when football fans get to know some of the new players expected to make an impact and the progress of returners.
With each passing week in August, the anticipation grows for that first game. Dorrel and his staff are already in that mode.
“There is a lot of anticipation,” Dorrel said. “The coaching staff has been working all summer.
“This week is our time to get everybody back together. We do a lot of paper work. You make sure you got your meals ready for camp and all the tedious stuff that leads up to fall camp.”
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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