It's a tough time of year for football players. Between injuries and adjustments to camp and more, the toll is often very taxing.

On Wednesday morning, news broke that Wake Forest Quarterback Sam Hartman will be sidelined indefinitely with a non-football related medical condition.

Per an article from ESPN.com, Hartman will be out for the near future:

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After workouts on Tuesday, Hartman sought medical attention for a condition unrelated to football, according to the school. Details on the condition were withheld due to privacy restrictions. Medical personnel ran tests on Hartman and determined he should be withheld from competition indefinitely.

Duke's Mayo Bowl - Wake Forest v Wisconsin
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The Wake Forest Demon Deacon Football team was approaching one of their most highly anticipated seasons in some time. The team garnered a lot of buzz in the ACC preseason poll, and came in at #19 in the preseason Coaches Poll.

The Deacs will have to lean on Sophomore Michael Kern in the absence of Hartman.

Hartman isn't only a solid quarterback for Wake Forest, but one of the top in the country entering his second-to-last year of eligibility:

Hartman, a three-year starter, led Wake to the ACC Atlantic Division title last season and a Gator Bowl win over Rutgers, throwing for 4,228 yards and accounting for 50 total touchdowns.

Hartman started as a freshman for Wake in 2018 before going down with an injury late in the season. Jamie Newman took over the offense then and held the job through much of 2019. Hartman regained the starting job in 2020 and accounted for 65 touchdowns in 23 games since.

We'll see how the absence of the veteran signal caller impacts Wake Forest on and off the football field, but let's hope for the best for Hartman moving forward.

Know Your South Dakota College and University Mascots

The college football experience is an ultimate high for football fans and it takes several other teams to make that happen week after week during the season.
Just think about what goes into gameday? First and foremost, the players and coaching staff who put in hours and hours of practice and training to play in front of their fans. Then there's field prep, game officials, live broadcasts, concessions, and on-the-field entertainment. Yep, entertainment.

Second to the game, who do you watch? The cheerleaders? The band at halftime? What about the mascot? That's a job not many people can do.
I asked Sioux Falls native and former Cagey mascot for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Little Red & Herbie for the Nebraska Huskers Nate Welch about being a mascot:

  • What does it take to be a mascot?
  • "Losing a bet or filling an opportunity!" Welch says, "An internal energized desire to love life. After meeting great performers who are introverts out of costume, they become the center of attention when they take the stage. And also feeding off the performance of others."
  • Why does the mascot never talk?
  • "Know your role and shut your mouth. You are there to entertain. Tell the story with your actions and not your voice."
  • Advice to someone putting on that costume for the first time?
  • "Remember you are now in a costume. Have fun. Otherwise, you're just a dork in tights. If the fur ain't flying you ain't trying."

Nate Welch has moved on from his days as a mascot to Executive Director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company in Vermillion, South Dakota.

So, can you name the mascots at our South Dakota Colleges and Universities? Check out the gallery below:

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