COLTON FISHER AND DARIUS HARDY ‘DOAH CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
“Right now, the win-loss record isn’t as good as we’d like it to be, but we’re on our way to where we want it to be,” says Head Coach, Scott Yoder.
This is Yoder’s second season here at SU, after spending 12 years as the as- sistant coach at his alma mater Hobart College. In his first year at SU, Yoder led the Hor- nets to a four and six record (three and four in the ODAC) and tied for fourth in the Old Dominion Athletic Confer- ence. After being asked where the team has most improved since he stepped in to the head coaching position, Yoder responded, “Well, I think in year two, our guys that have been with us have a much bet- ter idea of what we’re doing offensively and defensively.”
This season and last sea- son are definitely still rebuild-
ing years for the team as they continue to transition to new coaching styles that Yoder has brought in. After just one season, however, the team is looking much more comfortable in Yo- der’s system. “The biggest areas of improvement from year one to year two is our upperclassmen can actually be upperclassmen.” Says the Hobart Alum.
One of those upperclass- man is senior wide receiver David Bell, who spoke on how the offense has been looking this season. “Honestly, I feel like our strong suit of our offense is stay- ing balanced.” Says Bell. “Our run game, which is very effec- tive right now, is able to help set up our passing game. I believe the offense, as a whole, has done a great job of executing that.”
“What I’ve been excited about this year is that we’ve had some young guys come along pretty fast, which is good for our program and certainly good for the future,” says Yoder.
Along with many upper- classmen leading the team, there have also been many underclassmen making an impact on the
field as well. One of those young guys includes sophomore defensive tackle Jake Shaffer. As a freshman, Shaffer played in seven games and recorded two solo tackles and five assisted tackles. Through only five games this season, the Fairfax native has already recorded 29 tackles, half a sack, and one forced fumble. “On defense, we play really well against the run. We fly to the ball. Our defense held Gallaudet, who has one of the better rushing attacks that we will see this season, to only 69 yards,” says Shaf- fer. “We need to focus on the little things and stay mentally sharp. As long as everyone does the job they are supposed to do, then we will continue to see success this season.”
There is no doubt that the team has seen much improvement since last season, and as for the future, Yoder expressed optimism. “Well, we’re still in the rebuilding of the program phase, but there is no doubt that we want to build a championship-level program and all the facets are here at Shenandoah. We’re on the right track right now, we just have to keep moving forward.”