Since the middle of January, the national champion Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves have been taking the first steps toward a repeat title in the 2015 season. The last step of the grueling four-month process happened Friday as the team took the field in the annual “Red v. White” game.
Ask any athlete and they will tell you that there is no offseason in sports. The football team is a good example as they were back at it, training just a month after the last game was played. Five o’ clock workouts, “Dirty Dozens,” endless hours of film study, six o’ clock practices in the frigid cold, and full class and work schedules in the afternoons are just some of the trials players endure during the spring semester.
“I would say that it’s definitely a lot more vigorous than what I was used to going through at high school spring camp. But overall, I feel that I made great strides toward becoming a better player,” said freshman wide receiver Deshon Williams. “The hardest challenges were getting up every morning anywhere between 4:30 and 5:00, and trying to stay on top of my school work and trying not to fall behind.”
Simply put, it’s a grind that wears you down over time. But the last week of spring ball is when all of the hard work and pain is rewarded.
Remember that Division II National Championship the football team won back in December? During the last week of spring ball that championship really sinks in because the players are finally awarded their championship rings.
“It was breathtaking. To finally receive something that you have been dreaming your whole life about is an indescribable feeling of accomplishment and almost disbelief,” said senior wide receiver Jarred Radebaugh.
After the ring ceremony, players were split up into their respective teams and were able to have a little fun and competition on the field. With 15 minute quarters and a running clock, the ThunderWolves engaged in a friendly scrimmage for bragging rights and as a final evaluation for the coaches.
The “Red v. White” game serves as a live game situation for players to use all the skills they’ve learned over the last four months and execute their assignments.
Fans were invited to come out and pack the stands as players showcased their improvements and fought for first-string position rights. The Red team was the first to get on the board following a successful 49-yard field goal attempt by senior kicker Greg O’ Donnell.
Then the defenses took over as each offense was halted and went three and out before halftime.
After the break, it was all the White team as A.J. Thompson connected to freshmen Deshon Williams and Isaiah Jackson on deep strikes downfield. Freshman running back Nathan Miller added a rushing touchdown from 9 yards out to give the White squad the lead.
Later, Thompson capped off a drive with a running touchdown to pull his team ahead 14-3. After one last stop by the White team defense, the final buzzer sounded giving the White squad the win with a final score of 14-3.
The ThunderWolves now have a couple of weeks off to rest and take care of finals before summer workouts begin in mid-May.