The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

August 7, 2013

BLOG: MIAA Media Day leftovers

By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Leftovers from Pittsburg State coach Tim Beck from Monday’s MIAA Media Day in Kansas City.

Coaches and players in the Pitt State program are excited about the speed and athleticism of this year’s team. Some say it could be the fastest team in recent school history.

Beck: “It has a chance to be, I’d say that. I think we’ll have a little more speed at the running back position ... and we have the chance to be a little faster at the receiver position. And we’ve got good team speed on defense.”

It may be “spring training” talk — you know the old baseball cliché of “he’s in the best shape of his life” we hear every February — but those around the team seem to think the Gorillas will report to camp bigger and faster. Talk on Monday included the added muscle put on by the running backs and All-American receiver John Brown.

Beck: “Coach (Neal) Philpot goes out and works with the guys and I know they’re working hard. You hope the ones who are here in the summer come back and test well and prove they’re ready to go for the season.

It’s so hard for the rest of our coaches because we can’t be with them. It makes it exciting, though, for the beginning of camp.”

I spoke with three-time All-American linebacker Nate Dreiling by phone while at Media Day. MIAA coaches (not including Pitt State’s) voted not to bring players to Kansas City this year.

Dreiling sat out most of spring drills to stay healthy. He said he’s ready to go and learned a lot about the team while watching from the sideline.

“I feel great and I’m excited about the season. I got to watch a lot of the backups and the younger guys during spring ball and we’re going to have some good depth. Our defense will have experience across the board. Spring ball went really well and I think that carried over into the summer.”