WKU Football has a point to prove during 2019 season

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Football season is officially back on the Hill.

Western Kentucky Football began their fall camp on Wednesday morning, looking to turn the page on a 2018 season that fans and players alike are hoping to forget.

“An outcome like that should always leave a bad and sour taste in your mouth,” said redshirt-senior wide receiver Lucky Jackson.

The isn’t completely wiping that season from their memory, though.

Instead of dwelling on a year that saw the Tops finish with a 3-9 record, they’re using their poor performances of the past as fuel to their football fire.

In 2019, they’re out to prove that last year doesn’t reflect what this team is fully capable of.

“It’s definitely motivation,” said redshirt-junior quarterback Steven Duncan. “We take it into everything. When we go into workouts, let’s not be like last year. We gotta go ahead and put the work in. It’s a serious aspect around here. Everything we’re doing is just we gotta be better than we were.”

Fellow quarterback, redshirt-sophomore Davis Shanley, echoed those feelings.

“You can feel that it’s different around here,” he said. “We all just wanna go out there and give it our best every single day.”

The players took that mentality into the first practice of 20 in fall camp, Tyson Helton’s first as head coach of the Hilltoppers.

“We’re working our tails off,” said redshirt-junior offensive lineman Seth Joest. “We have a lot to prove this year, so we’re all working extra, extra hard.”

“I feel like a lot of guys are ready to get after it just to prove to ourselves that we know what we can do and what we’re capable of,” added Jackson.

In 2018, WKU fielded a relatively youthful team on both sides of the ball, enduring growing pains throughout the season as many of the players got their first real taste of college football.

“Lot of close games, lot of heartbreakers,” said redshirt-senior offensive lineman Miles Pate. “I feel like they don’t want to feel that no more.”

With the growing pains a thing of the past, many of the players feel they’ll be better this season because of it, putting all that newfound experience to good use.

“A lot of guys have played and they know what to get from guys and what to get from teams,” said redshirt-senior defensive back Ta’Corian ‘CoCo’ Darden. “Now that people have played, we have more of a leadership on the back end which will help us out and make us better.”

Heading into the new season, the Hilltoppers are motivated and ready to do whatever it takes to put the memories of last season to rest.

“We want to be great and everybody in this building wants to be great,” Duncan said. “We’re here working every day and we’re hoping to show that last year was a fluke. We’re gonna focus week by week on each game.”

WKU opens the 2019 season at home on Aug. 29 as the welcome Central Arkansas to L.T. Houchens-Smith Stadium.