Expectations high for SEMO football heading into 2022 season

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The Southeast Missouri State football team held its first full-pads practice and scrimmage at the Rosengarten Athletic Complex on Wednesday.

Head coach Tom Matukewicz said the Redhawks have made his job easier because of their put-the-nose-to-the-grindstone attitude. 

“This has been a fun team to coach so far,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to get them going on other teams, but this team you never have to. They’ve been ready to play and practice every day, and it’s been fun to see.” 

The Redhawks were picked to finish second in the Ohio Valley Conference this season by league head coaches and communications directors.

Matukewicz said those expectations are justified. 

“If we’re not able to have a good year, I think it’s more of a reflection on my lack of leadership, because really from a roster standpoint, we don’t have a lot of holes in our game,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going undefeated but that certainly means I expect us to have a good year this year.” 

Linebacker Bryce Norman, who was the Redhawks’ leading tackler as a freshman last fall, said the results from last year’s 4-7 campaign have added fuel to the fire for this year’s team. 

“Four-and-seven last year kind of left a bad taste in our mouth,” he said. “We felt like we played a lot better, and especially towards the end of the season, so hopefully we can just kind of pick up where we left off after beating UT Martin last year and just continue to win games.” 

Senior wide receiver Jimmy King, who is coming off an all-conference season in 2021, said he and the Redhawks are itching for that first game Sept. 3 against Iowa State. 

“I’m just ready for the season to start, really,” he said. “I know the guys are ready. I know we all are ready. We’re just trying to get back to it, get on the field and see how all the talent is displayed when it’s time to play another team.” 

Following the Iowa State game, the Redhawks will square off with Southern Illinois in the War for the Wheel on Sept. 10.

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