UWF football kicks off 2018 season with annual spring game
By Chris Cody
The University of West Florida football team competed in their annual Blue and Green Spring Football Spring Game on Saturday. After making The NCAA Division II National Championship game last season, expectations for the 2018 season will be high for the Argos.
“I like where we are at on both sides of the ball, even with some of our guys being out I thought our energy on both sides was great,” Coach Pete Shinnick said.
Shinnick was named AFCA Division II National Coach of the Year last year after leading the Argos to a championship game.
Players were rotated in and out so many got an opportunity to play. The offensive players were wearing green and the defensive players were wearing blue.
Starting quarterback redshirt sophomore Mike Beaudry did not suit up for the game. Last year Beaudry threw for more than 3,200 yards and had 29 passing touchdowns.
With Beaudry out, it gave Shinnick an opportunity to see who could possibly be his second-string quarterback. The two quarterbacks that will compete for that second string job will be redshirt junior Kalu Onumah and redshirt senior Nick Belz.
“I just want to keep getting better every day and whatever the coaches decide will be up to them, but I am just going to keep working and grinding every day,” Omunah said.
Some of the notable performances were senior wide receiver Kevin Grant who caught two touchdown passes during the game. Senior running back TJ Stokes also scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.
Senior defensive back Damarius Brinson got the first touchdown of the game after he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.
“It’s still early and we got to iron out some stuff but I think we are playing really well on defense especially in the secondary,” Brinson said.
UWF will be bringing back a lot of key contributors to last year’s successful season. Notably, first-team all-conference kicker Austin Williams who will be entering his junior season.
Also returning to the Argo offense is second-team all-conference senior wide receiver Antoine Griffin and second- team all-conference junior offensive tackle Samuel Antoine. Griffin led the Argos in receiving last year with 898 receiving yards to go along with four touchdowns.
On the defensive side, UWF will be getting back second-team all-conference junior linebacker Trent Archie who last season had 16 tackles for loss, four sacks and led the team with four forced fumbles.
UWF will start their regular season at home against Carson-Newman on August 30 at the Blue Wahoos stadium.