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Lopers finish spring football, prepare for fall
Jordan Hoff
Antelope Staff
Photo by Jordan Hoff
Coach Morris looks on as quarterback Jake Spitzlberger scrambles to make a play during their scrimmage last Saturday at Foster Field. Spitzlberger threw for over 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns last season and gained over 700 yards on the ground with nine rushing touchdowns. He started every game and led the Lopers to 11 wins, an RMAC championship and the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The Loper football team just finished up spring practices last weekend with a final scrimmage at Foster Field. Looking to bounce back this coming fall after a stellar ’09 season, the team has high hopes of again finishing the season at the top of the RMAC.

In one of their best seasons last fall, the Lopers went 11-2 with a RMAC championship and made it to the second round of the playoffs.

Despite losing some key seniors all around the ball, the Lopers will be returning many starters and experienced players this fall, including All-American senior wide receiver Kyle Kaiser and junior running back Rustin Dring.

The Lopers started spring ball after break last month,  three days a week for a total of 15 practices— three with no helmet and all others full pads.

Spring ball is a chance for upperclassmen to polish up their skills and gives underclassmen a chance to show the coaches what they have says soon-to-be junior wideout Eli Hammond, a health and P.E. major from Colorado Springs, Colo. “The preparation for spring ball is watching a lot of practice film and getting into the playbook,” Hammond said. “As a team we still have a lot of potential, but we still need to put it all together. We will have a lot of work to do for the off-season.”

Hammond said that during the off-season most players will stay in Kearney and work out with the team. They will lift, condition, do plyometrics and sometimes have seven on seven sessions. “Our goal is to win the RMAC in consecutive years, but we will need some new guys to step up and make some big plays for us,” Hammond said.

Brenden Liess, a health & P.E. major from McCook,. will be a returning starter and senior star for the Lopers this fall. He plans to hit the weight room hard as a team to get bigger, faster and stronger for the season ahead.

“Our goal and standards are high after coming off of last year’s team. A lot of us played last year and want to repeat that again this year. Many of us are seniors and want to go out on a high note.” Liess said. “After spring ball this year, we are looking OK after loosing some key linemen. We will have to make up for that in the weight room this summer starting now. Our expectations as a team are to win the RMAC outright.”

The Loper football team will start their fall practices on August 7, and will kick off the 2010 season on Saturday August 28 at home against Wayne State.


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