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Skyhawks end spring practice

Published (Volume 76, No. 31)

Credit: University Relations

Two Skyhawk football team members get dirty in last weekend’s rainy annual Blue and Orange scrimmage game.

Credit: University Relations

The UTM Skyhawk Football Team ended their spring practice with the traditional Blue and Orange game last Saturday at Hardy Graham Stadium.

While still vying for those few remaining starting slots and matching up the defense versus the offense, good ole Mother Nature decided to put her two cents in the game as well.

The local rains of late had doused the field in water, and turned what should have been an awesome matchup of speed, into a dirty and drawn out mud bowl.

Both defense and offense looked impressive coming out, but the clean uniforms soon took on the look of the field and players on both sides hunkered down to give it their all.

Jeff Booker took the place of injured starting quarterback Brady Wahlberg at the helm of the offense, and looked quite impressive.

Booker passed for almost 270 yards the week previous and looked good in his outing again on Saturday.

This fueled several rumors that Booker may be taking the spot of Wahlberg at the helm of the Skyhawk offense come next season.

UTM Head Coach Matt Griffin put those rumors to rest quickly, stating that no player on the team would loose his starting position due to injury.

Griffin also went on to say that Wahlberg would be set to start next season after undergoing surgery within the next few weeks.

Griffin expects Wahlberg to be 100 percent by the start of the season, but has been impressed with the play of Booker during spring practice.

With the muddy clash of players continuing, most spectators were felt the defense had the advantage throughout.

A skeptical Coach Griffin was quick to say he couldn’t form an opinion on the matter due to not reviewing the game film yet.

Griffin said that the game film would reveal the good and bad of both sides and allow him to evaluate how far his team has come during the spring practice.

So far Griffin and fans alike seemed pleased with the team’s performance.

The team chose Wahlberg and Russell Gambrell as the team captains for the upcoming season.

The team also awarded Cole Duncan and Brenton Ford the annual Iron Man Awards. Sanders Trent and Gambrell were also honored with the William ‘Colonel’ Kaler Leadership Award.

These awards symbolized the end to spring training and the hard work that these men put in during the grueling hours it took to practice and play in harsh weather to improve themselves for the upcoming season.

Many have doubted whether or not the team can improve on their 2-10 mark in 2003.

Only time will tell, but count out the Skyhawks anytime soon. This season will be a testament to Coach Griffin for better or worse, and most people are betting better.