St. Ambrose ranked 9th in the conference in total defense in 2018.
The Fighting Bees have several players returning on the unit giving them optimism they’ll see improvement this season.
“Our defense last year, we caught ourselves being very inconsistent sometimes,” said junior defensive back Griffin Zajac, who ranked 4th in the conference with 4 interceptions in 2018. “Having that experience, considering a lot of us it was the first year on the varsity level, I think consistency is definitely huge and it’s definitely gonna be an improvement this year.”
“We’ve got a lot of starters coming back and it helps a lot because we have experience,” added senior defensive lineman Sam Kabureck. “Going in, if a junior hasn’t played at all into his senior year and hasn’t played a single snap on varsity yet, it affects him a lot. Going in there having experience helps a lot having confidence playing.”
Head coach Mike Magistrelli agrees.
“Getting your experience and getting your feet under you there in game competition, there’s no way to do it other than that,” said Magistrelli who enters his 13th season with the Bees. “Got a lot of guys that are coming back this year with, again, confidence because they’ve played. They’ve seen different situations and had experience in different situations and as a result, they believe this is our year and this is our chance to do something big. Guys have certainly worked hard to see if they can make that happen this fall.”