Central Michigan football sets date for 2019 spring game


Quarterback Tommy Lazzaro runs the ball for a short gain during Central Michigan's loss to Western Michigan University on Oct. 20 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. 

UPDATE: Central Michigan's annual "spring game" is not a game or a situation scrimmage. Rather, it is a practice open to the public beginning at 1 p.m. on April 13.


Spring football practice begins on March 19. 

Less than a month later, the annual spring game will take place on April 13 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

The way coach Jim McElwain operates is he sets the football calendar 18 months in advance. He said that's something the Central Michigan program is getting used to under his reign.

"You take that month, knock it off and add the next month," McElwain said on the CMU Sideliners Coaches Show. "It's a little bit different than what they are used to around here."

Since CMU is currently on construction plans for the for the Chippewa Champions Alumni Center, the spring schedule was changed multiple times.

"We are in a renovation stage, which forced us to make a lot of changes," McElwain said. "We changed the start date of spring ball three different times, but I'm tired of changing it."

As for spring football, McElwain said there is only one day of back-to-back practices. Otherwise, there will be a day off in between workouts.

When the spring game rolls around, which McElwain said was April 13, most fans will look to the quarterback situation. 

McElwain, who called it an "open position" under center, has options in senior Quinten Dormandy, senior Tommy Lazzaro, junior David Moore, sophomore Austin Hergott, redshirt freshman George Pearson and true freshman Daniel Richardson.

More than just the quarterbacks, McElwain said he's already started influencing all his players in a positive way and is excited to continue throughout the 2019 season.

"Teach them what it is to be a leader, a great dad, all the different things that go along with it," McElwain said. "That's been so much fun."

McElwain takes pride in the camaraderie between his coaching staff and players. At 6:45 a.m., all the players head to the Indoor Athletic Complex to lift weights. Then, the student-athletes go to breakfast. Throughout the four-hour block from 6:45 a.m. to 11 a.m., McElwain said the entire coaching staff is right with the players.

"That full morning is something I really cherish," he said.

McElwain said his team will finish spring practice during the third week of April before his assistant coaches hit the road to recruit high school prospects.