Although the annual spring football game at APSU has long been called off, that hasn’t stopped the Governors from their fall preparations.
Head coach Mark Hudspeth, although disappointed not to be with his team at this time, is excited about the opportunity for an Ohio Valley Conference title defense.
“A lot of different things are taking place that we’ve never had to deal with,” Hudspeth said. “But you know what? We’re adjusting. I told our staff this: we’re not changing our course, our course is still to defend the OVC championship this year. We’ve just got to adjust the sails a little bit, be creative, and make sure we’re diligent every single day.”
Part of the team’s title defense falls into the hands of the leaders remaining from last year’s magical championship run, including quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall and defensive back Kordell Jackson.
Oatsvall, who is now fully recovered from last year’s torn lisfranc ligament suffered against Central Arkansas, expected to see a continued connection between the offensive line and returning key players in this year’s spring game, before its eventual cancellation.
“We were already a little bit ahead going into what we were thinking was going to be spring ball,” Oatsvall said. “Really, we just wanted to see physicality out of the offensive line and chemistry from the skill players. I think since we’ve got a lot of guys returning, especially from the skill position offensively, there’s already some chemistry there so now it’s just a matter of building the chemistry, it’s just a matter of adding onto it.”
As for the defense, Jackson looks to stay in touch with his fellow peers in order to train for the season as planned. Leadership will be much needed from the first team All-American, with departures of Trent Taylor and Juantarius Bryant from last year’s squad.
“This is not a crutch for us,” He said. “We’re looking at it as, right now we’re trying to still get our bodies-mentally and physically-prepared for the season. Even though we don’t know when it is, that’s what we would be doing if this wasn’t occurring. Basically, just trying to stay in touch and just make sure that everybody is doing their job.”
Hudspeth was unsure of a definite answer towards the alterations that could possibly be made to the season due to the coronavirus. Along with the team as a whole, the coach is anxious for a timeline of resumption.
“As coaches and players we’re all creatures of habit. We all are structured to where we like a timetable, you give us a date to be there, we’re going to be there and we’re going to be prepared. Right now, we’re sort of like a ship at sea without a rudder and we’re just out at sea and waiting to be told what port to come into.”