It’s the start of something special for the Valparaiso University football team.
The 100th season of Valpo football will commence on Saturday as the team reports to fall camp to begin preparation for Year 1 under head coach Landon Fox.
“The excitement is huge,” redshirt junior quarterback Chris Duncan (Woodland Hills, Calif. / Woodland Hills-Taft) said. “This is like the day before Christmas. I’m excited to get back with the team and see where everyone stands. I absolutely love Coach Fox and the mentality he brings. His staff is young, energetic and relatable.”
Fox has experienced the first day of camp countless times in his football life, but this marks his first as a head coach.
“It’s exciting to be reunited with the team,” Fox said. “We have built strong relationships in our program and it’s great to have our players back on campus since we’re around them so much. Camp is going to be hard and we’re going to intentionally make it tough so we can help our players maximize their potential and in turn maximize our potential as a team.”
Linebacker Nick Turner (Gurnee, Ill. / Warren Township) was limited to four games last season due to an injury and elected to return as a fifth-year senior in 2019.
“I wanted to stay for my brothers and my teammates who I’ve played with for four years,” Turner said. “I was nervous as a fifth-year senior with a new coaching staff, but our administration could not have chosen a better staff for this program. Coach Fox is going to expect a lot, but when you do something well he’s going to be your biggest supporter. Everyone on staff cares deeply about us and all of the coaches are striving to make their position group the best one on the field. It’s been a blessing.”
Redshirt junior quarterback Jimmy Seewald (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child), who like Turner was limited to four games last season, is especially excited for his fourth year at Valpo. He’s among the many players who have taken on leadership responsibilities.
“Given that we went through a coaching change, leadership was crucial in keeping the team together,” Seewald said. “I had a big role as did many other players. There are so many guys on this team who accepted leadership responsibilities when we needed it most. I’ve been through a lot during my time here, and I’m excited for this season specifically. The mindset and demeanor of the team is at a whole new level – one I’ve never seen until now.”
A new season under a new staff presents new opportunities for players to compete for playing time.
“As we went through the spring, that gave our staff a chance to begin evaluating players, but it’s open competition in fall camp,” Fox said. “You’ve got to go out there and prove yourself every day. We’ve stressed to our team that each day presents a constant chance to improve. Where you’re picked in the preseason poll doesn’t matter, what counts is where you’re at when the season ends. Our focus is on getting better day in and day out.”