Team shows sense of competition at spring scrimmage

Lauren Roberts

More than 200 football recruits and their families attended the Maroon and Gold spring game April 12 and was the largest spring game at Midwestern in years. Jake Glover, senior in accounting, lead the Gold team on the final drive to win 24-21.

Gold team member Terrance Smith, sophomore in education, said, “The game was fun. It was great to have the captains pick the team and it worked out.”

Head football coach Bill Maskill said he was pleased with the team’s performance despite player fatigue.

He said, “I was pleased with their production, the way they hit, and I was pleased with the big plays. They were into the game. Some guys played the whole game and they hadn’t done that before. They were tired and because of that there was a lack of effort but their production, their sense of competition made up for it. I saw it during and after the scrimmage and I saw the same competition when I watched the tape.”

Leading the competition were Glover and Demetrich Gilliam, junior in accounting, as the Gold team captains while Shadow Stokes, junior in exercise physiology and Cameron Williams, junior in art were the Maroon team captains. Despite their leadership Maskill continued to focus on area to improve.

Maskill said, “I thought the backs ran hard. Brandon Gordon who was on the Maroon team had his best day. Donte Taylor who we see as the starter had a good day as well. We’re not there yet. The backs need to see holes quicker. They have a lot of work between now and then.”

The team is finishing the off-season with three quarterbacks that are capable of playing in the fall: Glover, Hagen Hutchinson, undecided freshman, and Quade Coward, freshman in exercise physiology.

“Coward was outstanding. He was consistently good all spring. We have three quarterbacks that are capable of playing. It’s a dilemma, but a good dilemma that Jake Glover started nine games last season and was good when he came in as a backup. When he’s on he’s pretty good,” Maskill said. “Of the three, Coward is the better passer and Hutchinson is the better runner. We can’t play three quarterbacks since that would take away reps from the other two. They will need to work over the summer and we will make the decision during two-a-days in the fall. We’ll go with Jake and Coward but we aren’t going to count Hutchinson out.”

Harold Willis, junior in criminal justice, said this has been the best spring he has had at MSU.

Willis said, “The level of competition went up.”

Maskill said, “Overall the attitude with the team to go through 10 5:30 a.m. workouts was excellent. I’m pleased with their work ethic and mental approach. We had one really bad Wednesday practice but I think we’ve been more consistent this spring.”

Working in the off-season the players are trying to get past the playoff wall they have been hitting since losing to Washburn University 14-45 in the 2010 Kanza Bowl. As Maskill said spring training helps players prepare for the fall.

“In the spring players get to know who they are,” Maskill said. “We haven’t arrived yet but we will.”

The first game of the season is against Missouri University of Science and Technology Sept. 13. In addition, Maskill said he is trying to schedule another game Sept. 6.

Willis said, “I feel like next year depends on the summer workouts. Then we will have the season we think we should have to get over the hump.”