Chris Raimondi—Sports Editor
While all the hype has been around Kennesaw State’s new Division I football team, KSU’s club football team has been playing games that count—and winning.
After going 0-6 in 2012 and 1-5 last season, the club football team has drastically turned its fortunes around, compiling a 5-1 record this season. The Owls will play for the conference championship Saturday, Nov. 22, at The Perch.
“Leadership,” head coach Joseph Courson said when asked about his team’s biggest difference this season. “We were able to go out and get new officers. There was no leadership, no continuity. We got new officers who are guys that have something invested into it.”
The team operates using officers, which are also players, who are responsible for everything from setting up the field, to equipment management, to balancing the budget and hiring officials. After losing four players to KSU’s varsity team during open tryouts, the club squad pulled together to have its best season in program history.
“One of my philosophies as a coach is to teach family,” Courson said. “These guys realize that the guy beside them is their family member. We have guys out there that are playing for the love of the game.”
Perhaps the Owls’ biggest obstacle this season has been being able to field a team. Courson and his coaching staff have not had more than 19 players on roster in any game this season. KSU faced a Columbus State team with over 48 players earlier this season. The Owls proceeded to defeat the Cougars 21-7 with 19 players dressed, two of which were kickers.
Courson attributed his team’s success to the strong play of running back Gerald Gipson, quarterback Zach Cummins, wide receiver Adrian Quinones and the defense led by club president Dylan Kren.
“We have an unbelievable defense,” Courson said. “After you play Kennesaw State’s club football defense, you’re going to go home bruised. Our defense is by far the heart of our team.
After defeating Columbus State earlier this season, KSU will face the Cougars again in the conference championship Saturday Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. This time it will be a home game for the Owls at the Perch. “We’re going to put our chinstraps on and go at them,” Courson said. “We’re not holding anything back. We have one more thing to do to accomplish our goals this year and that is to take it to Columbus State.”