After ending their season last fall, with a 5-4 record, TJC Apache Football makes its return to campus this spring.
Spring training allows returning freshman players opportunity to challenge themselves with stiff competition in hopes of earning a position on next season’s roster.
“Spring training gives the returning lettermen a chance to be in football activities, [which consistent of] scrimmages, contact drills, and we install both offense and defense,” said TJC Football Head Coach Danny Palmer. “And [spring training] gives to the red shirt program, players paying their own way [not on scholarship], a chance to make the spring roster.”
Despite last year’s record, Coach Palmer believes that returning players in key areas of the team will make TJC a top competitor in their division.
“Coming back on offense I’m really looking forward to it, because we have all the starters returning, with the exception of Nick Peoples and Clay Tucker,” said Coach Palmer.
“The sophomores, who left and went on to other school, showed a lot of leadership when they didn’t have to. Our sophomore group really provided leadership at the end of the year when we needed it, and sometimes that is unusual with a new coach,” said Coach Palmer, “I want those sophomores to know that they were my sophomores.”
Palmer believes that his returning team is filled with leaders capable of making the same impact as his out-going sophomores did this past season. With names like Wide Receiver Alonzo Adams, Quarterback Steven Schwark, Running Backs Chris Davis and Ke Ke Gant, and former walk-on Ira Duckworth, Coach Palmer feels excited to begin the 08-09 season.
“The strength of our team is our offensive line and our defensive secondary. [Spring training] helps us by getting the young guys in pads and see how they perform under pressure.”
The pressure, Coach Palmer is referring to, is the filmed scrimmages in which players are evaluated and graded on their performance from every play. Then the coaches will compose a temporary spring training roster listing 85 of both lettermen and red shirt players.
This roster will determine the final players invited back in the fall for team tryouts and may ultimately decide starting positions.
“Spring training gives those kids that are in the red shirt program a chance to see what they can do. Can they benefit? Can they contribute to the team? A lot of them could even earn scholarships,” said Palmer.
Drew Chasney, Jake King, Chris Koehler, Broderick Marshall, George Pierson, Kyle and Ryan Roget, Daniel Seahorn, and Josh Zamora are prime examples of those who benefited from the Apache Football program, all have all received four year offers from various institutions.