The Fort Lewis College football team had a pair of scrimmages this week, including one Saturday, as the Skyhawks prepare to hit somebody else for a change.
FLC will play an exhibition game against Cole College next Saturday in Boulder before opening the regular season a week later at home against New Mexico Highlands.
FLC head coach Cesar Rivas-Sandoval said Saturday that the usual sustpects, including quarterback Tim Jenkins and linebacker Phil Odell, stood out at the scrimmages, but there were a few other names that came to mind as far as making an impact, particularly in the defensive secondary.
“I think that some young kids are starting to pop up a bit,” he said.
The third-year head coach said the plan to get quicker along both the offensive and devensive lines while still maintaining a certain level of physicality has gone well so far. He said he’s also excited about the energy and enthusiasm a revamped coaching staff, including new defensive coordinator Ed Rifilato, and an infusion of newcomers has added to the mix.
“The energy is just really good right now. ... The young kids have really bounced back; they’re very energized. That’s the good thing about having a young team – sometimes they have short memories,” Rivas said about this year’s team, which went 3-8 a year ago.
There still are several position battles that need to be worked out. Rivas said sophomore Cougar Beaubein and freshman Jason Fitzpatrick are locked in a tight race to be the primary backup to Jenkins at quarterback, while the race is on to see who will replace the departed A.J. Kortbawi at center between Tyler Suta and Sean O’Neil.
There also are several people battling for playing time both in the secondary and along the new-look defensive line, as well as a battle for who will handle kicking duties.