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The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

Mules MIAA champions

Mules+MIAA+champions

Mules football took down Fort Hays
State on Saturday, November 4th by a
score of 47-28 to claim a share of the
MIAA championship. The Mules found
themselves down 28-24 at the break, but
pulled away in the second half, where they
outscored the Tigers 23-0.
“I think it’s pretty incredible, especially
when they started the year picked to finish
seventh in the conference by the MIAA,
the preseason polls,” Vice President of
Intercollegiate Athletics, Matt Howdeshell
said. “It’s definitely a special season and a
pretty exciting time.”
This is the first MIAA championship
for Mules football since 2019. After a
recruiting class of 59 players this year, 41
from high school and 18 transfer students,
the Mules have already more than doubled
their wins from last year.
“The relationships that we have within
our football team I think is ultimately the
major difference that we have within our
program,” Head Coach Josh Lamberson
said.
These relationships come from a shared
vision from each of the players and staff
members.
“They want to do well for themselves
[and] for each other,” Lamberson said.
“They genuinely care about one another.
They enjoy each other. They enjoy the
process of coming to the facility every
single day to work really, really hard, not
just on football, but on themselves too.”
This comradery is not just felt by Coach
Lamberson. Quarterback Zach Zebrowski
has experienced it as well.
“[It was a] really cool feeling to see the
smiles around the whole locker room,”
Zebrowski said. “It’s just been really fun
so far and hopefully [we] keep it rolling.”

In the Mules football program, everyone
matters. Since the beginning of the season,
Coach Lamberson has used the acronym
EPIC, Every Person Impacts Culture. This
mantra has been the heart beat to the Mules
locker room.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a team
of guys enjoy being around and enjoy each
other’s company and enjoy being around
each other,” Howdeshell said. “Even
whenever they encounter adversity they
never seem to back down, they never seem
to let it bug them because they trust each
other [and] they know each other, they
always feel like they’re gonna overcome
it.”

Even with the success this year from
the Mules, the message has not changed.
Coach Lamberson mentioned multiple
things including believing in themselves,
working hard, having more fun than
anyone in college football, playing with
freedom to make plays but also mistakes,
playing fast, playing physical, and how
their attitudes and actions can impact the
world.
“These guys are super, super talented
in between the stripes. They’re one of the
best teams that have ever come through
the University of Central Missouri, but I
would put them at the very, very forefront
of some of the best people that have ever

come through this university as well,”
Lamberson said. “For them it’s a lot more
than just about football, it’s about life as
well, and I think that’s the special thing
about this group.”
As the Mules continue ahead, there is
much excitement around the UCM and
Warrensburg community.
“It’s an exciting time to be a Mule and a
Jenny,” Howdeshell said.
For the first time since 2019, Mules
football has advanced to the NCAA
playoffs. The 10-1 Mules are scheduled to
host Henderson State in the first round of
the NCAA Division II Playoffs at Walton
Stadium/Kennedy Field on Saturday,
November 18th. As this game falls the day
after dorms close, accommodations have
been made.
“President Best has confirmed [that]
dorms and dining halls will remain open
Saturday, November 18,” Vice President of
Intercollegiate Athletics Matt Howdeshell
said. “President Best is also paying for
the student tickets to the football game. In
addition, the first 400 students will each
receive a voucher to redeem at the end of
the 3rd quarter for Walking Tacos.”
A large crowd is expected at Walton
Stadium/Kennedy Field on Saturday,
which would give the Mules all the more
of an advantage.
“When you have 12,000 people that are
screaming for you, and clapping for you,
you know that is an energizing feeling,”
Head Coach Josh Lamberson said.
“Football is an emotional game, and there’s
a lot of ups and downs in that. So anytime
that you can feed into the ups of those and
the highs of those, I think is something
that’s really, really powerful and they play
a huge, huge part in what I feel like is a
great home field advantage for our football
program.”20

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About the Contributors
BRAD HADANK, Reporter
Brad Hadank is a Bolivar high school graduate, and a freshman at the University of Central Missouri. He is a double major studying digital media production and communication studies. As a staff reporter, Hadank has done profile pieces and plans to do more sports coverage. In the future, Hadank plans to pursue a career in sports journalism or sports broadcasting.
Aaron Bax, Sports Editor
Aaron Bax is the Sports Editor at the Muleskinner. A Warrensburg Native, Aaron started working for the muleskinner as a senior in high school, covering local sports. After graduation Aaron hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism.

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