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Warhawks Looking to Improve Against Finlandia Today

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Fans at Perkins Stadium will be greeted with the beautiful banner hanging on the south side of the press box. 

      The UW-Whitewater Warhawks had to travel over 1800 miles round-trip to bring home their first victory of the season last week as they crushed Belhaven University 62-6.  This afternoon, the Warhawks play Finlandia University in their home opener. Kickoff is set for 1:00.  What do the Warhawks hope to accomplish against the first-year lions, who have been outscored 129-0 in the first two football games in their history?  Like every other day for UW-W, with the sunrise on Saturday morning comes an opportunity to get better. 

      It is that “get better” mentality that allowed them to grow as a football team in their opener against an overmatched Belhaven.  “That is something we have addressed the team about several times over the years,” explained Head Coach Kevin Bullis.  We focus on what we have to do to get better.  We don’t focus on the opponent and we don’t focus on the scoreboard.  We focus on how we can improve.  And that’s what we did (at Belhaven).

      The Warhawks ran out to a 42-0 lead at halftime.  “At halftime I addressed some issues.  Bullis noted that improvements could be made.  “At halftime, I addressed some basic issues.  Our coaches discussed issues with the players in their individual meetings.  We told them, ‘Guys, we have to go out and get better.’  Let’s go out and get better in the second half.  So many times people get wrapped up in the score. We don’t.  Whether we are ahead at halftime, behind at halftime, or whether it’s tied, we focus on what we have to do to get better during the course of that game.  That’s what our assistant coaches do and I just back up and reinforce those key elements for our players,” Bullis said.

       Saturday. We felt good that we stepped up some things in the second half.  But to be candid with you, at one point we had a series of mistakes.  That is the kind of thing that after the game I was concerned with and addressed the guys.  I said, ‘Fellas, we are going to make mistakes, we are only human.  It’s reality.  But for us to put them together in a series like that, that’s really detrimental’.  That was a learning experience for our guys.  When a mistake happens in one aspect of the game, the other pieces of the team need to step up and stem that tide so it doesn’t turn into a flurry of errors, which it did for us.  We have to turn that into a learning experience and eliminate those type of things.  But overall, the guys did step up and play well.  We were able to play everyone who got on the bus and we were happy with what we saw,”

      Saturday may well be another opportunity to play deep into the Warhawks’ roster as they will play a young Lions team who is still learning how to compete at the NCAA D-III level. “I met Coach Driscoll this spring and I have great admiration fo him and his staff and his university for starting up football.  We got a chance to watch them play.  They are a young team.  They are almost all freshmen and sophomores on their roster.  In essence, it will be 18 and 19 year old young men we will be playing on Saturday,” Bullis noted.  “For us, whether we are playing Finlandia, Oshkosh, Platteville, or Morningside, we approach playing teams in this manner: focus on what we have to do to get better today.”

      It's Saturday morning.  The sun has risen. And with it comes an opportunity for the 2015 Warhawks to get better.   And they don’t have to travel one single mile to do it.