Winning makes everything that much sweeter.
This is the case for the Clarion University football team.
With the team going through struggles for most of the last decade, some may say that they have taken a back seat in the mind of the community and the student body.
However, the 2015 season has been different.
The Golden Eagles are 7-0 and have cracked the NCAA Division II top-25 for the first time in school history.
Everywhere you go on campus, Clarion football is being represented.
Even as you walk into the lower level of the Gemmell Student Complex, the scores of each game are displayed of the student bookstore windows.
It seems that the support for the Golden Eagles is at an all-time high.
“The support from the campus and surrounding community has been great. The excitement continues to push us forward. The teams sees the excitement and is very much enjoying the ride,” first-year head coach Chris Weibel said.
Clarion University students are taking pride in what the football team is doing.
“I think it is amazing how much support the team is getting from both the community and university. With their winning season, and the fact they are undefeated, it is giving the students a reason to get out of their dorms and get involved with the university by cheering them on,” senior Joel Martin said.
As it has been stated, Weibel was one of the best quarterbacks to ever put on the pads for the Golden Eagles.
He was here for part of the glory days for the Golden Eagles in the ‘90s, and he has been here for the times of struggles in the past decade.
Weibel has taken the winning ways of his playing days and brought them into his tenure as head coach.
“As an assistant coach you can voice opinions and ideas, but they don’t have to be accepted. I have my own philosophies and ideas that I wanted to bring to this program. I hold my guys accountable for everything. I push them to get better. I challenge them. I am always positive with them, and expect them to be positive with each other. I preach to them that if they want something in life, they have to work hard and take it. No one will hand anything to them. There is no room for negativity in my program,” Weibel said.
With all this attention, it is probable that players could tend to lose focus.
However, Weibel is making sure that players stay focused and ready for every practice.
“I let them know that I am proud of them, and they should be proud of themselves, but never be satisfied. Continue to work hard, but have fun doing it. I remind them of how they feel when we win, when we ring that bell, when we accomplish something. I want them to never forget how it feels to be successful,” Weibel said.
The Golden Eagles have four games remaining with big tests against CalU, IUP and nationally ranked Slippery Rock staring them in the face.
The Eagles currently are tied with IUP with a 4-0 record in the PSAC West.
Clarion and Slippery Rock are the only two teams ranked in the top 25 nationally.
The two teams will meet in Slippery Rock on Nov. 7.
There will be a fan bus transporting students to the game at CalU on Oct. 24.