PERU, Neb. – The Peru State College football team finished their seventh season in the Heart of America Athletic Conference last Saturday with a, 66-17, loss to #15 Benedictine at the Oak Bowl.
The Bobcats finished the fall with an overall record of 7-4, 3-2 in the northern division. They finished third in the division standings.
All four of Peru State’s losses came to opponents who finished the regular season in the NAIA top-25: Evangel, Baker, Grand View and Benedictine. They had key wins over Missouri Valley, MidAmerica Nazarene and William Penn.
Head Coach Steve Schneider says, despite suffering key injuries to in the offensive and defensive backfields, they stayed healthier this year compared to last season when they finished 5-6. He says depth at the line of scrimmage helped lead the team to a seven-win season.
“Our offensive line stayed healthy, so that was a positive thing. Things are kind of won or lost, generally speaking, in the trenches up-front. Our o-line and d-line, for the most part, were relatively healthy and I thought those guys played reasonably well throughout the course of the year.”
Coaches and players have been meeting this week to discuss what Peru State needs to work on this offseason. Coaches will take the information into their meetings on Sunday to analyze what the focus will be over the winter and spring.
Schneider highlights improving the “consistency of play” to compete at the next level with the likes of conference powers Baker and Grand View.
Player development and recruiting will be two components the coaching staff will key-on heading into the offseason.
Current players are in what Schneider calls an “active rest phase,” in other words the coaching staff is asking players to stay active, but they will not host any formal workouts until their 10-12 week winter conditioning program starting in January. That will be following by spring practice in April.