ATN Podcast 307: In camp and ready to rock

Teams are in camp, with the first games coming in just 10 days, on Sept. 1! And while it is definitely too early to talk about this year’s playoff bubble, we decided to visit with two of last year’s bubble teams.

For Hardin-Simmons and coach Jesse Burleson, last year’s Selection Sunday brought disappointment, as the Cowboys were left out of the playoffs. There’s no doubt that the team has been using that snub as fuel for their 2022 fire, and Burleson talks about that, plus the amazing number of players the team has in camp, and how far ahead his team is at this point in the preseason. Plus, you won’t believe how many schools Burleson said he called in order to get one D-III team to agree to play them.

On the opposite side, we have Bethel and coach Steve Johnson. His Royals got new life on Selection Sunday last year, as the team, which had two losses, both to St. John’s, got an at-large bid. The Royals have just over half the players in camp that Hardin-Simmons have, but Bethel has 28 of its top 30 players from last year returning. Johnson talks about the way the Bethel program has been built over his 34 seasons, and what the team’s phrase, “play fast and free” means.

Pat and Greg field a listener question regarding what effect the coronavirus might have on this year’s season, discuss what (if anything) can be learned from a conference preseason coaches’ poll, and much more.

Pat Coleman and Greg Thomas talk about it all in the latest Around the Nation Podcast. The Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation covering the wide range of Division III football.

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Theme music: Power 2 by DJmentos.
Photos: Andy Zavoina for Hardin-Simmons athletics; Caleb Williams,

One thought on “ATN Podcast 307: In camp and ready to rock

  1. Interesting discussion of the likely reduction of COVID-related cancellations in the upcoming season. This summer my wife and I travelled to Austria to participate in a wind band festival. Nearly each rehearsal we were advised that one or more members had newly tested positive and were quarantining, but rehearsals went on and the performances eventually came off as planned (albeit with fewer members than originally expected). Had it been a year or two earlier everything would have been cancelled immediately once the first person tested positive. Have to wonder if the same will be true for games this season – just isolate those testing positive and let the rest play on.

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