Written and Media by Ransom Cochrane.
The spring season is a time for the Greenville University Football team to get back into the swing of things after having five months of off-season. The purpose of spring practice is for teams to practice implementing new concepts, ideas, and systems, so when the past players come back in the fall they are prepared for the season. Due to NCAA regulations, spring practice has a lot of guidelines and rules that teams must follow. Some of these are restrictions include the number of hours of practice, no contact, and the interaction between coaches and players.
For most players, the spring is a great time to get back into shape, learn or relearn concepts, and bond with each other again. Everyone takes different pieces away that can be implemented in the coming fall. This spring, the Greenville University team has completed thirteen practices. Due to unfortunate weather, most of the practices have been shifted and rescheduled. The team plans to end their spring practice season with Terminator Olympics where the team goes through a series of challenges and competes against one another from 9 pm-4 am to determine one ultimate winner.
Many of the athletes and coaches have their own insight on the 2018 spring season. Brock Bullar thinks spring ball is a time where you work on the fundamentals and conditioning football-wise, and build a bond with your teammates. Bullar also thinks the team has bonded with each other to a point where they play for the guy next to them, not just for themselves. This spring, they have gotten after it for the past few weeks. The offense is working on their timing and chemistry and the defense is flying around working on footwork and ball skills. Brock stated, “Last season didn’t go how we wanted it to, but that’s behind us. We don’t forget how it felt, and we learned from our mistakes. Overall the team is looking solid and very scary for the upcoming teams that face us.”
Mark Barigye said, “This team, to me, is very unique from the past years that I have experienced as part of the Greenville University football program. I feel that there is a much closer connection between the players in general. Starters and people who don’t play can connect on and off the field in a way that I had not seen before.” There was a string of nine practices in ten days that posed a time of adversity. However, at the end of it all, Barigye believes times like these are what makes them closer as a team and develops them not just on the field but also off the field, in the dorms, and in the classroom.
Finally, Greg Franchomme feels spring ball 2018 has been a great way for every player to understand the way the program is run and a way to bond as a brotherhood. With no pads or equipment, the team focuses mostly on technique and making sure the plays are known before entering fall camp. Last year, our football program was filled with close to 50 freshmen with no college football experience. This year is completely different as they have been able to go through an entire season and now know what to expect. The team has gone through a strength training program in the weight room (3x a week) and agility/mobility/speed exercises (2x a week), engineered by Coach Lincoln Johnson and the rest of the coaching staff to maintain physical condition and to prepare them for the 2018 season. He believes the program has grown a great deal since spring ball of last year. “The coaches pour their love for Christ onto us and allow us to understand what it means to be a champion for Christ,” Franchomme states. He loves the core values discussed in the meetings and he can see that they translate on the field. The main concept for the spring was to “Follow the Blueprint.” This speaks for itself. Franchomme states, “We are one unit, moving together towards a common goal, understanding that we need to buy in the program, take care of each other, and focus on the process to achieve those goals.” With just Terminator Olympics left, Franchomme believes that they are ready to attack fall camp with a group of players dedicated to make the most out of this blessed opportunity.
Check out the video below of Coach Bell, the defensive coordinator, talk about his thoughts on this 2018 spring ball season.