Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The UW-Eau Claire football team will close out its season Saturday at UW-La Crosse.
The Blugolds are 1-8 overall. UWEC head coach Todd Glaser says it's been a challenging year, but despite that, players' attitudes are still good.
"It's been a hard season for everybody," says Glaser, "you know, coaches, players, my family members, my dog, it's frustrating you know, but the one thing I think that keeps you going is our players and their effort, and it's never stopped in practice, or in games, and you know, we have one game left and that's what we talked about this week is we want to finish on a good note."
Seventeen seniors will wear the Blugolds uniform for the final time, including running back Joel Sweeney, who's third on the all-time rushing list at UWEC. This season, Sweeney has 996 rushing yards, and is looking to go over the 1,000 yard mark for the third time in his college career.
"Just hitting one thousand for three seasons is an honor, it's a privilege," says Sweeney, "I guess, coaches putting their trust in me to carry the ball, my offensive line, wide receivers, and everybody blocking, for believing in me to just get those yards, and it's just been a fun ride."
"You know," says UWEC senior safety Coltan Ellis, "any chance you get to win one last football game, and for us seniors, it would be the way to go out on top, I guess, as a Blugold."
"We've got a good group of guys here, and good coaches, and the program," says UWEC senior linebacker Sean Graham, "where nobody's given up, we're all here playing for each other, and playing for our future right now, for the future of the Blugold program."
Part of the pregame Saturday will include a Veterans Day Ceremony. Jason Church, a Menomonie native and former UWL football player will be honored. Church is also a U.S. Army veteran, who will receive an NCAA Inspiration Award this January, given to those who serve as a role model after confronting a life-altering situation with perseverance, dedication and determination.
"When you lose your legs," Church says, "obviously, I was born with them, so the first 22 years of my life, you know, I'm used to being on my legs, so for me, it was an adjustment not only physically but mentally as well."
You can watch Saturday's UWEC-UWL game live on WQOW 18. Pregame coverage begins at 11:00 A.M. The game will also be streamed live on www.wqow.com
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