Updated: Dec 14, 2021
An inspirational speech by the legendary Jim Tressel, Ohio State Football coach and owner of an 8-1 record against the University of Michigan, sparked the Ohio Wesleyan football team to a victory against Allegheny and continued the Bishops’ hot start.
A few weeks back, the team traveled to Meadville, Pennsylvania to play the Allegheny Gators.
The team left the morning of September 24th to make the trek to Pennsylvania, looking to progress to 4-0. Along the way they stopped at Youngstown State University’s campus where they practiced in the indoor football practice field on last minute preparations for their game.
The team was joined before the practice by legendary Ohio State Coach, Jim Tressel, who talked to the team about the law of progression, and how it applies to the game of football.
He gave the guys a visualization of a line going up. He said that there will be bumps in that line that will take them off the path to victory, but it's how they handle those bumps that will determine the outcome of the game.
Two football players, Connor Volpe, a junior offensive lineman, and Nick Moyer, a junior kicker, had a few words to say about Coach Tressel’s speech. “I thought it was a great speech. It really put the game that followed into perspective for us,” Volpe stated.
“I thought it was very life changing and impactful because we could use it for the rest of our games,” added Moyer.
Coach Tressel’s speech carried over into the next day, when the Bishops took on the Gators.
After gaining an early lead, the Bishops hit a bump in its line.
The Gators went up 13-3 in the first quarter and the team appeared to be in trouble. After a safety and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown by the Bishops, OWU narrowed the Gators lead to 13-11.
Coming out of halftime, the Bishops offense drove down the field for a touchdown, giving them the lead. They then followed that drive with another touchdown to extend their lead.
The defense produced a solid second half and was able to hold back the Gator offense. A late field goal and interception were able to seal the win for the Bishops and improve its record to 4-0.
Volpe and Moyer had some insight about how Coach Tressel’s speech carried over into the game.
“A lot of people valued what he said, and I honestly think it gave us confidence,” Moyer said.
“He described it as, that there will be a dip there (in the game) unless you play perfectly, which will not happen. But it's how you get back on that steady rise that shows how good a team really is,” Volpe said.
The Bishops came back after its Pennsylvania trip for a 2-game homestand against Wittenberg and Hiram. During that stretch, the Bishops went 1-1, losing to Wittenberg on homecoming.
The Battling Bishops continued to tackle the remainder of the season with Coach Tressel’s inspirational words in mind.