Shippensburg University quarterback Brycen Mussina hoped to use the spring season for personal progress and team adjustments, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic took that opportunity away from him and his teammates.
Mussina, who joined the Raiders in the spring of 2018, is never one to shy away from adversity. Despite the current situation he finds himself in, he said he continues to stay positive and has never felt more excited to get back on the field.
“I feel as though this has made me just that much more excited for the coming season in the fall or whenever we get to lace the cleats up again,” Mussina said. “I miss football, and I can’t wait to get back out there.”
While he continues to keep a positive attitude, Mussina notices the struggles that are currently happening and knows other challenges may pop up due to the cancellation of the 2020 spring season. Some of the biggest issues Mussina identifies is not being able to throw to his teammates and the lack of on-field chemistry that may occur come fall.
“To be honest, it is extremely unfortunate to have missed the spring season,” he said. “We make a lot of adjustments and progress then and our chemistry improves because we have time to focus on certain things instead of having to rush like we do once the season begins.”
With the unfortunate situation they have been dealt, Mussina said the Raiders’ offense has been meeting frequently over Zoom and stays in close contact. Some teammates even workout together when they can.
The Ship signal caller also said that all the extra down time has provided him with a golden opportunity to focus on personal goals for the upcoming season.
While he has stapled himself as a top quarterback in the PSAC, Mussina said he hopes to add more physical skills to his repertoire, as well as improving on his leadership capabilities.
“I’d like to become the most well-rounded quarterback that I’m capable of being,” Mussina noted. “I’d like to improve upon my vocal leadership and in-game awareness, along with some physical traits like mobility and footwork improvements.”
Shippensburg University Head Coach Mark “Mac” Maciejewski has also taken note of Mussina’s dedication and desire to bring a winning culture to SU despite the unusual scenario they have been tasked with.
“Brycen was working really hard before the pandemic hit, and if I know Brycen, he’s continued to work hard over the last three months,” Maciejewski said. “I’m sure he’s excited to contribute to the Red Raiders when we return.”
Additionally, Mussina said he strives to earn All-American team honors this year. The honor would not be his first recognition since joining the Raiders.
In his two-year career at SU, Mussina has been awarded two major accomplishments which include being named the 2018 Red Raider “Impact” Player of the Year, as well as the honor of 2018 PSAC Eastern Division Freshman of the Year.
In addition to his awards, Mussina owns an impressive career stat line, which includes a 61 percent completion percentage, 6,022 passing yards and 52 passing touchdowns. He also averages 7.9 yards per completion.
However, Mussina said the Raiders still need one boost that will send their play to the next level. SU holds a 10-12 record in Mussina’s tenure thus far.
“As a whole, I think we need to be more accountable,” he said. “Our leaders need to lead and everyone else needs to follow. Together we will be able to set ourselves apart from the rest of the league.”
If the NCAA season begins as planned, Mussina and the Raiders will travel to Institute, West Virginia, on Sept. 5 to play West Virginia State University. SU will look to change their fortune from the year before when they started off their season 0-1 after a 48-28 loss to Clarion University.
“I can’t wait to get back out there to prove how good we are as a team,” Mussina added. “We’re out to prove something this season.”