Ethan Greenfield and Ben Wong return to The Red Zone to reflect on an undefeated regular season and look ahead to the playoffs.
Both received First-Team All CCIW honors for their strong performances this season, which was capped off with Senior Day against North Park.
“I was telling everybody to stop talking about so we could focus on the game and figure all that stuff out afterword,” said Wong, a fifth-year senior, of the sentimentality and the idea of saying goodbye. “But it was great to have that embrace with my parents and coach, and to see everyone celebrated for what they’ve achieved over the years.”
Coach Jeff Thorne has often stressed this season the importance of interpersonal relationships as the building blocks of his team’s success, and both players said they’ve seen that play out in their experiences on and off the field.
“It’s hard to describe, it’s something that you witness and feel everyday,” Greenfield said. “We’re an extremely competitive group and it gets really intense on the field, but once we’re in the locker room we’re all super close and really good friends.”
It was the first time both players had been on a team that won an outright CCIW conference title, but Wong called it a “stepping stone to our bigger goal” of defending their 2019 national championship.
In the regular season finale against North Park, Greenfield broke the North Central career rushing record with over 4,000 total yards in just three seasons. But he sees it as an accomplishment by his teammates as much as by himself.
“I owe a lot of guys up front a lot of thank yous,” he said. “I don’t like how it’s just my name up there because realistically it’s not.”
Wong, meanwhile, captained the defense to an even stronger regular season than in the national championship year. He says he’s seen the group really grow as they’ve gotten to build on several years spent playing together.
“Everybody has starting experience,” he noted. “Just the maturing and knowing our assignments because we’re such a veteran group, but also knowing that we’re going to know our opponents like the back of our hand.