Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Evans (left) has won her fourth award of the season, while Snow (right) wins her first Photo credit: Taylor Roberts
Shailynn Snow Wins CHA Player of the Week, Evans Wins Back-to-Back Rookie of the Week
Michael DeemerFebruary 19, 2024

It seems as if a Colonial will come out of the week every Monday afternoon with an award. This week, two Colonials won CHA weekly awards. Graduate student Shailynn Snow...

RMU Football Looks To Rebound After A Forgetful 2022 Season

Coach+Bernard+Clark+is+returning+for+his+sixth+year+in+the+program.
Payton Hostetler
Coach Bernard Clark is returning for his sixth year in the program.

The beginning of a new season sparks a sense of excitement and optimism surrounding the Robert Morris football program heading into the 2023 season.

After finishing the 2022 season winless which marked the worst season in program history, coach Bernard Clark and his team have one goal going into this season: WINNING.

The team’s first test to put that behind them is Air Force this Saturday on the road.

As you may recall, 2022 was a year the whole program’s worst nightmare: a winless 0-11 season.

Coach Clark, who is returning for his sixth year in charge of the program, was able to talk about how exciting the start of the new season is for him and the team, despite the winless 2022.

“It’s exciting. Our guys are ready to go,” Clark said. “I think they have worked extremely hard, not only in camp but also this summer. We’ve been meshing pretty good, so we are excited to see what we can do on Saturday.”

RMU had some turnover this season with most notably leading rusher Alijah Jackson graduated and out of the program. Coach Bernard Clark is looking at a few options to take over the reins at the running back position

“We have a few guys that can do that we’re hoping right now. We’ve got Kimon O’Sullivan, Cyrus Bonsu, Day Day Jones, and a few other guys. We haven’t had a guy jump out yet, but we are hoping we can do that before Saturday.”

However the quarterback position seems to be filled. UAlbany transfer Tyler Szalkowski made a strong impression during camp and will be the starter in Colorado Springs. The redshirt sophomore went 2-4 for 28 yards and a touchdown in four career games as a Great Dane.

Every season is a new opportunity for players to make themselves known to their coaches, no matter if you are a freshman or a senior, each practice and game is an opportunity to make yourself known. Coming into his senior season Hayden Baron is still making an impression on coach Clark. After appearing in 10 games last year Baron is one of the most consistent performers on that offensive line.

“[He’s] a guy that stands out more than anybody right now,” Clark said. “He’s been steady for us since he’s gotten here as a true freshman. Each game he has gotten better and each season he has gotten better that’s the biggest surprises that he is as good as he has always been.”

The Robert Morris football team faces Air Force Saturday at 1 p.m. (Payton Hostetler)

Working towards the new season doesn’t happen overnight. It is the combination of hard work in the offseason and working in the summer to get to the team’s goals during the season.

“It means everything.” Baron said. “Obviously last season is not what we wanted at all. We learned a lot from it and have been working since January from winter workouts, spring ball, summer workouts and fall camp. Now, we are here ready to go. We have been working for this.”

Named to the Big South Watch List this season, Joe Casale offers maturity and stability in the middle of the defense but most importantly his leadership. But the biggest thing for Joe this season will be that he is healthy.

“Joe is just as excited as the rest of the guys. Going into his senior year he’s real excited about playing so we expect a lot of good things out of him,” Clark said.

Team chemistry is always a big part of any team, let alone a football team, so when you fight each other all year everyone is just chopping at the bit to go out and play against some other opponents. Fifth year senior Garret Fairman is looking forward to just that.

“It’s very exciting,” Fairman said. “Especially since we had a good turn out this summer. We had people now only here but who wanted to be here giving it their all, and obviously the whole month of camp of just going after each other and now we get to go after different opponents.”

When a team spends so much time together instant chemistry may be expected, but that always doesn’t happen right away. Fairman also spoke about the culture and the team chemistry going into 2023.

“Coach Plungas says it best. Culture is an everyday thing, so it doesn’t happen when you first meet someone and it doesn’t happen after you know them for eight years. It’s every day you have to put effort into every relationship. This team is very close.” Fairman said.

The biggest takeaway from the team is the pure excitement. It is evident from all the players and coach Clark, as they are excited to go out and compete and it all leads towards one goal: Winning a football game.

The Colonials will travel to Colorado Springs to play Air Force for their first ever meeting against the Falcons. Kickoff is set for Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Alec Miller, Contributor
Alec Miller is a News and Sports Communication sophomore from Hampton, Pa. Alec is a writer and a photographer for CSN.
Payton Hostetler, Contributor