Eagles get back to business


EWU football takes the field for its second practice of the season | Taylor Newquist for The Easterner

By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

The fields behind Reese Court were filled with a high energy group of Eagles yesterday as the EWU football team flew through its second practice of the season. Earlier in the day, STATS polling ranked EWU No. 9 in the FCS preseason polls.

Before practice, senior co-captain and center Spencer Blackburn said that the polls were just numbers, and senior cornerback Josh Lewis said that it’s great to be in the top ten, but the team has higher aspirations than that.

“Until you guys are on a field with another team it doesn’t really say much,” Blackburn said. “We were ranked top ten last year, and we didn’t even make the playoffs, so it just comes down to putting on the pads and getting in a game.”

During practice, players split into specific position groups and alternated through a variety of different drills in 5-15-minute intervals, while songs from Drake, 2 Chainz, DMX, Meek Mill and many others blared on the speakers behind. Some of the receivers could be seen in-between plays taking a break to show off their dance moves, but that didn’t cut into the intensity. The team hadn’t yet suited up in full pads. The practice was in a ‘thud’ tempo for most of the drills, meaning players were allowed to make contact without fully bringing each other to the ground.

The EWU defense earned 20 pushups when it allowed the offense to march down the field for a touchdown | Taylor Newquist for The Easterner

Halfway through practice head coach Aaron Best gathered the team for a situational drill. The offense took the ball on second down and had two plays to gain ten yards. On the first play, quarterback Gage Gubrud completed a pass across the middle of the field that would’ve likely gone for a touchdown, sending every defender on the roster, and every defensive coach, down to the ground for a quick 20 push-ups.

The rest of practice was again split, until the team regrouped for a lite scrimmage toward the end of practice, when the first team offense made their way down the field for a score. The defense will be able to make more of an impact when they take the field in full pads today at 3 p.m., and when the team has their first open-to-the-public full scrimmage on August 18, at Roos Field.

The practice concluded with field goals and head coach Aaron Best gathering the team together for a talk. The Eagles will have 20 more practices before their home opener against Central Washington University on Sept. 1.