After a 6-5 season, fans can watch Griffon football get back to action during their spring game on Friday.
Although Western lost a large senior class at the end of the 2015 season, they have found new or developed talent to step into multiple positions.
One of the biggest positions in question going into the 2016 season is the quarterback spot. Last year all three quarterbacks saw playing time as TJ LaFaver and Skyler Windmiller battled various injuries.
This season, head coach Jerry Partridge feels confident in Windmiller’s ability to lead the team in the quarterback spot.
“Windmiller has had a very good spring,” Partridge said. “ He’s thrown the ball accurately and has increased in mobility, which is a plus for us. He gets major velocity on there [the ball] and leadership wise he’s kind of taken the bull by the horns, which is something we need.”
Windmiller, who totaled 1,701 yards and nine passing touchdowns in eight games will look to lead the offense, but will have help from redshirt sophomore Josh Caldwell at running back.
Last year Caldwell totaled 647 yards on 107 carries and punched in six rushing touchdowns while backing up former running back Raphael Spencer.
Partridge feels as if he has another star back in Caldwell.
“We feel very strongly about our running back situation, Caldwell is going to be an excellent, excellent football player,” Partridge said. “ He’s physical, does everything, blocks, just a multi-faceted kid.”
There may be new faces in the trenches as well while the Griffon coaching staff puts together a tough offensive line.
One potential starter that has gained some attention is sophomore Hayden Eatinger, who Partridge thinks can improve the o-line.
“He came in as a center, but he might be starting at tackle,” Partridge said. “ He has that nasty streak to him, he’s one of those guys that, when there’s a fight on the field usually Eatinger is the start of it, he’s kind of got that little brother who starts the fight but the big brother always gets blamed.”
Even with the departure of Griffon great Mike Jordan, Partridge and the coaching staff are excited about their defensive backs.
“The secondary is going to be very strong,” Partridge said. “Our safeties are probably second to none in the league.”
Western’s spring game will kick off on Friday at 7 p.m. The Griffons dive into the regular season at home against the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers on Sept. 1.