Pack nation was out in full effect for the first football game of the season against Central Washington as students, fans, faculty and university alumni came out to support the team.
Well-known CSU-Pueblo alumni, such as former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Paul Browning, current Arizona Cardinals practice squad cornerback C.J. Roberts and former ThunderWolves defensive lineman and winner of the USA network’s reality series “WWE’s Tough Enough,” Josh Bredl, came out to get their first impression of Pack football’s 2015 roster.
“(I had to) see the 2015 squad, I’m excited. We ended on such a high note last year I know they’re gonna be great, so I just had to come out and show my support,” Browning said. “They look great, they’re clicking on all cylinders and they can be as great as they wanna be.”
Roberts said the team is looking like it will repeat last season’s successes.
“I’m enjoying it, we’re looking good, we’re looking like a repeat is what we’re looking like,” Roberts said.
In a night that featured a dominating CSU-P victory, fans and players alike were left with a multitude of reasons to be excited for the ThunderWolves 2015 campaign.
“I’m loving to see all the young guys out there, it’s good to see Cam (McDondle) back on the field nice and healthy, Morgan (Fox) out there making big plays, and I’m excited to see our young secondary out there getting after it,” Roberts said.
The pack handled CWU in a 41-14 victory at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl, giving fans and supporters a slight peak into what’s in store for CSU-P football in 2015.
“I leave town on Monday so I just had to come back and see the roots and check out the game. The team is looking solid, defense is lights-out like always,” Bredl said. “41-14 right now has us looking pretty nice.”
Although the Pack could not replicate its success Sept. 12 against West Texas A&M and lost 31-30 in the game’s final moments, both expectations and hopes are high as CSU-Pueblo seeks to defend its 2014 Division II National Championship.
As for what’s next for the Pack alumni who attended the game, they, like their alma maters football team, seek to keep on progressing to bigger and better things.
“It was a dream come true being able to suit up and play on an NFL roster, but I’m ready for much more and I know that’s going to come,” Browning said of his time with the Panthers.
“I’m just going to continue to work hard, continue to grind, I’m just waiting for that next phone call and that next opportunity, it’s going to come and I’m going to be ready when it happens,” he said.
C.J. Roberts, who was released by the Cardinals on waivers, was later reclaimed by the team as a member of its practice squad.
“The adjustment was definitely hard because of the intensity in the mental aspects of the game, but the preseason all in all was good, and I’m happy I was able to come out with a job,” Roberts said.