The Macalester football team wrapped up their 2017 season last weekend with a loss at Illinois College. The Scots finished third in the North region of the Midwest Conference, and 500 overall. Though this season may not have been what the team had hoped for, it has capped off the careers of the 17 members of the senior class in record-breaking fashion. Not only did the senior class have five representatives on the Midwest All-Conference team, but they now are now the winningest class in Macalester history with 25 victories. This group was also a part of the team that earned the most wins in a season (nine) and went to the NCAA tournament in 2014.
“This season definitely could have gone better … offensively, I think we were the best we’ve been in my four years here, (but) it just didn’t translate to wins. So [we] had some highs and lows there, but hopefully next year they can build on what we were able to this year and best of luck to them.” quarterback Christian Adams ’18 said.
Adams broke four school records of his own this year, topping the charts in single-season passing yards (2,734), touchdown passes (20), completions (219) and pass attempts (377). Despite being happy about his own accolades and those his class earned, Adams is confident that this is only the beginning, “I think [the program has] been left in good hands with some of the upper classmen next year,” Adams said. “[The class record] has been a long time coming, and I think the class below us or a couple classes after us has a really good chance to break it. That’s always the goal.”
Phil Wettersten ’18 spoke to the character of the players who will be steering the ship in the future. “The program is in good hands moving forward. They’re all exceptional young men and I’m excited to see what they do down the line,” Wettersten said. “I’m really confident in the next generation being able to move the program onward and upward.” Wettersten emphasized that this future has been something that the program has been working toward for years.
“We really tried to change the culture around Mac Football and move the program in the right direction, and talking with Coach Jennison it has been apparent that some of the recruits they’ve been able to bring in is a direct result of the accomplishments we’ve had in the last four years,” Wettersten said. “A lot of us were here because of the accomplishments of the guys that were here before us.”
However, those still on the team have some big shoes to fill on the field. Punter Matt Glasenapp ’18 averaged a conference-best 40.8 yards per punt, good enough for 19th nationally. All-Conference selections Wettersten, Cash McGregor ’18 and Jack Schultenover ’18 led the defensive campaign for the Scots, with Wettersten leading the team in tackles with 81, Schultenover tied for most interceptions with three, and McGregor holding strong in multiple categories with 60 tackles, three fumble recoveries and four pass break-ups. Sean Hayes ’18 was also a pivotal contributor to the Scots’ defense, with 10 tackles for loss and a blocked punt in his final season.
Replacing this senior class is going to be about more than just what they can do on the field. This class has been an example for those under them about what Macalester football is truly about.
“As a freshman, sophomore and even as a junior you have the alumni come back and talk to you about how the wins and losses fade in your memory but what you remember and what you cherish is the ride with the guys you’ve done it with year after year,” Wettersten said.
Adams summarized his feelings concisely. “I love my senior class, I will absolutely cherish these memories for life,” he said.
The Scots return playmaker Alec Beatty ’19 and leading rusher Jeremy Stephan ’19, along with promising underclass talent in Kiante Miles ’20 and Johnny Bice ’20, and strong first year offensive linemen Calvin Thomas ’21, Carter Gale ’21 and Steven Schimanski ’21. With these key returners, strong upper class leadership, and the high-level recruits that Wettersten alluded to, the Macalester football program appears poised to continue their record-breaking play.