The CSC football team has begun spring training to prepare for the Spring Game, on April 21, and the upcoming 2018-2019 season.
“Ultimately what we want to do is focus on getting better, whether it is in the weight room, on the field, or even getting better in our meetings,” Head Coach Jay Long said.
Long said the focus of spring training is to “fine tune” the older players and see which younger players are going to compete and “take those next steps.”
After the 2017-2018 season, the CSC football team lost four offensive players, which included two starters, and 11 defensive players. Spring training and the Spring Game will prove who will help fill those holes.
The team currently has 86 players, with 78 going through spring training, and a promising group of incoming freshmen.
“Defensively we have some guys that need to come and step up, and that’s one thing that spring training does. You’re allowed to see the next man up,” Long said.
Throughout the 15 spring practices, which started March 26, the players have set goals in line with Long’s.
“Our offense picked up right where we left off. We are still improving every day and we expect to be one of the top offenses in the conference again,” offensive lineman Travis Romsa, 22, senior of Burns, Wyoming, said. “Spring ball is where you learn a lot and improve the most. We have a lot of good young players on both sides of the ball that will make an impact on the field.”
Romsa said their goal as an offense is to be perfect on 88 percent of their plays, which means no turnovers, catch passes, and at least four yards per rush.
With young, talented players, the Eagles have confidence in filling the gaps the graduating seniors left.
Defensive lineman Kyle Temple, 22, senior of Norfolk, said, “With a defense that is going to be young, communication is going to be a key part of spring and heading into next season….We have a ton of talent and guys willing to work hard and with a productive spring, I’m confident that our defense will be as good, if not better, than we were a year ago.”
Both Temple and Romsa have set goals to be leaders on the team, while both setting a standard of excellence and guiding their younger teammates.
The team’s spring training will culminate with the Spring Game, Saturday, April 21, where the offense will scrimmage against the defense. The game will be held at the practice field due to the construction of the new stadium at Elliot Field. Long said the game will begin at 11 a.m. last about an hour.
After the game, the team will participate in The Big Event, a volunteer event that does community service activities around Chadron.
Romsa predicts that the offense will win the Spring Game, while Temple believes that the defense will take the game by turnovers.
No matter who wins the Spring Game, Long said he is excited to see his team grow in the upcoming weeks and compete.
Long said, “I’m just excited to coach these guys. We have a team that I really like being around…. Right now we have guys that, I think, really love Chadron State and that I am very excited to coach.”