Emporia State knows what they’re capable of in 2022

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - In the preseason polls, Emporia State is slated to finish sixth in the MIAA.

The Hornets are returning the majority of their offense, 10 players to be exact. They went 6-6 last year and 4-1 at home but lost in the Farmers Bank & Trust Live United Bowl to Southeastern Oklahoma.

Quarterback Braden Gleason, Running back Cannon Brooks, Linebacker Dawson Hammes are a few big names that are coming back to campus.

Coach Garin Higgins is entering his 15th season as head coach at Emporia State. He told 13 Sports, he really likes what he’s seeing this spring and summer.

He says this summer has been a roller coaster of emotion after Brexton Green passed away earlier this month. However, Higgins and the players say they got a tight group and they’re excited for what’s to come.

“We got a lot of veterans back which is good going into the year,” Higgins said. “The guys know what’s expected not only of themselves but also what’s expected when they’re going to go through the course of this season. It’s a very tough, demanding, physical MIAA conference schedule.”

Five of ESU’s six losses last year were seven points or less. That left a bad taste in the mouths of the players, and they’re not holding back this season.

“We’ve raised the standard for ourselves. We’re on the same page. Once we get going on all cylinders and firing up, I think we’ll be fine,” ESU senior Linebacker Dawson Hammes said. “We’re still learning about ourselves still and we have a long way to go but as long as we come to play each week, I think we can hang with him.”

“Just a more tight knot group and I think that’s going to benefit us in the long run,” ESU junior Quarterback Braden Gleason said. “All these hard games and when things get tough, we can rely on each other and get things done.”

The Hornets begin their season at home on Sept., 1 against Northeastern State.

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