UWO's National Championship defeat fuels 2017 success

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WBAY) The UWO football team is coming off their first-ever appearance in the DIII National Championship, but they didn't get the storybook ending they had hoped for. Now, they’re turning their defeat into fuel for the upcoming season.

“You're happy that you got there,” said Titans Head Coach Cerroni, “…but in the end, very disappointed that you lost especially 10-7 like we did but you know you hope that you're team comes in, in shape and right now, looks pretty good in day two.”

“We came in pretty good shape, there's a lot of us that stayed here in Oshkosh,” said Titans running back Dylan Hecker, “…and we all kind of worked together and we're all just like man this offseason, this summer is dragging on we just want to get back out there and it's finally here, we're all happy."

Physically the Titans are starting camp in a good place. Mentally they're in an even better one because of their national championship appearance.

“Now, we believe we can actually do something like that you can talk about it all you want, but you have to achieve it and get there and see what it's like, so now I think we hope that someday we can get back there,” said Cerroni.

“Being that first team in school history to reach that point was an awesome feeling,” said Titans Brett Kasper, “Obviously we came up a little short on our goal, but I think it is just that sense of confidence that we know that we can make it.”

It’s still too early to say if this will be the season the Titans get another shot at the national title, but they have plenty to be excited about. They return 9 of 11 starters on offense including starting quarterback Brett Kasper. Their defense, on the other hand, is a little younger.

“Defensively, we lost 10 of 11 starters. We have a lot of work to do. We're going to be very unproven here early on in the season,” said Cerroni.

Luckily for the Titans young defensive corps some of their toughest competition is in house.

“Last year we had such good defense, the offense got to go against every day, and it made us a lot better,” said Titans wide receiver Sam Mentkowski, “…and I think that's what is going to happen this year going against our offense."

The Titans first test comes September 2nd. The Titans open up the season against Jon Carroll University.