Following this week’s bomb cyclone, Falcon Stadium, though still covered in snow, was able to host the Air Force football spring game, which was more of an open spring practice followed by a “live scrimmage” it appeared. A number of fans and junior recruits braved the weather and were “forced” onto the field since the stands were still inhabitable.
As usual, the Gazette had the event covered, with Brent Briggeman on the beat and Lindsey Smith getting some great photos of the event.
While the majority of the star players and returning starters played in limited action or were held out all together, that provided some glimpses of what the future holds for the Falcons as younger players got their opportunity to shine.
We had early evidence of the defense playing well as the “turnover bucket” made its way onto the field following a few early interceptions.
.@garrettkauppila making good use of the turnover bucket during spring practice after intercepting a pass from Donald Hammond III during a 7-on-7 drill. #springpractice #afafootball @AF_Football pic.twitter.com/JGSRXjNqAf— Lindsey Smith (@LindseySquints) March 16, 2019
According to Garrett Kauppila, seen above after getting one of those interceptions, the spring was “physical and productive.”
To me, that’s a good sign that the leaders on this year’s Falcons squad are ensuring they are approaching each and every day with the right mentality that they can turn the tide on the consecutive losing seasons and get back to winning ways in Colorado Springs.
Kauppila, one of the leaders of this year’s squad, has emerged as not just a leader on the football team, but a cadet voice throughout the academy, inspiring support for this year’s men’s basketball team and having the cadets take charge of supporting each other through a grassroots movement to #makeclunegreatagain. He is just the kind of player that the Falcons will need to make waves in the Mountain West this fall.
A grassroots movement to #makefalconstadiumgreatagain needs to happen for Air Force to turn the tide on the past couple of years, and you can bet that is a huge focus of Nathan Pine’s first few months on the job as the new AD.
It appeared that perhaps nobody had a better day on Saturday than junior QB Beau English III. Not to be confused with the other member of the quarterback room who is a third-generation name in Donald Hammond, English got the majority of the work with Hammond and Isaiah Sanders only getting a few series each and made some great plays with his arms and legs and being decisive with running the offense.
Beau English to Luke Miller, who takes it from there. English having a strong scrimmage for Air Force. pic.twitter.com/FlSRLxXbTT— Brent Briggeman (@BrentBriggeman) March 16, 2019
There’s a good look from Briggeman at a TD pass from English to Luke Miller.
Check out the link to the Gazette article here in which Briggeman highlights some of the other standouts from the scrimmage!
It would appear that Troy Calhoun believes his team had a tremendous series of spring practices, with the head coach going so far as to call it “hands down probably the most productive spring we’ve ever had.”
That’s high praise for the Falcons from a coach who has been there over a decade to say that.
We are obviously a long way away from meaningful football, but given the recruiting class coming in, the leadership that appears to have emerged out of the upperclass on the team, and the quality returners at key skill positions and across the defense, it should be an optimistic spring and summer for Falcons fans as they eagerly anticipate August 31st and welcoming the Colgate Raiders!