By Mark Janssen
Kansas State's locker room is void of peppy slogans and motivational sayings.
What it does have, however, is a chart of K-State's "16 Goals for Success." The Wildcat Commandments, so to speak.
One goal that has been a theme during the summer and now into fall camp is the one that says: "Unity - Come together As Never Before."
"Throughout the summer, we came together more so than a year ago," said sophomore quarterback Collin Klein. "For us to make it through a season, there are going to be obstacles to overcome. Whatever happens, we have to stay together or we're not going to make it.
"I'm not talking about just five or 10 players, or even 40 or 50, but it has to be 125 or however many we have on our team," Klein said. "It has to be a total team effort of being unified."
Starting right tackle Clyde Aufner added, "Being our second year in the system, it's helped us to unify and grasp all the concepts of being a better player. More players than last year have bought into the idea of getting better every day in practice."
Quarterback Carson Coffman said he thought there was a togetherness a year ago when the Wildcats went 6-6, but he added, "I think that any system takes time to truly come together. I think you're seeing that now."
Speaking for his position in particular, offensive line coach Charlie Dickey said of his group that has four returning starters, "I can't even compare our progress in coming together. They now know what's expected of them, which helps in building a team-wide unity."
Center Wade Weibert refers to that line as "... a band of brothers."
Agreeing with the importance of unity concept is Joe Bob Clements, coach of the Wildcat defensive ends.
"A year ago, kids didn't know what to expect. Now they have a season, an offseason, a spring season and a summer season of coming together as one. If a newcomer has a question, there's a veteran around to answer it. Being another year into the program definitely can benefit the team unity."
If that team unity continues to grow, tight ends coach Rickey Rahne is one that says it can be a difference maker.
"When kids really care about one another, it can push you over the top in that close ballgame or in that bad weather game," Rahne said. "It really can be pivotal."
Of the "Unity" goal, and the other 15 that go with it, Snyder says, "I am charged by families to be a father, a mentor and a teacher to young people. These are lessons of life that will also make you a better player on the field."
16 GOALS FOR SUCCESS
2) Unity - Come Together As Never Before
3) Be Tough
4) Great Effort
5) Never Give Up
6) Refuse To Allow Failing To Become A Habit
7) Expect To Win
9) Improve Every Day
10) Self-Discipline - Do It Right And Don't Accept Less
11) Eliminate Mistakes - Don't Beat Yourself
12) No Self-Limitations - Expect More Of Yourself