After three years as an assistant coach on Matt Mitchell’s staff, Scott Wooster was introduced as Mitchell’s successor on Jan. 24, becoming the eighth head coach to guide Grand Valley football. Since then, he’s had plenty of time to reflect on his place in the program’s history, he said.
“It feels awesome,” Wooster said, during the conference’s Media Day on July 31. “From Tom Beck to Brian Kelly to Chuck Martin to Matt Mitchell and now to me. Studying the history of Grand Valley State football, it’s about pride and tradition. We’ve got this thing going, so let’s keep it going.”
The Grand Valley football team, ranked No. 2 in Lindy’s Sports preseason polls, opened fall camp Aug. 7 under Wooster’s direction, beginning preparations for its 52nd season of competition. Grand Valley opens the season on the road against No. 3 Colorado School of Mines on Aug. 31 in Golden, Colorado.
The Lakers beat the Orediggers at Lubbers Stadium to open the 2022 season, but the Orediggers finished the season as the national runner-up, losing to Ferris State in the Division II national championship game.
The road to a GLIAC championship will go through Ferris State again this season. At the GLIAC’s Media Day, Ferris State was selected as the conference’s top team with Grand Valley picked to finish second. Lindy’s Sports also has the Bulldogs as its preseason No. 1 team.
The Lakers did snap their six-game losing streak to Ferris State last season, propelling them to their first GLIAC championship since 2016. However, the Bulldogs knocked Grand Valley out of the Division II playoffs on their way to their second national title.
“There’s a tremendous balance of staying on the course that coach Mitchell set and then finding those edges that get us to elite and over the top,” Wooster said. “There are these fine lines in life and in football that you have to have balance.”
Quarterback Cade Peterson and linebacker Abe Swanson are two of 26 returning starters who will bring leadership and continuity to the Lakers. The two were key players in last year’s GLIAC championship team.
“What (Cade and Abe) have put into Grand Valley State football and what we’ve been through together, this group means a tremendous amount to me personally and our staff,” Wooster said. “When you love someone deeply and have gone through the things that we’ve gone through, it’s awesome. It’s a terrific feeling.”