The Chadron State College football team will wrap up spring practice Saturday by hosting the Wayne State Wildcats in what Eagles’ Head Coach Jay Long prefers to call a joint practice rather than a scrimmage. Both teams are expected to pour onto Elliott Field about 10:30.
The session will be open to the public without charge.
While the players will have contact with their opponents, most of it will be “situational,” Long said. He likened it to what the National Football League teams do when they work out together for a day or two during the preseason.
After the teams have warmed up, there will be about 45 minutes devoted to one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills involving players from both teams. Starting about noon, live action scrimmaging will take place with the top units meeting first, followed by the alternates.
“The offenses with be put in different situations, they’ll run their plays and the defenses will make their adjustments to try to counteract what the offenses are trying to do,” Long explained.
There will be no kick returns and the quarterbacks are not to be tackled.
The Eagles had a similar workout against Northern Colorado in Greeley on Saturday April 10. Wayne State and Nebraska-Kearney locked up against one another this past weekend.
Long said the logistics for the matchup began when he contacted the Wildcats’ new head coach, John McMenamin, last fall to see if a game between the teams could be arranged.
While Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference football teams were eventually allowed to play a few games last fall if the arrangements could be made, the Northern Sun Conference that Wayne State belongs to had decided their football teams would not play because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Long and McMenamin remained in touch and made the arrangements for Saturday’s joint workout.
The Eagles played four games last fall. Both teams have lined up full schedules for this fall, and are using spring practice to try to make up for the time that was lost last fall.
Long said there are nearly 90 players on the CSC spring roster and all of them will play Saturday. Wayne State is making the 340-mile trip on Friday and is expected to bring its entire team.
Wayne State’s offensive coordinator is Logan Masters, who was on the CSC coaching staff for three years, including the 2019 season as the offensive coordinator. Masters, who had been an all-star receiver for the Wildcats in 2007-09, decided to return to his alma mater after McMenamin became the head coach in late 2019.