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2015 Football Season Preview: Cardinals Fired up for Success

Contributed by admin on Sep 05, 2015 - 12:49 PM
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INTERVIEW: Head Coach, Lonnie Pries

INTERVIEW: Defensive Coordinator, Joshua Schumacher

INTERVIEW: Offensive Coordinator, Andrew Rode

The Concordia University Football Program continues to grow under Head Coach Lonnie Pries. Each year Coach Pries and his staff have had an increase in win total with this year to be no exception. In 2014, the Cardinals played their first season on the newly installed pro-turf field. CUAA would pick up their first ever victory on the turf against Anderson University during Homecoming on September 13th. The season would be highlighted by a 62-0 rout against Maranatha Baptist University. CUAA finished their 2014 campaign with an overall record of 3-8 while going 0-6 in the competitive Mideast division of Mid-States Football Association (MSFA).

The 2015 Schedule Preview

New to the schedule this year from 2014 are the fourth ranked Cougars of Saint Xavier, Missouri Baptist University, and Lindenwood University-Belleville. The 2015 schedule has the Cardinals playing host in five games this year at Cardinal Stadium. Since last season, Cardinal Stadium has been under construction to complete the grandstand featuring beautiful chair-back seating, locker rooms, and a press box.

CUAA will host Saint Ambrose University (9/5), the Fighting Saints of Saint Francis (10/3) for Homecoming, Saint Xavier University (10/10), Marian University (10/31), and Lindenwood University-Belleville (11/14). Concordia will compete once again in the Mid-States Football Association which boasts several ranked schools including number one ranked Marian University and the University of Saint Francis (IN) who was tabbed as Receiving Votes in the lastest NAIA poll.

The Cards will be on the road this year for six of their contests beginning on September 12th when they take on Anderson University. Concordia will also play away from home against Siena Heights University (9/19), Trinity International University (9/26), the University of Saint Francis (10/17), Taylor University (10/24), and Missouri Baptist University (11/7).

CUAA's Homecoming will be on October 3rd at 1pm when the Cardinals host the Fighting Saints of Saint Francis (IL). This day will also feature the dedication of Cardinal Stadium led by President Ferry at 12:45pm.  Family Day at Concordia will be held on October 10th against Saint Xavier University, and Senior Day on November 14th against Lindenwood University-Belleville.

Offensive Outlook

Offensive Coordinator, Andrew Rode begins his first season with the Cardinals after being hired by Lonnie Pries last spring.  Rode was able to implement his philosophies and core fundamentals during spring ball which carried over to the summer and fall training camp. According to Rode, "Spring ball was really good.  We grew so much as a football team and the guys worked extremely hard over the summer to come back in great shape".  The offensive unit will be led by Seth Suida (SO/Livonia, MI) who shared reps last year at the Quarterback position.  Skill position players, Corey Turner (SR/Woodhaven, MI), Ashton Hundley (JR/Ypsilanti, MI), and Kyle Oakley (SO/Allen Park, MI) will look to have an integral part of Coach Rode's offensive game plan.  Turner led the team in receiving yards last year with 684 and Hundley started all eleven games as a dual threat option. 

The frontline will be relied on more this season as Rode looks to balance the play calls.  The offensive line will be young but experienced as many players saw plenty of time on the gridiron last year.  Junior Captain, Norman Cyr (JR/Dearborn Heights, MI) will anchor the group at left guard, as well as Austin Sloan (JR/Southgate, MI) who is fully recovered from a knee injury that limited his time last year. 

Coach Rode has seen significant strides especially from a fundamental standpoint and basic understanding of the game.  A point of emphasis in fall training camp has been to limit turnovers and make things difficult for the defense. The Cardinals will look to build on the foundation that has been laid so far as the unit continues to adjust to the new style of play.

Defensive Outlook

Coach Joshua Schumacher enters his third season as the defensive unit for Coach Pries and the Cardinal football program.  Schumacher has quickly made his mark with the program as an x's and o's wizard who emphasizes fundamentals and toughness.  The big question for the Cardinals this season has been how to replace the former NAIA All-American, Takari Johnson.  Coach Schumacher agreed that the Cardinals will miss his leadership and high talent level which produced many record breaking statistics. 

Schumacher is excited for the returners that were part of Coach Pries' first recruiting class to take a bigger leadership and production role.  Nick Holshoe (JR/Hopkins, MI) (95 tackles) will look to protect the backfield along with Demarcus Bunn (JR/Belleville, MI) who led the team with three interceptions.  A young group of linebackers will collectively look to make their mark as Ty Peterson (JR/Milan, MI), Taylor Lemanski (JR/Monroe, MI), and Andrew O'Hara (FR/Cleveland, OH) will be used in many of Schumacher's different schemes.  The defensive line will be an experienced group led by captains Tom Knott (JR/Monroe, MI) and Hunter Cox (JR/Laurel, MD).

For complete coverage of Cardinal Football, please follow @CUAA_Football on Twitter or visit the official home of Concordia University Athletics at You can also check out the official Twitter account of Concordia University Ann Arbor @CUAACardinals for live updates on all Concordia Athletics.