Athlete of the Week: Joel Sweeney anchors Blugolds victory

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"I was a little excited. I was a little nervous. I was like I might get gassed already," said Blugolds running back, Joel Sweeney.

Those were the emotions going through Sweeney as he took the field at Carson Park on Saturday against UW-La Crosse. The game plan was set and Sweeney would need to anchor it.

"First few plays, he had some big runs. And it just kind of opened up everything, where we knew we could block really hard and compete very physical to everyone in the game," stated offensive lineman Nate Koltis.

"Obviously we were able to go march on the field and kinda set the tone for the rest of the game that hey we're gonna come were gonna punch you in the mouth...we got four quarters of that coming," added offensive lineman Jake Holterman.

The Blugolds first drive was 11 plays for 80 yards as Sweeney carried the ball for 9 of those plays, capped off with a 16 yard touchdown run. He totaled 185 rushing yards on the day and three touchdowns but says it's because of those who push him.

"They're (Offensive line) doing an amazing job," says Sweeney. "I mean last year I didn't really have that great of a season. You know I came in overweight, and what not. But I wanted to get back in shape and help them out more than they had to help me out."

"We know if we give him a little hole, he's gonna run through it," says Holterman. "You know, he's a big dude, he's gonna carry a couple of guys through the hole and get 4 or 5 yards a carry. All of a sudden he gets a little bit of space, opens up, gets 10, 15 yards and really helps to move the ball."

"That effort I think, everybody sees that," says head coach Todd Glaser. "He usually doesn't go down on first contact. He's always got effort going forward. He's always been like that and i think the team feeds off that."

The Tomah native says he is proud to play close to home and grateful for the bonds the team shares.

"It's awesome! I love being here," says Sweeney. "I love the atmosphere we have on this campus and I love playing with these guys."

"Honestly I just think we're one big family, and if one person does good, I think everybody else is just having a good day too," adds Koltis.

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