New faces but plenty of excitement seems to sum up the feeling as spring football drills concluded at Timber Creek.
While the spring game capped 16 workouts for the Falcons, head coach Kevin Golden said the known commodity is the offense and the question mark was about the defense.
But the spring game yielded a bit of an answer, as the intra-squad game resulted in a 10-0 score.
“We feel pretty good about the spring,” Golden said. “We’ll have a different kind of offense which will be set to go with our strengths.”
The Falcons will have a cadre of exciting receivers and a talented tight end to work with.
Golden said he expects to see great production from Jerome Jackson, a 6-5 tight end and Eric Mills, a 6-3 wide receiver. Both will be seniors.
Add in junior Erik Ezukanma as another receiver and presumptive quarterback, Cade Schrader, should have quite an array of explosive targets.
Schrader has “shown flashes” of how he can be a great leader of the Falcons offense, according to Golden.
Gone is Braxton Washington at running back, who accounted for over 1,100 yards and 13 TDs, but Timber Creek has a contingent of potential replacements.
“You don’t get many Braxtons,” Golden admitted, but said all the backs in competition for playing time are decent athletes that will bring different elements of style to the backfield.
The defense was the area that has been labeled as “in process” but the spring practices and game were optimistic barometers.
The number 1 defense vs the number 1 offense showed the defense could hold their own against the explosiveness of the offense.
“The can run and fly around the ball,” Golden said.
Three returners and another three players with varsity experience will help add to the development of the defense.
Depth is a strong suit, too, and in addition to providing plenty of options on defense, the numbers will also greatly improve another aspect of the Falcons.
“Depth will help our special teams, which is where we had difficulty last year,” Golden said. “We had some breakdowns that cost us. When you have guys that are hungry to get out there and have competition to play, it’s cookies and gravy.”
“Hope springs eternal in the breast of man,” Golden noted from the Alexander Pope poem, “Essay of Man.” “Spring is like that.”
Now comes the time of year when coaching staffs look for the teachings for preparations take hold with their players.
“We’ve had good participation in the summer,” Golden said, noting the position players are now accountable for continuing their conditioning programs and working on their skills until practices start back up later in the summer.