Noah Krebs and the rest of the University of Mary football team is embracing the early winter weather with open arms.
In fact, Krebs sees it as an advantage.
"We're excited about it. We've practiced in it. Even going back to last year against Crookston, that game was basically played in a blizzard and we played really well," the U-Mary senior linebacker said.
The snow, wind and cold that blew through the state prevented Upper Iowa University, the Marauders' homecoming opponent, from getting to Bismarck in time for Saturday's game. Instead, it will be played at the Bowl on Sunday. Kickoff is at noon.
"It's probably the first time they've experienced it this year," Krebs said of the winter weather. "We've been out in it a few days. Hopefully, we can use that to our advantage."
There's no doubt it'll feel like winter. Sunday's forecast calls for a snowflake free day, but mid-30s temps with sustained winds will put a serious chill in the air.
"Our focus needs to on Upper Iowa, handling our assignments and not worrying about anything beyond that," Krebs said.
One of the teams will leave the field with their first win of season. The Marauders and Peacocks are both 0-5.
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Winning his last homecoming game would help cleanse the taste of a bitter start to the season.
"What's happened so far, we can't change it. It's in the past," Krebs said. "We've played good football at times, but we haven't played a full 60 minutes yet. For us, this game is important. Our goal is to go 1-0 this week, then build from there."
Krebs, a former St. Mary's standout, puts the student and athlete in student-athlete. He's wrapping up his degree in civil engineering. It's demanding academically, but Krebs knew what he was signing up for.
"You have late nights where you're working on calc homework until 2 or 3 a.m., and have to be up to lift at 6 a.m., but that's just part of it," he said. "I wouldn't change anything. Both football-wise and academically it's been challenging, but I think it's prepared me really well for whatever comes next."
Craig Bagnell, University of Mary head coach, said Krebs' role this season has expanded beyond making tackles.
"He's become more vocal this year with his leadership. He's grown and matured and he was already a very consistent and steady guy for us," Bagnell said. "I think he's taken coaching better this year and just grown in a lot of ways. ... It's always nice to have future engineer on your football team."
Krebs is hoping to land a job in Bismarck after graduation, he's already had one interview, but first things first.
"It's tough because we work hard, we put a lot of time in and of course we want to get wins on Saturdays. So yeah, that part is frustrating," Krebs said. "But I believe we're getting better. It comes down to being disciplined and doing the little things. We're excited for this game. It's a great opportunity for us to get things rolling."