As expected for any program kicking off the new year, it’s the promise and hope of a new beginning, of course! In the Spartan’s case, it’s the added and even intense pressure to bring the football program to par and to stop a deepening divide of indifference among the fans, alumni, community and critics.
Yes, it’s just Spring ball, well, technically it’s Winter ball, but here in Sparta, it can never be too early with what this program needs to dig up through. Though it’s always good to show and see the eagerness among the troops, this fight will be difficult and no one will really see or care of this lonely fight outside of the Sparta microcosm, until they obviously start winning consistently.
Officially coming out onto the field for the first week with so much to prove, it was an anxious start for Spartan football. The coaches made their cursory remarks. The players rattled off the tried-and-true football idioms. And the brand machines created the compulsory media content and messaging. It all seemed to say there was energy and urgency.
The one slight negative aspect echoed among the coaches and players were “lots of mistakes” and “being rusty”, which is probably more indicative of a young program, top-to-bottom, still trying to establishing itself.
The one positive, observational aspect was the kid-like energy from the players. The offense looked to have a chip on its shoulder and looked fairly crisp and it was lively all-around, as it should be.
There was also getting to know new coaches and their methods, energetic players already jockeying for pecking order, and some fans and observers with their scoutful eyes. Former Oregon State OC Kevin McGiven clearly has the pressure and urgency to get his scheme in place, as does freshly minted DB coach Aric Williams. There’s also the anticipation of new field generals like LB Ethan Aguayo that have clear leadership expectations.
It’s just the first week. It’s just Spring ball. And it’s all necessary for the Spartans.
Good luck and go Spartans!