Warming up: Warhawks prep for Mary Hardin-Baylor
MADISON--The weather conditions were not fit for man nor beast outside Wednesday.
So the UW-Whitewater Warhawks football team took a bus trip to Madison.
It was just as frigid in our state’s capital, but the McClain Center is heated. Warhawk Stadium is not.
As in past seasons when the Warhawks have advanced deep into the NCAA Division III playoffs, the University of Wisconsin opened the McClain Center doors for at least one Warhawk practice.
In past seasons, that has come during the championship week.
Mother Nature moved that up to the semifinal week with the arctic blast that has hit the Midwest.
The Warhawks (13-0) are preparing to play Mary Hardin-Baylor (13-0) at Belton, Texas, on Saturday afternoon.
On Tuesday, they practiced in the Kachel Fieldhouse, but that presented some limitations, such as no kicking drills with the low ceiling.
The McClain Center has no such limitations.
Since the Warhawks did not make the playoffs last year, many of the Warhawks were wide-eyed as they entered the facility after the bus trip from Whitewater.
The coaches were grateful for the opportunity to run a complete practice without worrying about frostbite.
“With this weather, here you get a good enviroment,” Warhawk coach Lance Leipold said as his team began drills. “We’re asking our young scout-team players who haven’t been able to suit up for a while to still practice.
“To have them go out there in subzero weather, versus a chance to come here, they’re focused and have a chance to get better. There’s a lot of benefits to this.”
The Warhawks got to use the facility for two hours before busing back to Whitewater.
The team leaves today on a charter flight to Texas. Thanks to the Badger athletic department, the Warhawks will have had one normal practice before getting out of the Wisconsin “freezer.”
“They’ve been very good to us,” Leipold said of the UW.