“Good, but disappointing in the same aspect.”
That’s what UW-Milwaukee Club Football Coach David Mogensen said of the season for the Panthers in 2014. Milwaukee only lost two games this year. One to the National Club Football Association runner-up Robert Morris-Peoria by seven points. Their other loss came to the NCFA Champions, Oakland University in Detroit by only one point.
“We pull those out, we would have been playing in the National Championship game, so it’s disappointing in that aspect.”
The Panthers put up NCFA record breaking numbers this year led by Senior quarterback and First-Team All-American Sam Clark. Clark is the all-time leader in club football history for passing and was the League Offensive Player of the Year in 2014. Clark set a new league mark for passing yards in a season with 2,217, as well as setting the record for passing yards per game with 369.5 and chipping in 57 rushing yards per game as well.
“Pretty good, shows how much our team developed over the years, and all the hard work we put in. Coach gave us an opportunity to win every game” said Clark on how it feels to set the club level record books for passing.
Clark got back into football again because he “missed it” and wanted to “compete again”. Turns out it was a good decision to do so.
With such a great career, Clark knows what he is going to remember most about his career, “Just playing with the guys, going on trips, hotels, bowl games, and doing activities together.”
One of the reason’s UWM had such a dynamic offense this year was Clark’s go-to-guy and first year player, wide receiver John Seidl.
Seidl, also First-Team All-American, broke into the NCFA record books this year by breaking the single season receiving yards and touchdown marks with 1,153 yards and 17 TD’s. He averaged a remarkable 21.35 yards per catch.
“It’s a good accomplishment. Feels good to be the best at something. I mean everyone wants to be the best at something right?” Seidl said on what it was like to come in as a first year player and setting records right away.
Described as “Lights Out” by Coach Mogensen, Robert Morris Peoria put three guys on him and he still almost put up 100 yards in the game.
“We transitioned him to wide-out and could tell he was going to be good, but not that good” said Mogensen.
“At the beginning I was pretty nervous, but I came in playing how I always play.” said Seidl what it was like to come in and make such an impact right away. “Happy to make an impact for the team.”
With such a successful season in 2014 for Seidl, plans for 2015 consist of, “being back with the boys and not losing a single game while having fun doing it.”
It wasn’t just Clark and Seidl controlling the offensive side of the ball. Tight end Brandan Stepro was also a First-Team All-American (second in a row) leading the tight end position in all NCFA categories.
Running back Keith Morris was third in the league in rushing averaging 12 yards-per-carry earning him a Second-Team All-American honor. Morris was also the only real two way player while leading the team in tackles from the middle linebacker position.
It was a successful season for the Panthers, however there will be some key departures for the team in 2015.
On the defensive side, the Panthers will be losing cornerback Joey Johnson, as well as safeties Ryan Miller and Richie Franz. Mogensen described the three as the heart and soul of the defense.
On the offensive side, notable departures will be Clark and 2-Time First-Team All-American offensive lineman Nick Lenski, who was the vocal leader of the team according to Mogensen.
“Sam and Lenski are obviously good guys, but with our guys coming back we can still put up a good offense,” stated Mogensen.