MSUM Football hopes return in culture will help in 2018

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MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) -- The Minnesota State Moorhead football team is looking ahead to the start of a new season. The Dragons’ coaches are hoping to turn back the clock.

Dragon’s Head Coach Steve Laqua, entering his eighth year, said the gap between potential and performance for the 2017 team was the biggest he’s ever seen as a player or a coach.

So after a disappointing 5-6 record last year the Dragons are doing little things to get back to what Laqua calls the anchors of their culture.

"It isn't anything that's super flashy or big its little everyday things. For instance we mixed up the tables where we sit in the dining center."

Laqua said coaches are no longer allowed to sit with other coaches and players need to sit with new players every day while eating.

"We have to go and sit with a freshman, and upper classman, someone, just someone different every day just learn their names,” sophomore running back Grady Bresnahan said. “We're making sure that we know all each other's names which goes a long way I think. I really do think it goes a long ways."

The Dragons hope building a team-first mentality will help when a starting quarterback gets named.

Laqua has not named an opening game starter but hopes to have one picked before the Dragons take the field August 30th against Minnesota-Crookston.

Laqua said the competition between sophomore Jakeup Sinani and junior Bryce Meehl is good.

Sinani has been taking reps with the first team offense, while Meehl continues to get back into action after missing 2017 with an ACL injury.

Laqua said all of the quarterbacks get along really well and are supporting each other which is having a positive impact on the rest of the team.

"It is ultimately what you want as a team where no one really cares who gets the credit,” Laqua said. “Obviously they both want to play but they both understand that their job is to elevate the other guy."

Sinani did see the field last year for the Dragons appearing in six games throwing for 1,030 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions, completing 70.8% of his pass attempts.