Bulldogs hope today is championship day

BIG RAPIDS — Will today be Ferris football’s greatest moment?

Being in the NCAA Division II national title game vs Valdosta State today in Texas is a first for FSU football and obviously is Ferris’ top moment win or lose. But the Bulldogs haven’t come this far to lose.

Coach Tony Annese points this out when asked about the Bulldogs playoffs successes in recent years during a press conference at Ferris earlier this week.

“Two years ago, we were in the national semifinals and it was a unique experience for me,” Annese said. “We had never been there and lost to a very good Northwest Missouri State team. Last year, Harding caught us (in the quarterfinals). Give them credit. We didn’t play our best game but they were a tough team.

“Right now, we’re spending more time training with the mental approach. We’ve done a lot of mental training. That has heaped us keep our edge These guys are gritty. Our team this year is gritty. We’ve had the capacity to stay gritty. It is a grind as you count the number of extra weeks. We had our banquet on No. 11. It’s December. Our banquet was a month ago and we’re playing an extra month. Only two teams haven’t slipped up: Valdosta and Ferris State. You have to have the right mindset.”

But Annese had to admit: “Going for a national championship is something we’ve all been dying for.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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