HOLLAND, Mich. -- The Hope College football team is coming off one of their best seasons as they posted the greatest single season turnaround, going 7-3 last year after just two wins in 2015. This spring they hit the field ready to continue that success.
“I feel like we are so far ahead of where we were last year at this time." Coach Peter Stuursma said. "Last year at this time we were trying to figure out the names of our players and to try and get them organized."
"Spring practice for us is just an opportunity for our younger guys to learn our system and to be back out on the field with our players, having met them and watched them grow over the year and watch the success that they had. Truly, that they had this fall was really a lot of fun. But we also realized that that doesn’t do anything for next year.”
Star running back Mike Miklusicak agreed. “After that year, honestly, it’s been a dream. We’ve been blessed with Coach Stuursma coming in here, the coaching staff, everything’s been great. And compared to last spring, we are miles ahead of where we were. And this weather, I mean we’ve been able to come out here every single day and get after it.”
The Flying Dutchmen have been getting to work and building upon the principles they instilled last year.
“We’re bringing a whole new culture, just the way we get after it every day, " said senior Jacob Pardonnet. "We’re really trying to change things around here. Now that we’ve grown accustomed to that and just really built a relationship with the coaches, it’s easy to just focus on football now so we can really prepare better for the game.”
Coach Stuursma is impressed by the players, crediting them for all their efforts. “Every day these guys come to work. They want to work. They want to get better. Our motto is that we want to get 1% better each day. And we know that that’s just a slow process, and, you know, it’s unrealistic to think that that’s gonna go 20% a day or 50%. That’s why we say we’re gonna get 1% better today, and it’s a joy to be around these guys. They want to get better.”
Hope's first football game in 2017 is September 2 against Monmouth.