Football team gets creative with its sights on potential return


Casey Rothgeb

The CWU football team has had to learn how to adapt to non contact activities to prepare for a sport that’s full of human contact.

Gabriel Strasbaugh, Staff Reporter

Football has been forced to reschedule its regular season in the spring. Stipulations applied to this agreement to play in the spring are required. Despite the hurdles created by COVID-19, the football coaches and players have kept spirits and determination high for the season. 

Football activities will resume starting in October. Training camp will be the first time players will be back on the field in person. Second year head coach Chris Fisk feels this team could be well-balanced, both mentally and physically. 

“We’ve got our challenges ahead of us. No-contact football practices. We will be working on a lot of technique, skill work and game situations,” Fisk said. 

After winter break, the team will again return to Tomlinson Field for the beginning of the season. Fisk plans to have the Wildcats ready for kickoff. 

“We will spend about a month making sure we’re in good condition before we start what would be ‘fall ball’ camp in the middle of February,” Fisk said. “We don’t know our schedule yet. We will start playing games in March and April and probably wrap up around May.”

The team remains bound to legal health protocols throughout each phase of the season. 

“We are bound to the federal, then to the state, then to the local. So, you kind of have to go through each of those guidelines,” Fisk said. “Dr. Larson, here in town, who’s leading our policies and procedures, is doing a great job working with our athletic department and the county to make sure we are following all of the guidelines.” 

Hurdles are nothing new to this year’s team. In terms of snap counts, the team looks arguably the most experienced team of Fisk’s tenure at CWU back in 2016. Some members of the team, as well as Fisk, are even comparing the talent of this year’s team to the highly touted 2017 squad of seasons past.

Redshirt junior Cody O’Connell, who was a part of the 2017 team, uses his experience to drive him in the secondary and create a spark for the defense. 

“Start off earlier, get my defense to stop the third downs. We were in positions last year. But it’s the small thirds we missed on,” O’Connell said.  

While the defense plans to get off the field more on third, the offense bolsters an already stacked group of weapons for their QB.

Quarterback Christian Moore returns for his second consecutive season at the helm. 2019 was a productive year for Moore. Six out of their last seven games saw the offense put up more than four passing touchdowns each week. That stretch included two matches against Simon Frasier, a notable favorite for the young signal caller. 

“That last game at the end of the season, that is my favorite,” Moore said. “Going out on a high note. That was a lot of fun.” 

Foot work and timing were areas Moore felt he needed the most work going into camp. 

“There were a couple of balls I missed because of it. Continuing to improve my [identifying] of defenses,” Moore said. “I mean you see [Tom] Brady and he has a checklist of muscle memory and he’s [identifying] things in seconds. Our coaching staff does a great job at film study to make it easy for us to read and see.”