Two-year Logger football losing streak broken
On Sept. 21, the Puget Sound Loggers’ football team beat the Whittier Poets 42-31 on the road in Whittier, Calif. This game marked the first victory in an away game since 2008. The Logger football
team’s reputation had been declining due to 20 consecutive losses.
“Football has been on a not-so-hot losing streak for the past two years,” running back Justin Brush said. “And we beat [Whittier]…and it was phenomenal.”
College football has been renowned across the country as one of the most important sports a university can have.
However, reception and attitudes have been lukewarm towards the football program because of the Loggers’ track record. An article published in The Trail in March 2013 weighed the pros and cons of
even keeping the program.
The removal of a century-long program could have been detrimental to the school’s morale and could have lessened the attraction of Puget Sound to both prospective students and alumni. This game’s
positive outcome has resurrected wider support for the football team.
“I think that we’re an extremely vital part of what makes a liberal arts education. Football fits one of those niches,” head football coach Jeff Thomas said.
Thomas has been the head coach since early 2010, long enough to see the Loggers struggle and finally pull through for the breakthrough against Whittier.
On Sept. 4, 2010 Thomas led his players to their first non-conference (i.e. not officially sanctioned) victory at Baker Stadium. Then, he continued to guide the team on to defeat Whittier in a Northwest
Quarterback Braden Foley said that the players’ homecoming was met with an unprecedented positive reception.
“We came back from the trip down to California, and there was a hundred people outside our bus waiting for us, and it was just the most incredible feeling having the school behind you. Their support
is definitely something that we need and love,” Foley said.
That support extended beyond other athletes and the athletic department.
“Our buses were just mobbed by all kinds of students…I recognized some student athletes, but there were a ton of non-athletes there, which was…even more special,” Thomas said. “It was one of the
best things I’d ever seen.”
The team’s aim was to win the game, not to simply break their losing streak.
“From an outside perspective…it was important for us to beat this streak,” Thomas said. “But for our players, it’s all about getting better and that we had finally beat the team on Saturday.”
Popular culture often gives rise to the so-called ‘jock’ persona, sometimes creating a divide between the athletes and the rest of the student body. Neither of these groups may feel able to identify with the other.
But Puget Sound broke free of these notions when the football team returned by showing their rejuvenated support for the players.
“I’d like to think…we’re beyond stereotypes,” Thomas said, commenting on the academic rigor and diverse interests of the players.
“The morale of the football team could not be any higher,” Brush said. “We are just riding this wave of emotional motivation. Now we’re hungry for another win. We’re so excited for the rest of the
Brush wishes to thank all the students who came to meet the team on their return.
“Football brings schools together,” Foley said. “Getting wins is important to keep schools together, and hopefully we’ll keep winning and bring our school even closer together.”
Puget Sound’s football team prides itself on each player’s contribution to the student body, but together the Loggers’ wins provide spirit and strength to the student body.
Whether it is success in the classroom or success in the stadium, the university’s football representatives continue to strive for excellence, rallying united support from all parts of the student body.