After its spring Blue vs. Gold game, the ETSU football team is done with practice for the time being. However, players will still be busy with workouts, rehab and team building activities to help prepare for the fall season.
“Now that the spring is over, we will just be working out and reviewing spring, how we did and looking at ways to improve,” said quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.).
Herink, along with quarterback Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.), played impressively at the spring game. Overall, they managed to connect on 27 of 40 pass attempts and both threw a touchdown pass.
“Offensively, we’ll probably get some of the quarterbacks and wide receivers together and throw a little bit,” Herink said about what’s ahead for the coming months leading up to the fall season.
Offensive coordinator Mike O’Cain was very pleased with how the spring season turned out for the team and is impressed with how the team has improved “individually and collectively” on offense. He feels that the team has “a lot of momentum going into the fall.”
At the spring game, the defense collectively made 81 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. Two sacks were also made by Trey Quillin (New Albany, Ohio) and Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.).
“The defense will continue to work out and run, as we will, too, on offense, so between now and then, we will just work on getting better for next season,” Herink said.
Defensive coordinator Billy Taylor said the spring game gave the coaches an opportunity to get a look at all the players and get a feel for how they will do playing in the atmosphere of a normal football game. A large crowd of 2,800 fans gathered together inside the MSHA Athletic Center to watch the Blue vs. Gold game.
Players and coaches both agree that the young team has improved greatly from this time last year when it comes to athleticism and experience.
“This spring, I thought we looked faster and stronger,” Herink said. “I thought we were more experienced, smarter players, and I think that will continue to build up, and we will get better as time goes on. And eventually here in a few years, we will be a really experienced football team.”
The ETSU football team will join the Southern Conference in 2016. Their first game will be an away game at Kennesaw State on September 3, and their first matchup against a SoCon opponent will be September 17 against Western Carolina.