By: Avery Booth
After breaking records and winning titles at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, senior quarterback Wyatt Steigerwald is ready to do it all over again here at Missouri Western.
Steigerwald is 55-101 with 803 yards passing and eight touchdowns through three games,
This quality start isn’t a surprise to Steigerwald, who holds four records at his previous school, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
All of the records were season records in the 2017 season. 203 completions, 2,744 passing yards, 32 passing TDs and a 62.7% completion rate.
After two solid years at NEO, Steigerwald chose to play football at Missouri Western.
“I chose to come here so my parents could watch me play,” Steigerwald said. “They’re at all games at least two hours early.”
Steigerwald is from Nowata, Oklahoma, home to the Nowata Ironmen, who in Steigerwald’s senior year went 13-1 in the regular season.
Steigerwald grew up playing football and baseball, and in his senior year of high school, he played basketball, which helped him understand the team aspect of sports
Steigerwald is used to earning his spot, and when it came to winning a starting spot, he stepped up to the challenge.
“I’ve never been the guy going into the year, so you’ve got to believe in yourself, and it’ll work out,” Steigerwald said.
Only playing in four games last year and not getting many opportunities to prove himself behind former senior quarterback Dom Marino, Steigerwald is getting his shot in the spotlight this year and showing his leadership qualities through the first few games.
People are taking notice of that, including coach Matt Williamson.
“Over the last two or three weeks you can see him becoming a leader, and guys are following in behind him,” Williamson said. “He’s here for this team.”
Team chemistry is something that Missouri Western’s football team is building around, and it starts from the top. Turnovers and mistakes happen, but Steigerwald doesn’t let them affect him.
“After that first game, (Steigerwald) started off a little rough but then settled down, and we started to click,” junior wide receiver Kyle Berry said. “He doesn’t let picks or bad snaps phase him, and he just keeps on rolling.”
Steigerwald’s pocket presence is different than the run and gun style that the Griffons had been playing the last few years under Marino. Steigerwald’s arm strength and ability to read a defense and check out of certain play on the fly makes Steigerwald a versatile quarterback.
Being QB1 comes with responsibilities on and off the field. Taking care of one’s locker room and getting guys on your side before you ever step on the field is a huge part of the game.
When it comes to game time, Berry likes someone that can air it out and control an offense throughout a game.
“It’s nice to be able to catch the ball over the top again with Wyatt at quarterback,” Berry said.
This weekend the Griffons take on Northeastern state. After these last three games, Missouri Western is receiving votes for the AFCA DII Top 25 poll.