First contact – With 70 kids, NU frosh look to work as a team |

First contact – With 70 kids, NU frosh look to work as a team

With high expectations on every Nevada Union football team, there are certain things each coach must accomplish.

Last year portrayed just how early winning has to start, in building a tradition like that of the Miners, when Greg Brown’s freshmen went 8-0 and earned the Metro Conference Championship.

With 70 kids on the team, it might seem easy to field a top-notch group of starters. But according to Brown, it’s not.

There is no player this season, Brown said, who has proven himself to be a powerhouse on the field . So until that player emerges, all Brown can hope for is a solid team.

“Hopefully we’ll have a very fundamentally-sound team,” he said.

Going by Brown’s track record as head coach at NU, Miner fans might expect a repeat of last season, with or without a star. In his four years as the freshmen skipper, Brown has not lost a league game.

“I do think we’ve got a good group of kids,” he said. “They’re starting to come together and establish an identity.”

The most important thing Brown sees needing to be taken care of on any freshmen team is teaching players to work as one.

“On the mental side,” Brown said, “they’ve got to understand that 11 guys have to do their job. You have to work together as 11 people.”

This season especially has the chance to stand out in record books, being the golden anniversary of frosh football at NU.

In its 50th year of existence, the freshmen have already been given pep talks by Ben Barry, the coach of the first Miner freshmen team.

Any extra push the freshmen can get at this point is necessary, with a tougher schedule this season than any in recent years.

There are two more games this season than last, including matchups with Napa and St. Mary’s – two teams Brown calls exceptional.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Brown said.

Even though huge emphasis is put on winning at this level, it still is not the most important thing as far as the coach is concerned.

“If the kids don’t learn football here and don’t get excited about football,” Brown said, “they don’t want to go on.”

Nevada Union freshmen

2004 season schedule

9/9 vs. Laguna Creek 6 p.m.

9/17 vs. Vintage 3:30 p.m.

9/23 vs. Elk Grove 6 p.m.

9/30 @ Napa 6 p.m.

10/7 @ Del Campo 3:45 p.m.

10/14 @ St. Mary’s 5 p.m.

10/21 @ Yuba City 6 p.m.

10/28 vs. El Camino 6 p.m.

11/4 vs. Granite Bay 6 p.m.

11/11 @ Foothill 6 p.m.

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