McPherson College football coach Paul Mierkiewicz welcomed 100 candidates on Thursday as the 2018 season kicked off with the opening practice.
Mierkiewicz was pleased with the enthusiasm of the players, who were in helmets, shirts and shorts.
“Our guys are working hard,” Mierkiewicz said. “The energy and effort were there today.”
The Bulldog staff put the players through the paces for about an hour, which featured offensive and defensive repetitions. The schedule is pretty much the same for the next three days, but on Monday it’s down to business as the Bulldogs don the pads.
This is easily Mierkiewicz’s most experienced team as he begins his fourth year. He welcomes back 19 seniors, more than 50 lettermen and 17 starters from a team that was 3-7 last year, but lost several close games.
Mierkiewicz has brought the program a long way in a short time as when he arrived in December of 2014, there were approximately 20 players remaining from the previous regime.
The Bulldogs were picked eighth in the KCAC media poll last week and ninth in the KCAC coaches’ poll.
Mac opens its season on Sept. 1 hosting county rival Bethany College at McPherson Stadium.