UMHB Football Coach’s Clipboard: The Crusaders get set to battle Southwestern in first-ever spring season home game

Editor’s Note: Above image courtesy of the UMHB Athletics Department

BELTON, Texas- UMHB head football coach Pete Fredenburg, referencing all that his squad has dealt with in this spring season, including Covid and the recent winter storm, jokingly said on Monday, “What’s next, locusts?”.

The local press corps had a good laugh at that one, but he was not too far off. Who would have thought Covid-19 would still be around as UMHB plays this spring season over a year after it first came to the United States? Or that the majority of the team would lose power and water for several days this last week, not to mention eight days of practice, due to a winter storm?

Despite the roadblocks, Fredenburg’s squad has swiftly navigated through this spring season, and Saturday marks another monumental day for UMHB, as the Cru will play a football game in the spring against an ASC opponent at home for the first time in program history.

This week’s “Coach’s Clipboard” is your home for game week as UMHB gets set to take on Southwestern in Belton. Hear from Fredenburg, check out our two-deep depth chart, read up on the Pirates of Southwestern, and get ready for a spectacular Saturday of football.

Head coach Pete Fredenburg:

On Southwestern head coach Joe Austin and the Pirates: “Joe Austin in my opinion, does an outstanding job. Their offense and defense is a little different than the mainstream that we play usually. It creates an issue, and makes us work harder to have our players prepared and lined up correctly.”

On finally playing a home game: “This really feels like a gameweek. We came in yesterday and started preparing for Southwestern. We got all their video broken down and now we are establishing gameplans. We’re excited about the opportunities that we’re going to get a chance to play at home in front of our fans.”

On how the recent winter storm affected the team: “I think we lost eight opportunities to practice because of the weather. What next? These are crazy times and I think our players have done a great job staying focused. We practiced yesterday. We couldn’t go on the field, but we were able to lift weights and do some conditioning. I think we’re way behind in conditioning and the ability to play a full game. You never know with the Covid and we test on Wednesday, and you worry that that will put you further behind.”

Offense

QTQGCSGSTTE
John Kazmierski, JRJesse Hoke, FRSteven Selllers, SRJeffery Sims Jr., JREthan Ruckman, FRGary Ruckman, SR
Reuel Tandoh, FRWyatt Crawford, FRMatt Sanders, SOLance Jones, JRJohn Kazmierski, JRConnor Mullins, FR
WRQBRBSlot WRWR
KJ Miller, JRTommy Bowden, SO.Montana Miller, FRBrenton Martin, SRKadarius Daniels,SR
DJ Weaver, JRKyle King, JRMelek Hamilton, SOCaleb Eagans, SRJaylan Jankins, FR

Defense

DEDTDTDE
Keavon Shepard, SRSante Parker Jr, JRKobe Giles, FRE’Monte Smith, SR
Mark Springer, FRColton Teague, FRSedryk Hernandez, JRBrady Bonnin, SO
WLBMLBSLB
Mikkah Hackett SRAkeem Jackson SRJacob Mueller SR
Nicholas McDaniel,FREli Huron, SOJackson Sennie FR
CBCru*FSCB
Titus Dunk SOJayden Smith JRJefferson Fritz SRDrake Johnson SO
Tavion Page SOCourtney Patridge-Lee SOOmari Frazier FRJordan See FR

*- “Cru” is a flex-type position similar to a strong safety.

Injury/Inactive report: No current inactive players, Caleb Eagans (ankle) will be available, Steven Sellers (unspecified) did not make the trip to Belhaven but will be available

About the Opponent: Southwestern Pirates

Date: February 27

Time: 12 pm

Place: Belton, Texas (Crusader Stadium)

Watch: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/umhb/

Notes:

  • Southwestern, located in Georgetown, Texas, is a football-only member of the ASC, as the majority of the other sports on their campus compete in the Southwestern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
  • Southwestern is 0-1 in this spring season, having lost 28-17 to East Texas Baptist in week one.
  • The two teams have played only three times in the past, with UMHB having won all three meetings. In the last duel between the two, UMHB quarterback Luke Poorman threw two touchdown passes to Jonel Reed as the Cru won 33-3.

Storylines to watch:

  • Offensive shootout?: The Cru never get into many shootouts, no matter the opponent, but Southwestern certainly looks to be one of the best offenses UMHB will face in this abbreviated spring season. Mission, Texas, native Landry Gilpin quarterbacks the Pirates’ offensive attack, and in week one, Southwestern posted 119 rushing yards to go along with 217 yards through the air in a 28-17 loss to East Texas Baptist. With a balanced offensive attack, Southwestern is unpredictable and converted 45 percent of its third downs in week one. On the other side, UMHB is led by quarterback Tommy Bowden, a dual-threat signal caller who was True To The Cru’s Offensive Player of the Week following the 41-0 win over Belhaven to open the season. The Cru had 269 yards of total offense in rainy conditions against the Blazers, employing a balanced offensive attack of their own.
  • Offensive additions to bolster UMHB offense: As noted above, the Cru will have both slot receiver Caleb Eagans and center Steven Sellers back against Southwestern. Neither made the trip to Belhaven, but both are now healthy and ready to see the field. The duo provides much-needed leadership to a young offense and talent as well. Eagans is likely the fastest player on the team, having clocked a 4.28 40 yard dash, and Sellers should aid in advanced pass protection for Bowden.
  • Record-setting day?: Both DE Khevon Shepard and K Anthony Avila each have an opportunity to move up on All-time lists on Saturday, as Avila is just one extra point shy of moving to eighth place in total career points in program history, and Shepard needs one more tackle for loss to break into the top 10 in UMHB history in that category. Avila went 5-of-6 on extra point tries at Belhaven and now has 245 points in his career. Shepard currently has 35.5 TFL.
Khevon Shepard (Image provided by the UMHB Athletics Department)

#BeatSouthwestern #GoCru #ThisIsCruCountry #D3fb #ASCfb

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