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Pandemic creates challenges for new Cornell football head coach Dan Pifer

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - When Dan Pifer was hired as the new football head coach at Cornell College on December 30, 2019, this isn’t quite how envisioned changing the program.

The Rams didn’t have any spring practice last year, nor did they play any football games in the fall because of the pandemic. The team did have some practices in the fall and started spring practice last week, but it’s still a challenge trying to put all the pieces together.

“We haven’t had much one-on-one time with our guys -- in person,” said Pifer. “I’m a big in person. I like to see body language. That’s sometimes hard to read in Zoom meetings.”

While the team hasn’t played a game in more than a year, the Rams feel this extra time will be helpful in the long run.

“It’s kind of a blessing in disguise, to be honest, because it sucks that we don’t get to play, but we do get extra time on top of that to adjust and make the right changes and get to know everybody,” said senior running back Peni Waqairatu.

“Just keep learning the plays and the system as they come, but as long as we got the fundamentals down, that’s the big thing,” said Pifer.

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