Football schedules September trip to Oregon

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team will travel to Portland, Ore., to play Lewis and Clark College in September.

The team announced the trip when they released the schedule for the 2013 season Feb. 18.

According to head coach Mike Emendorfer, the team will have to raise the money to pay for the trip. This fundraising could involve selling raffle tickets, recieving donations from the families and friends of the team members and assistance from alumni.

Letters for donations from families and friends are expected to start being sent out in the spring, while raffle ticket sales will begin when football camp begins in August.

Team fundraising is not uncommon, as the players’ fees can only cover so much.

“The team is responsible for raising $60,000 to $100,000 per year,” said Emendorfer.  “The new helmets (purchased this year) were $20,000.”

According to Emendorfer, it was difficult finding schools to play in the out-of-conference schedule.

“Many of the schools in our conference find it a challenge to play us,” Emendorfer said.  “There were not a lot of people knocking on the door.”

Ihe Wisconsin league is considered the top in the nation, and they looked all over the country for someone to play, Emendorfer said.

Both Chancellor Dennis Shields and Emendorfer said they thought the trip to Oregon would be a great experience for the players.

“A lot of (players) have never been that far from Wisconsin,” said junior defensive end Alex Schaefer.  “It’s definitely exciting.”

Junior offensive lineman Zach Berger said he agrees the experience will be both interesting and exciting, but he also recognizes the importance of staying focused.

“Once we kickoff, it’s the same as every game,” Berger said.  “We need to stay focused (on the goal): win conference, the playoffs, then the National Championship.”

Both Berger and Schaefer said they have high hopes for the schedule as a whole, considering the team will return 18 starters from 2012’s 8-2 squad.

Although both said they are wary of the heavy-hitting University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh in the conference schedule, they downplayed any trepidations about those contests.

The Pioneers will play their first game of the 2013 season Sept. 7 with a home game against Buena Vista.