ASHLAND—For the past four weeks Southern Oregon’s journey through spring football practices has been a time to develop, compete and learn.
Despite the season opener being four months away, the knowledge gained during this formative time of year will help dictate the team’s success in the fall.
Senior linebacker Devvon Gage and sophomore running back Michael Roots reflected on what they have learned throughout the spring.
"I found out this spring that we're hungry, we're relentless and we're ready to go into this fall to keep working," Gage said.
"I learned that everybody has that dog in them,” Roots said. “Everyone wants to play football, no one wants to take time off, take days off, everybody wants to come out and play."
The coaching staff learned a great deal as well.
For Charlie Hall, his second spring as SOU head coach was much easier than his first.
“Last year I wasn't able to see the growth,” he said. “I was here a week or two before we started spring ball, just kind of living in the moment and trying to absorb routines, trying to learn names for gosh sakes. Now, the ability to see growth from fall to winter to spring is an exciting part."
The coordinators meanwhile were each tasked with replacing starters in key positions.
Offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht has been overseeing the four-way quarterback battle and is optimistic heading into the summer.
"The exciting part is this: If I can find a guy to pull the trigger we'll be pretty good,” he said. “I think one of these four guys is going to be that guy. That guy is going to have a good group of guys around him. That guy might have the best group of players around him that we've ever had (in a transition year), so that's the exciting part."
Defensive coordinator James Gravelle lost Keegan Lawrence and Oshay Dunmore to graduation, which left two spots up for grabs at the safety position.
"Luke Goins has really stepped up his game,” he said. “As a redshirt sophomore coming in with three years left to play, his speed is the caliber of speed we're looking for. Ty Dean, the other safety back there that's penciled in, he is so darn smart, he's lining us up and getting us where we need to get to."
With spring ball now complete for the Raiders, they’ll head to the weight room for summer conditioning—the start of fall camp just over three months away.
"We're looking forward to some time off, an opportunity to regain some strength because we haven't really trained as much during spring football,” Hall said. “(We’ll) get out of here with a great academic quarter and then summer will be here and then we'll start ramping up for the season."
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