As the Bismarck Bucks get ready for the final game of the year, we look back at their 2019 season.
Bismarck had a late start to the 2019 campaign. The organization waited until mid-December to hire a head coach, which only gave them three months before their first game.
“We had a meeting on Feb. 3,” defensive lineman Stephon Hall said. “I told them, ‘Win or lose, I’m going to be right here with them. I’m not a quitter.’ So nothing has been frustrating.”
Making matters worse, the Bucks were playing their first year in the established Indoor Football League, after two years in the Champions Indoor Football League.
“The first three games we played: the team that was the defending champion, another team that was a 10-time champion and the [Nebraska] Danger was a team that has been to four straight championships in three or four years,” head coach Rod Miller said.
“The differences between the IFL and CFL are the trenches,” Hall said. “The offensive line and the defensive line those are what win championships.”
After losing their first five contest, Bismarck won two straight.
“Team camaraderie,” Frederick Abraham said. “We had some time off the field where we would go together and hang out. I think team bonding had a lot to do with that. As well as, going into these games just full confident after full weeks of great practices.”
Bismarck lost their next five. Injuries and inexperience at key positions playing a major factor.
“Having to bring in new guys in to learn systems puts voids in the system,” Abraham said.
Despite a 2-11 record, the players say they will take this season as fuel for 2020.
“All the negativity and the all the things that we did wrong that prevented us from winning more games and prevented us from being more successful and working on it in the offseason.”
Bismarck’s final game of the season is on the road Saturday at the Sioux Falls Storm.