THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2009
Football spring game set for Saturday at D.B. Milne Field
The JU football team will hold its annual Green & White game on Saturday at D.B. Milne Field, with kickoff at 1 p.m.
The game marks the end of the Dolphins spring practice schedule as they begin their defense of the first Pioneer Football League championship.
“We’ve had a great spring so far,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “While we’ve had some injuries, a lot of young guys have stepped up and played well. The progress we’ve made this spring bodes well for the upcoming season.”
Offensively, the Dolphins have missed quarterback Josh McGregor throughout the spring due to surgery following the season. Erik Stepelton has taken a majority of the snaps in his place, giving the offense a familiar feel with the experienced signal caller under center.
“While we miss having Josh taking snaps in practice, this is a great opportunity for all of our quarterbacks to show us what they can do,” Bell said. “All of our quarterbacks are talented and have a firm grasp of the offense, we’re looking at their consistency in moving the ball down the field.”
The spring has been a chance to develop depth along the offensive line as JU looks to replace senior starters Chris Tessitore at guard and Michael Aguilar at tackle.
Bell has also been working on adjusting the receiving corps to cope with the graduation of Geavon Tribble at wide receiver.
“We lost several key guys up front and at wide receiver,” Bell said. “You don’t replace two four-year starters on the offensive line overnight, but we’ve got a lot of talented guys who are taking advantage of this opportunity to play.
“At receiver, we have tremendous depth and a lot of options to choose from. Losing a player like Geavon hurts, but we feel like his influence this past season has been positive on our younger guys on how to play the position and prepare for games.”
The defensive side of the ball is also filling in some holes with graduation departures hitting the depth on the defensive line and in the backfield. JU lost defensive tackle Austin Knipp along with defensive backs Robson Noel and Tremaine Mack, the later forming one of the best tandem in the PFL.
“Our defense has been making solid progress as a unit,” Bell said. “We lose some key guys from last season, but we also have a lot of guys who gained valuable experience this fall showing us they are ready to step into a larger role.”
The weekend’s festivities start with the inaugural Kerwin Bell Golf Tournament at Windsor Park on Friday, culminating with the spring game on Saturday.