Friday will be special for multiple reasons. Eleven seniors will take Mohawk field for the last time, and for a great cause.
“The seniors have definitely felt an extra sense of urgency with this being their last game on Mohawk field,” head coach Matt Berkley said. “Definitely some excitement and a little bit of nerves. There have been a lot more memories shared at practice this week as seniors, reminiscing different things freshman and sophomore years. Couple that with Coaches vs. Cancer event makes for a special night all around.”
One of those seniors will be outside linebacker Josh Ball. Ball sprained his AC joint in his right shoulder during the homecoming game on Sept. 29, and sat out during last week’s game.
Ball is one of the Mohawks’ top defensive players this season with 21 ½ total tackles, including 11 solo and two for a loss.
“It’s been fun,” Ball said. “Freshman and sophomore year, I didn’t play last year. It’s been fun suiting up with my best friend [Lucas] Deinhart and to go out there to try to win football games.”
Senior safety Lucas Deinhart and Ball have been best friends since kindergarten. They do a lot together, including growing mustaches for the homecoming game.
Ball laughs about that memory.
“We decided to trim them up for the dance,” Ball said. “Well, we got guilt-tripped by our dates.”
Homecoming has been his favorite football memory this year, where the Mohawks grabbed their first win of the season over Waterloo East, 40-18.
“Our season wasn’t really going the way we wanted it to,” Ball said. “So, to win that game like we did in front of everybody was a lot of fun and turned our spirits around.”
This Friday’s game also has an added meaning to it.
As a part of the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer event, each class has put together a basket for the auction, in addition to having two autographed footballs signed by Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and an Iowa State coach.
There will also be collection helmets and t-shirts to help raise money for the cause.
“Kind of honored we get to do it and help people raise funds and awareness,” Ball said. “We all know people with cancer, so it means a lot to play our best football for them.”