Being a leader for the Coyote football team is something senior quarterback Chris Streveler “doesn’t take lightly.”
Love for the game
After transferring to USD from the University of Minnesota, Streveler said he’s gained a lot in his year and a half at USD.
“(USD) had given me an opportunity to come here and play quarterback, and I had the chance to compete for the starting position,” he said. “That was really all I could ask for. I felt I was really able to click with the coaching staff on the visit.”
Streveler said he started playing football at a young age.
“I just fell in love with it,” he said. “I love the contact and (there’s) just nothing else like it.”
When he got older, Streveler said he started appreciating the sport even more.
“There’s not really another team game like football. In every other sport, you kind of have one person that can kind of take over a game and change it, but in football, you really do need all 11 guys working together for a play or a game to be successful,” he said. “I think it helps make the bonds that you create in teammates stronger than in any other sport.”
Streveler said his award isn’t something he pays much attention to.
“All my goals are revolved around what we do as a team,” he said. “To get recognized for something like that is more of a reflection of the team. You don’t get that type of stuff unless your team is playing good football. Anything like that is kind of like a team reward.”
A team leader
Streveler said quarterback is “a unique position.”
“You touch the ball in every single play,” he said. “Probably one of the hardest things is being locked in and being what we call ‘redlined’ every day. You have to give 100 percent effort mentally and physically every day, and it can be a challenge if you’re not ready for it.”
Streveler is also a team captain.
“Getting voted by your teammates as being a captain, as someone that potentially they look to for leadership — that means the world to me,” he said.
Austin Simmons, a sophomore quarterback, said Streveler has many strengths as a leader.
“He is (always) pushing guys to go above and beyond,” Simmons said. “He’s everything you want as a leader.”
Streveler said even throughout the team’s losses, they still have to keep the momentum going.
“Whether a game goes good or a game goes bad, we have to be able to come here the next week and be ready to prepare even harder,” he said. “We’ve really been having good weeks of practice and hopefully we can keep that trend going and stay hungry.”
Streveler classifies his relationships with his teammates as a “brotherhood.”
“The relationships I’ve been able to build with some of these guys, even just being here for a little bit over a year, has been lifelong relationships, lifelong friendships,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to be spending all my time here with.”
Streveler said the coaching staff has helped him achieve a lot at USD.
“Coach (Bob) Nielson is a great leader for us and he’s been around the game for so long,” he said. “And getting to learn from Coach (Ted) Schlafke… he’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever been around and just the amount I’ve been able to learn in the past year from him has really helped me a lot.”
Simmons said Streveler is more than just a team leader.
“As a teammate, he’s a great guy to be around,” Simmons said. “He’s always helpful to those who need it.”
Football has been a “gateway to so many opportunities,” Streveler said.
“It’s allowed me to get two master’s degrees for free. It’s changed my life. I wouldn’t be here without it, I wouldn’t have the education without it,” he said. “It’s given me those opportunities in education, but also built so many relationships that are going to last for a lifetime. I’m really thankful that I’ve been able to play the game and hopefully continue to play.”
Nielson was unavailable for an interview with The Volante.