For UMD's Captain Chase, Experience Means All

By KBJR News 1

October 8, 2012 Updated Oct 8, 2012 at 6:49 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The numbers speak for themselves, but to truly understand the value Chase Vogler has to this year's University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) football team, all you need to do is listen to his teammates.

"His knowledge of the game is unbelievable," sophomore running back Brian Lucas said. "What he knows and the way he checks things, it's like having an offensive coordinator on the field, which is a huge advantage."

"Chase is a competitor," junior wide receiver Joe Reichert said. "He's just a great football player, so playing with him is always fun."

"He's proven himself time and time again," junior linebacker Nate Zuk said. "There's been a few sticky situations we've been in, but he's always prevailed."

"Chase has three years of experience, coming into his fourth year now," senior tight end Ben Helmer said. "He knows what he's doing. Every time he steps on the field, we're real confident."

Real confident, as they should be. Five games into his senior season with UMD, Vogler's overall win-loss record stood at (40-5).

One of his best single-game performances game just this year, when he accounted for 396 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Concordia-St. Paul.

"I was really excited about it. It was one of the better games of my career, so it was something to get excited about," Vogler said. "I'm getting a lot of the credit, but a lot of that has to go to the offensive line. They did a great job blocking, and the receivers made some good catches on the perimeter."

Having Vogler's level of experience has certainly been a luxury for this UMD coaching staff. Because of that, they've been able to continue expanding one of the nation's best offenses in Division II.

"Chase is very poised," offensive coordinator Curt Wiese said. "He's been consistent for us every week. He continues to learn in this offense, and we continue to put more and more on his plate each week. He's the guy that can handle it."

The coaches trust and the players believe in him. Nothing better for a quarterback, except maybe the friendships with which he'll leave UMD, especially the other seniors on this year's squad.

"They're some of my best friends now. I've lived with a couple of them over the years and gotten to know all of them real well," senior offensive lineman Garth Heikkinen said. "Chase was a year younger than us, but we kind of took him into our senior class now because he played as a true [freshman]."

And if all goes right, they'll leave this program together with another national title.

"Our expectations are to win a national championship," Vogler said, "but that's a lot of other teams' expectation right now, too. We've got to earn it."

Posted by Zach Schneider
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