Football will play its annual spring game Saturday, and there is more on the line than winning position battles.
“They have pride and bragging rights, as well as allowing the team to switch things up from the monotony of spring practices and play together and gel,” said head coach Dan Enos.
Additionally, Enos says the game is a way for the coaches to evaluate players in a game situation and will help to determine starters later in the season, but Enos stressed that the game is not a make-or-break situation for any of the players.
“Really, this is just one practice of 15; we’ll evaluate it, and it’ll have some stock,” Enos said. “But if a guy has played well all spring but has a bad game on Saturday, it’s not going to ruin his chances of starting. Many of these (position) battles will stretch into the summer and up to the start of the season.”
Teams were chosen for the game on Wednesday, in a way that Enos has done since his arrival to CMU. The team’s seniors were split evenly to start the draft and then drafted their teammates onto the gold and maroon teams. A few minor switches were made after the draft, but the teams are now set for the game.
Senior defensive back Avery Cunningham was one of the seniors who was heavily involved in the picking of teams.
“I felt pretty good about the draft,” Cunningham said. “I think the teams were pretty equal, both have their strengths; I think it’ll be a fun game.”
Shamari Benton, another senior, reinforced Cunningham’s comments.
“It was enthusiastic, we got to choose different players, and it really lets you know how some of these guys match up in their teammates minds” he said. “This is my last spring game, so I’m really excited to be ending it in this way; it really gets the guys pumped.”
Saturday will not be the first time that the team has played an inter-squad game, according to Enos.
“We had an overtime scrimmage earlier in the spring, and, again, we did that, we split the team up so they weren’t always playing the same old offense-defense match-ups.”
When the Chippewas take the field, they will all be playing for the same reasons. Individual improvement, team unity and getting the feel of the game plan in a game situation are all key concepts that Enos hopes the team will demonstrate and take away from the field.