Key starting positions for 2009 season still undetermined


Colorado State University-Pueblo capped its spring football practice with a scrimmage Sunday at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.

There was more at stake than just bragging rights as many players on the field were fighting for starting positions.

Quarterback Bobby Washington started six games for the ThunderWolves in 2008, engineering the team’s four wins in the process. Washington worked with the first-team offense during the scrimmage, leading one scoring drive in the contest.

But CSU-Pueblo head coach John Wristen hasn’t officially named a starting quarterback for the upcoming season.

“My goal is to name it the first week of camp,” said Wristen of the starting quarterback battle. “Bobby Washington, as the spring has gone on, has done a nice job.”

Washington is one of two quarterbacks on the ThunderWolves’ spring practice roster to take a regular season snap for the team, along with sophomore Joe Vigil.

Vigil filled in for the injured Washington last fall for four games and set school records for completions and attempts in a game in the ThunderWolves’ 41-10 loss to the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

The team added senior transfer Colin Clancy and freshman recruit Tanner Rogers to bolster the ThunderWolves’ quarterback depth chart.

Clancy performed well in the spring game. He engineered two scoring drives and completed a deflected pass to himself. On the first score, Clancy converted a fourth and goal from the 10-yard-line on a pass to wide receiver Da’Quan Cartwright. The play before Clancy received a quick lecture from Wristen when he forced a throw into coverage in the end zone and missed another open receiver.

The running game is a major concern for the team as the ThunderWolves look to improve upon their 4-6 finish in 2008. CSU-Pueblo averaged 68.1 yards rushing per game last season. Several players are competing for the starting spot, but Wristen has his eye on a sophomore running back.

“Jesse Lewis has been a step above everyone else at the running back position,” Wristen said.

Lewis is the only back on the spring roster with playing experience from last season. The Loveland, Colo., product rushed for 178 yards on 30 carries and one touchdown. Lewis received the Herman Heard Award from the coaching staff, signifying him as the most impressive running back in spring camp.

The ThunderWolves will begin fall practice on August 7.

Here is the full list of spring football award winners as selected by the ThunderWolves’ coaching staff:

Joe Pannunzio Award (leadership): Aaron Hernandez

Mick McCall Award (quarterback): Bobby Washington

Herman Heard Award (running back): Jessie Lewis

Jeff England Award (offensive line): Victor Quintana

John Trahan Award (receiver): Ayrius Justin

Craig Ward Award (defensive line): Chase Vaughn

Mark DeRose Award (outside linebacker): Matt Cole

Billy Baker Award (defensive back): Josh Costa

Dan DeRose Award (inside linebacker): Sedric Patterson

Corey Tolle Award (spirit): Lee Meisner

Bob Rawlings Award (most improved): Jamaal Johnson

Scott Elizondo Award (student-athlete): Nick Sabye