Red Flash Football opens spring drills

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After an outstanding season last year, the Saint Francis football team has opened spring drills. Saint Francis won the Northeast Conference, going 5-1 in the league, and securing a spot in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the first time in school history.

Spring ball provides an opportunity for players to compete for starting spots.

The 2016 season was the final one for a number of key players, including Solomon Leaeno, Zack Drayer, Lance Geesey, Wesley Nagaseu and Lorenzo Jerome. Each brought a different leadership quality to the team.

“Each year as a coach, you challenge your players to see who will rise up,” said SFU head coach Chris Villarrial. “That will always take care of itself; leaders will rise up, either through voice, action or example.

“The precedent the senior leaders left behind is a great blueprint.”

When many key players graduate, a team’s culture is affected. Last year’s team was recognized for its relentless effort, fellowship and drive to succeed.

“The team will be close, tight-knit like last year,” said sophomore defensive back Hakeem Kinard. “People are going to step up; we’re going to get after it.

“It will be a good spring season.”

Sophomore offensive lineman Isaac Jackson agrees.

“Going into 6-a.m.’s, you have to go in mentally prepped knowing that it’s going to be hard, but there is a reason behind it,” said Jackson. “I’m going to give it my all, and I know my brothers will as well.”

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