Less than a year old, the club football team played their first scrimmage two Saturdays ago against Longwood University’s club team. The team opened up their career with a 35-28 overtime victory. Barely a year old and only a month out from acquiring pads and helmets, the UNCG Club Football team has made tremendous strides in a small period of time. At the helm of this early success is Head Coach Michael Vadini.
The coach talked about what the team looked like in the past and how they look today.
“I took notice on day one of the vision and commitment of the club officers and our players,” Vadini said. “Our first practice was real fun, but it was all business and it’s been that way all year. These young men want to get better, build a team and build a program for UNCG.” It seems like these hard practices week in and week out really did pay off.
The inaugural scrimmage against Longwood University’s club football team would be an interesting test for the Spartans. It is easy to practice between teammates and coaches, but when finally on the field against an opposing team, that is where the pressure and anxiety creeps in. Did they do enough to prepare for this Longwood team? Had they trained enough to battle with this fierce competitor? Would they crack under pressure?
“Longwood is a good team. They’ve had club football for some time and they had some real good players” coach Vadini said. “This was UNCG’s first game and we won the scrimmage in overtime so I’d give our team a C+ right now overall if I had to grade the team. We play Longwood in the fall so we will get a good indication of how much we improve as a team in the next 5 months.”
The Spartans came out with the win in their first competitive game as a football team. That is a very bright spot for the team and the university as a whole.
However, there can always be improvements to make any team better. It does not matter how good the team is or how many wins that the team gets, there should always be a will and desire to improve individually and as a team.
“We need another ten players to join the team and hopefully some of them are the big lineman type. Our big men our going both ways and they need to get on one side of the ball,” Vadini said.
Vadini continued, “We also need more experience in game conditions so we will start doing more intrasquad scrimmages now that our players have the technique and systems down we learned all year.”
Sure, the coach pointed out some ways to improve the team, but one should look at the positives from the win over Longwood as well.
“Our strength is in the athleticism and the character of our team and the effort of our coaches. You got to have both,” Vadini said. “Our players are have both and it’s fun and really a privilege to watch them up close. Our coaching staff is led by Oscar Malone on defense and Joe Davidyock on offense. They run the show and do it well.”
The future is very bright for this UNCG club football team. Hopefully, they continue to improve over the summer individually when the players are at home. Then, these stellar athletes can continue to gel as a team when they start practice again in the fall. If this team continues to improve, they may not be playing club teams anymore. They may move on to bigger and better teams at the next level in the sport. Drive and ambition can take this team anywhere. There needs to be goals and these goals need to be set and accomplished by these sensational players and coaches for this club football team to truly succeed.
“Our team has goals. We met in the classroom and wrote up our 2016 goals for the season,” Vadini said. “Goals about our practice, about game performance, about representing UNCG and about doing things for the community. So, our hopes are real clear and by next December we will know what we have achieved.”
If they go all the way with these goals, the sky’s the limit for this incredible club football team.