Spring football game showcases improvements, changes to be made

By: Keshawn McMahon  Sterling, KS — April 19, 2018 11:23 P.M. 

Sterling College football fans eagerly await their football team’s spring football game each year to get a first look at what they hope will be a successful group in the regular season. While spring games only tell half the story because it is an exhibition game between members of the same team going head to head, it does give you a feel for the culture of the program and an early eye on some transfers and progress made by returners. Spring games also give some of the players who are in lower positions on the depth chart a fair chance to play and prove themselves. During spring ball, coaches are looking to see who’s improved through strength and conditioning programs and who has the proper mental to play at an elevated level next year.

Friday was a windy 35-degree spring day in Sterling, but that didn’t stop fans from making their way to Smisor Stadium for the game. In some strong, but limited, action, the offense and defense impressed on Friday night. The offense held their own against an active, play making, and aggressive defense. There was plenty of positive takeaways, especially considering everyone is safe from injury.

Head coach Chase Hansen said that “we came into spring ball with several priorities. Number one was to get through all 15 practices healthy.” For many college football programs, making it through the spring as healthy as possible is top priority. The improvements made and the depth that’s being built could all be wiped away with an injury or two. A healthy spring for college football teams is a successful spring.

“The spring is an opportunity for our program and team to grow as a family and football team. I do feel like it’s a tune up game, and it’s nice to put on pads and hit each other after the off-season lifting and running, but spring ball is also a great evaluation period for the coaches it gives them an idea who will play next year,” said sophomore quarterback Eric Butler.

“We have had multiple guys stand out for us over the course of spring ball practices, not just the spring game,” Hansen added. “The most impressive thing that we have seen from a defensive standpoint is the ability to make plays on the ball in the air and the energy that they have played with.  Offensively, I have been very happy with the growth of our quarterbacks.”

“We are asking players to have the ‘best summer of their lives’ in the weight room and on the field so that they come back as fast and as strong as they have ever been,” Hansen said. The team resumes full preseason action in July.