Apr 162002

For years, the annual Green and Gold game that punctuated the spring football season for the Rams was just another situational scrimmage pitting the offense against the defense.

This season, they’ve decided to spice it up a little bit.

The Rams announced Tuesday that they have changed the format of the Green and Gold game to be played Saturday at Hughes Stadium.

Instead of the offense and defense squaring off over and over, the coaches have decided to split the team right down the middle and hold an actual scrimmage game.

The coaching staff divided themselves up and then held a position-by-position draft Tuesday morning. Official Green and Gold team rosters will be released today.

“We drew a position out of a hat, then drafted that position player by player,” said defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders. “So the green squad might get the first pick at cornerback, then the gold team would get to take the first linebacker. We wanted it as even as possible.”

Offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt said he hopes it will spark a different kind of competition then the positional competitions they go through all spring.

“I hope it does, that’s why we’re doing it,” he said. “I think it will get some of the guys fired up and create a little stir.”

Hammerschmidt says he thinks the players like the idea.

“They’re all talking about it, so I think they are pretty pumped up.”

The players seem enthusiastic about the new format.

“I’m real excited about it,” said junior quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt. “Usually, the spring game is just another scrimmage, offense against defense. It’s not a real game situation. Now, it’s like we have a whole team. The offense can root for the defense, and the defense can get excited about what their offense is doing. I think it will be really cool.”

Junior linebacker Adam Wade agreed.

“I think this situation is a lot better,” said Wade. “It’s not just ones versus ones and twos against twos. You’ve got good players on both sides of the ball, so it makes the competition a lot better. You’re not just competing against your position; it’s a real game. No more offense vs. defense, now it’s green vs. gold. I think it will be a whole lot more fun.”

Sanders said he expects the game to be more fun for the players, coaches and spectators than the usual scrimmages.

“It should be a lot of fun,” he said. “It’ll give the guys a chance to compete in a real game situation, special teams and all. It’ll be more fun for everyone involved. I’m excited.” n

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