UPDATE (7 p.m. April 23): The annual pancake breakfast and Ram Town activities for Saturday’s Spring Game have been canceled. However, the team still plans on holding all of the on-field events (warm-ups, scrimmage, Green vs. Gold) at their scheduled times.
Itâ€™s time for CSU football â€“â€“ sort of.
The Rams will take the field at Hughes Stadium Saturday for the 15th and final practice of the spring season and cap it off with the Green and Gold Game.
Players will don their fall game uniforms and engage in an organized, 50-play football game with live hits, a full referee crew and fans in the stadium.
This is the first year under head coach Steve Fairchild the team will play a traditional spring game.
â€œThe first few years here, we had so much work to do,â€ Fairchild said. â€œI think we can afford to let them have fun in the last hour.â€
After conditioning all winter, watching film, doing drills and 14 spring practices, the team is excited and eager to play a live game.
â€œItâ€™s so nice to put away the critique and everything and actually play a game and get back into the feel of competition,â€ said Rams defensive lineman Ty Whittier. â€œYou canâ€™t replicate it with practice.â€
Whittier and fullback Zac Pauga are both senior captains for their respective teams. The seniors conducted their own version of a draft this week, picking teams for the green and gold squads.
â€œThe draft was awesome. It was awesome to feel like we put it together and talk trash to the other guys a little bit and pick the guys we want on our side,â€ Pauga said.
Whittier joked he was satisfied with how his teamâ€™s draft panned out.
â€œWe were lucky enough to get some of the guys we wanted. We scouted them out a little bit at the combine. They had some pretty good workouts,â€ said the defensive end.
Freshman Pete Thomas will quarterback the gold team and Nico Ranieri the green team. Fairchild said each player has progressed this spring.
â€œI wasnâ€™t sure where they were going to start from because theyâ€™re both young. I think weâ€™re even farther along than I thought we would be,â€ Fairchild said. â€œBut weâ€™ve got a long way to go. They both were high school kids this time last year.â€
The Green and Gold Game caps the 15-practice spring football season â€“â€“ a spring Fairchild said has been very productive.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a productive spring. We still want to get some things done and Saturday we like to see it sharp and make it competitive and fun,â€ Fairchild said. â€œI think weâ€™ve got a group of kids that wants to get better every day.â€
The game will be an organized 50-play game, minus a running clock and kickoffs. Traditional scoring will also be used.
The Green and Gold Game is set to start at 11:50 a.m. following a free community pancake breakfast.
Football Beat Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.