GREENCASTLE -- "Time and tide wait for no man". For DePauw senior Brayden Dahlstrom, his time has come and the North Putnam grad has no intention of letting it pass him by.
"It really has flown by," Dahlstrom said. "Our senior class, it seems like we just came in and had the opening practice and opening camp, but we're pumped for the senior season."
Dahlstrom had 54 receptions last season for 529 yards and three touchdowns. Asked if he felt the pressure of his senior season looming, he said pressure wasn't exactly the word he'd use.
"I don't know if it's pressure or if it's excitement -- maybe, just anticipation of the senior season," Dahlstrom commented. "We've got 18 seniors coming back and I think we're all just anxious to get going in the season and see what we can do.
"We had a real good year last year and hopefully we can build off that this year," he added.
The Tiger went 7-3 under first year head coach Robbie Long and the team is looking for more this season.
"The bar is set high again," Dahlstrom said. "Last year we set out to win conference. We split it last year, but hopefully we'll win the conference outright -- that's kind of our goal and make a run at the playoffs.
"That's our goal to take that next step and win a playoff game and make a run in the playoffs," Dahlstrom added.
The team will have to fill some major holes on the offense that were left open due to graduation, but Dahlstrom believes the team has plugged those holes well.
Dahlstrom has played a lot in the slot during his career but this season will see him step into a starting wideout role and he plans to make the most of it.
"I've kind of assumed the wide receiver role," Dahlstrom said. "We lost our leading reception guy from last year, so I've stepped into that wide receiver role a little bit. We've got the other wide receiver Alex Koors. He's All-American and he's coming back so that helps too."
However, Dahlstrom spent his high school career as a quarterback for the Cougars and came to DePauw set to play the position. He has an idea of what new Tiger signal caller Michael Engle is going through.
"Then, the other one is the quarterback position. Michael Engle has done a really good job stepping into Spud's (Dick) shoes and getting prepared for the season," he said.
He said Engle's performance against Centre and Sewanee last season showed what the quarterback was capable of.
As for himself, Dahlstrom thinks his play complements the other starting wide receiver, Alex Koors, well and should work well during the season.
"Yeah, I'd say I'm sort of the possession guy if that's what you want to call it -- just kind of the shorter yardage. Alex (Koors) is a deep threat every play, so we complement each other well. I kind of do the stuff underneath and get us three to five yards and he has that big play ability every play," he said.
With all of their success last season, Dahlstrom and his Tiger teammates have had a bitter taste in their mouths since Nov. 14 when the team lost to Wabash 32-19 in the Monon Bell game.
"We've been bitter since that game," he said. "We ended the season last year with two losses, so that definitely isn't going to sit well in the off-season. We've been preparing for this season and making a run at the playoffs and that includes beating Wabash to keep that record alive.
"That game is as big as any and we'll face that when it gets here, but that's definitely out on the horizon," he added.
Dahlstrom said the team is ready to get the season going on the dawn of its first game.
"Probably anxious, that a pretty good way to sum it up," he said. "And hungry I guess. We've got some good senior leaders coming back that have been three and four year starters coming back. We had a good camp and we're ready to get the season started tomorrow (Saturday). So, probably just anxious for the season to get going."
Dahlstrom knows that when the ball is teed up at 1 p.m. today, the emotions are going to be running strong. Additionally he knows this the start of his last chance to make an impact as a collegiate football player.
"I don't know. Emotions will be high for sure," he said. "It's always your goal to leave everything on the field -- to play your heart out every game, so we'll be going all out to try to win that game and focus on the game at hand. Senior year is your last shot, your last chance to beat Rose or win your first game. Senior year kind of turns it into a last chance opportunity."
DePauw will host Rose-Hulman at 1 p.m. today. The game will be carried live on 91.5 WGRE.