Emporia State football previews 2023 season at MIAA Media Day

Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 6:39 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, MO. (WIBW) - Emporia State football previewed its 2023 season in Kansas City at MIAA Media Day on Tuesday.

The Hornets are coming off a strong 9-3 season, and returning veteran starters in just about every position group. But they’re still emphasizing the importance of not getting complacent.

“We don’t have turnover at our school, at our place. I think we’ve had three transfers in the portal in five years since they started the portal,” said head coach Garin Higgins. “I think that’s been a key to our success, is our stability within our players.”

The Hornets may have come in at 3rd in the MIAA Preseason Poll released on Tuesday, but they know what really matters is what they do on the field.

“It’s over, that was last year’s team, it’s a whole new team now,” said quarterback Braden Gleason.

“We know we had a great season last year, but we know what we can do this year,” said defensive lineman Jordan Williams.

The experience sixth-year quarterback Braden Gleason brings to the table is beneficial, to say the least.

‘It’s not only beneficial, but you know Braden wants to be a football coach,” said Coach Higgins. “He’s been in our offensive system now for basically six years.”

“Obviously in this league experience and playing in big games goes long ways,” Gleason said. “I’m ready to get going. Going into my sixth year so I kinda feel like it’s been a waiting game.”

Gleason threw for nearly 3,500 yards and notched 40 total touchdowns in the 2022 season.

“There’s that sense of comfortability. But also there’s confidence, not arrogance but just confidence in the fact that he’s got the job done in this league. And he makes my job easier,” said Coach Higgins.

“Just trusting each other and going out and playing for each other. I think that goes a long ways in our offense, playing for the guy next to you,” Gleason added.

Not to mention ESU is bringing back a high scoring defense that’s dialed in on getting the ball back to their offense.

“Takeaways is a big thing. We wanna get the ball into our offense’s hands,” said Williams. “We got a great mind over there in Coach Higgins and a great quarterback in Braden Gleason. So just getting them the ball.”

The Hornets start their 2023 campaign at home against Lincoln on August 31st.