After a disappointing announcement by the NCAA Division III that they cancelled fall football, fans and players are holding out hope for spring ball. University officials stalled all sporting activities before the start of Fall semester due to concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While a possible spring season was announced, one player is looking to make the best out of his current situation.
Aaron Hawk is a junior at UMU with double major in sports business and communications and a minor in French. While in the current off season, Hawk and his teammates will soon resume practice in pads as the team eases back into a normal schedule of pre-season preparation. As a defensive back, he is primarily focusing on strength training and watching films of previous games to reinstall plays.
“Playing games on Friday nights is going to be a lot of fun because there’s definitely a different atmosphere at nighttime,” Hawk said. “One thing that’s gonna be tough for sure is the weather. But it’ll definitely feel like a throwback to what it used to be like in high school.”
Looking at Hawk’s abilities on the field, Mount Union recruiters didn’t hesitate to seek him out. His position on the Raider football team seems like a natural next step from his career at Gahr High School in Cerritos, California. He didn’t start out as a football player, but actually played both basketball and baseball prior. Joining the team his junior year, he quickly rose in the ranks to be the unspoken team captain.
“I would say he’s a great communicator,” says Greg Marshal, athletic director and head football and track coach at Gahr High School. “We call it ‘accepting the challenge’ of calling the defense during the game, and he was able to gain respect of the players, and that’s a hard thing to do.”
Marshall praises Hawk for his great ability to lead his teammates and his knowledge of the sport. He was impressed by Hawk performance from his first time on the field as a high school junior and knew that he had someone with a lot of skill on his roster.
The coaching staff at Mount Union is known for recruiting players with great skill, and Hawk is no exception. After playing only two full seasons for his high school team, he was able to catch the eye of former assistant coach Geoffrey Dartt.
“We look for three things. Obviously skill is one of them. From there, we look for guys with character; we also enforce that this is an academic decision. Finally, we look for guys who are passionate about being successful both on the field and in the classroom.”
The Mount Union Purple Raiders plan to take to the field again for a five game series slated for Friday nights this spring. More information will be released about spectator allowance and COVID-19 regulations as the date approaches.