Members of Shepherd's football team get ready to race as the coach counts down during spring workouts for the Rams. Picket Staff Photo by Kateri King

Wake Up and Smell the Turf! Shepherd Football Prepares for Season With Spring Ball

It’s springtime. The flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, and the sun is starting to fill the blue sky. Just like the season, Shepherd University is slowly but surely changing. The campus is filled with students changing from their heavy and warm clothes to light and breathable ones, the days getting warmer, and more students are coming outside. Within these students coming outside is the football team, also called the Shepherd Rams.

Players practice fast sprints during spring workouts at Rams Stadium. Picket Staff Photo by Kateri King

After a long and successful season in the fall that rewarded the Rams with a DII NCAA Semifinalist Award, the team is already working to make their comeback to the playoffs with this year’s spring ball. Since Jan. 19, the Rams have been putting in work in both the weight room and the football field.

“The job is not finished until we get a National Championship,” said Isaiah Farmer, defensive linemen for the Rams, “This spring is all about the development of us as players and improving on knowing our playbook.”

Football team players wake up early and are on the field by 7 a.m., usually in cold temperatures. Once on the field, they go through a series of stations with different football drills at each one. These football-specific drills include a series of quick turns, reaction drills, and footwork drills.

This new season also brings in new players and coaches as well. One of these new coaches is Logan Williams, the new linebacker coach at Shepherd.

Shepherd’s football team goes through its spring morning workouts. Picket Staff Photo by Kateri King

“One of my goals for this spring training is to build relationships with the players,” said Coach Williams, “Getting to know, love, and trust each other is key because, without that, we can’t do anything.”

To enforce this belief, Coach Williams meets with his players every week and checks on everyone to make sure they are physically and mentally ok inside the classroom and out.

“You can tell he cares,” said Bryce Morris, Linebacker for the Rams, “it’s rare you see that in coaches these days.”

Ram football players sprint through spring workouts. Picket Staff Photo by Kateri King

With most of the players in the spring being returners from the fall, most of the chemistry is already there.

“We need to break the whole thing down and build it back up from the foundation,” said Coach Josh Kline, defensive coordinator for the Rams.

The student athlete’s schedules consist of weight room training and conditioning being three times a week, with one conditioning session and one weight room session being back-to-back on the same day. It is safe to say these Shepherd Rams are in full go this spring. However, the players and coaches aren’t the only things in full go for this spring.

“We are so proud of our boys, and we can’t wait to see how much they improve their game this season,” said Alayzia Ward, a student at Shepherd University, “Go Rams!”

With the fall season just around the corner, many fans are waiting in anticipation for their team to be back in full swing. With a capacity of 5,000 people, Ram Stadium packs loud and passionate fans to support their home team. Fans can also tailgate before and after, while also being able to reserve parking and such. At the end of spring ball in April, both offense and defense go against each other and use their skills throughout the season. Fans are welcome to attend and cheer on their friends and family on the team.

It is safe to say spring ball has everyone in anticipation of what the fall regular season will bring.














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