By Ray Hamill — With a tumultuous offseason now behind them, Humboldt State football coach Damaro Wheeler and his players are enjoying focusing on what they do best — playing football.
The Jacks returned to practice at the start of the month and will open the season at MSU Texas on Sept. 1.
And for now They’re just happy to be back on the field.
“We focus on football,” Wheeler said.
In what is certain to be an emotional season for players, coaches and fans, the Jacks play just four home games, including the home opener against Western Oregon on Sept. 22.
The team scrimmaged last weekend and will hold a second scrimmage on Saturday, which is set for 4:30 p.m. and will be open to the public.
“It was good to see guys go through different situations,” Wheeler said of the scrimmage. “And see how they handled adversity … the guys are trying. The effort’s there. It’s just cleaning up little things.”
Much of the preseason has centered around the competition for the starting quarterback spot, with three names in the mix.
And each of the three — junior Joey Sweeney, sophomore Andrew Tingstad, and freshman Sohail Mohsini — has a different skill set..
“The quarterbacks are competing. I’m pleased with all three of these guys,” Wheeler said. “They all bring something different.”
Mohsini, according to the coach, is a playmaker, while Sweeney brings stability, having played with the team last season, making limited appearances in four games.
Tingstad, meanwhile, the coach says has a huge upside and could be better than any of them.
Overall, Wheeler likes the attitude of his players and feels the team is making progress, with a tough season opener against one of the top-ranked Division-II programs in the nation now just 10 days away.
“They’re all in. These guys want to be here,” he said of his players. “And you can win with that mentality.”