Skyhawks look for health and stability in bye week

Published 11:09 am Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Skyhawks are getting a much-needed break this week. Point University’s football team is in its bye week, and the team is preparing to start conference play next week. 

To this point in the season, Point is 1-3 with three losses of more than 30 points. A major part of the struggles for the Skyhawks have been their opponents. 

Two of Point’s losses have come to teams in the top 15 of the NAIA. Head Coach Trevor Zeiders wanted to use the first part of his team’s schedule to judge where the program was at compared to the rest of the NAIA. Although the team is not where he wants it to be, Zeiders at least knows what improvements need to be made.

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“We’ve played three of the tougher opponents that we’re going to see,” Zeiders said. “I don’t know that we’re going to see anybody else that tough for the rest of the season.”

The losses that Point has had this season would hurt anyone’s confidence. The Skyhawks gained some confidence back in their win against Thomas, but that confidence did not translate over to the next week.

“We started to see some of that confidence against Thomas, which is why that was such a big game for us mentally,” Zeiders said. “Then, we didn’t see it again against Lindsey. Now, we’ve got to find that success again mentally.” 

The bye week gives all of the players a good chance to go home and see their families over the weekend for the first time since the season began. It is also a good opportunity for the Skyhawks to get some players back from injury.  

“The biggest thing about the bye week, no. 1, is we’re trying to get healthy,” Zeiders said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries, and that’s been a challenge.” 

A lot of the injuries for the Skyhawks are at pivotal positions. Sensir Carnes has been out since the season opener, and Carnes is supposed to be the starting running back. Trey Inge is another playmaker at running back who is dealing with an injury 

Mitchell Gossett was dealing with a calf injury last week that kept him out of the game at quarterback. The Skyhawks lost the game 57-7 and the offense only totaled 103 yards.

“Mitch’s calf was bothering him, and he didn’t feel like he could plant off of it the way he needed to in order to throw,” Zeiders said. “He said in an emergency, yes, but we didn’t feel it was an emergency to where we should put him in there and risk further injury.” 

Point has been waiting all season for senior Brenton White to get healthy and enter the quarterback competition. After the bye week, Gossett and White are expected to be healthy and be the two competing for the starting job. 

“They’re probably going to be the two as we move forward. ,” Zeiders said. “That’s kind of where we’re at. Right now, I can’t tell you that one has a leg up over the other. With the way it’s gone, those have been almost gameday decisions.” 

The running game has been one of the biggest issues for the Skyhawks this season. This season, Point has averaged 52 rushing yards per game. Some of the issues stem from injuries to athletes like Carnes and Inge, but there have also been major problems on the offensive line. Zeiders and the rest of the coaching staff are working to fix those issues this week.
“Making sure that we understand our assignments, who we need to block,” Zeiders said. “Scheme-wise, we seemed a little confused last game.” 

The team has already begun studying film for its next matchup on the road against Kentucky Christian. The team’s senior leadership has been stepping up during the bye week. Dayvon Dukes and James Bryant have been vocal leaders during the team’s struggles, but the rest of the team still has to buy in. 

“We’ve got a lot of teaching left to do,” Zeiders said. “Almost to the point where you’ve got to grow some leadership as well as hoping that it’s there already.”