Saints Football Practice Underway with New Head Coach Mike Heffernan
St. Scholastica will open the 2019 season on September 7 against Mayville State.
DULUTH, Minn. – The St. Scholastica football team ended 2018 with a 6–4 record under an interim head coach. In December, then-Athletic Director Brian Jamros promoted offensive coordinator Mike Heffernan to head coach.
“I’m not sure if it’s hit me yet that I’m actually the head coach, it doesn’t feel that way, but I’m sure there’s plenty more to come,” Heffernan said of fall practice getting started.
Herffernan first came to CSS from 2009 to 2012, then returned in 2018 to run the offense. After being part of the team last season, the players feel like he’s ready to take over the reigns.
“Him being here last year and then here for spring ball, all moving forward, it was definitely a great adjustment into moving into this year,” junior linebacker Andy Lakmann said.
“I love Coach Heff, I love the culture that he’s bringing to our program. He definitely brought in some great coaches as well, Coach Acosta, Coach DuFrane, great guys and I think we’re just really bringing a great culture this year and hopefully that can just continue on from here on out,” senior quarterback Zach Edwards.
While the Saints are just two days into fall camp, with Friday being the first official day of full practice, the team can already see Heffernan’s style of coaching and are learning how to adapt to it.
“Coach Heff loves the small things. Last year as an offensive coordinator, he made sure to focus on those kind of things, pay attention to the small details because those turn into the big ones and I think just bringing that to the whole team and making sure that’s a program wide thing will really help us down the long run,” Edwards said.
“I really like that there’s no gray area with him. There’s a right, there’s a wrong, there’s this and that, and there’s one thing or the other. He loves energy. There’s no walking in between the lines, always wants energy up. Energy, energy, energy,” Lakmann added.
“For us to grow as individuals, and for us to grow as a team in terms of being the best men that we can be. Offense, defense, that will take care of itself. We’re going to sweat the small stuff and make sure we take care of all the little things because that will take care of the big picture,” Heffernan said of what he wants the team to accomplish this year.
And with the season less than a month away, the Saints are looking at the big picture: having another winning season, and getting back to winning UMAC titles.
“We want to win conference championship. Here it’s a championship program, championship people, we always say that. We’ve kind of got away from that the past couple years and I think we all really want to be the group to really bring us back there,” Edwards said.
“The mindset and the motto for us is just like if it was my 10th year, we’re going to live the standard, we’re going to exceed all average expectations, and we’re going to do everything that we can to be the best that we can be on and off the field,” Heffernan said.