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Getting after it

The quarterback competition has been one of the main focuses during spring camp for the Eastern Oregon  University football team. Ray Walser (left) has the most game experience of any returning quarterback this year. Campbell Summerfield (right) is one of four freshmen competing for the starting job. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
The quarterback competition has been one of the main focuses during spring camp for the Eastern Oregon University football team. Ray Walser (left) has the most game experience of any returning quarterback this year. Campbell Summerfield (right) is one of four freshmen competing for the starting job. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
 

EOU football team makes final preparations for Blue and Gold scrimmage 

by Casey Kellas/The Observer

Eastern Oregon University head football coach Tim Camp is excited about the playmakers he has in camp this spring.

And the coach is ready to show them off at the annual Blue and Gold Scrimmage Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Community Stadium.

Camp said he is enthusiastic about his quarterback group, a position that lacked stability a year ago for the Mountaineers.

“We got a pretty decent battle going there at the quarterback spot,” Camp said after a recent practice.

Camp wouldn’t say who was leading that battle — if there is a leader at this point — but he did say that the players competing this spring have impressed him.

“On Tuesday, there’s a front-runner. Then on Thursday, I don’t know,” Camp said. “But there’s competition there, whereas last year everybody wanted one guy.”

The Mountaineers have five quarterbacks listed on the roster this spring, led by junior Ray Walser.

Walser played in five games last season and completed 47-of-80 passes for 437 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.

After Walser, the roster is full of youth at the quarterback spot, with redshirt freshman Trent Brown, along with freshmen Campbell Summerfield, Zach Bartlow and T.J. Esekielu.

But it isn’t only the guys passing the ball who have shined during the last month.

Camp said the guys catching the passes have also caught his eye this spring.

“I’m really encouraged by the wide receiver group. They’re doing a nice job,” Camp said.

But the most important thing for the Mountaineers  so far this spring has been consistency.

Camp wants his team to succeed day-in and day-out on the football field.

“We have to be a better group. Just more consistent each day,” Camp said. “Not come and have the great days we had last year, and then come and not show up. We’ve been addressing that each day.”

Consistency is what Camp would like to see during Saturday’s scrimmage, when he would like to get in between 80 to 100 plays.

“It needs to be more units and groups. It can’t be (one guy having a great game). If it isn’t offense, defense, special teams working together, then it doesn’t matter,” Camp said.

As for his expectations going into the scrimmage, Camp said the main thing is staying healthy and benefitting from the opportunity.

“I want everybody to stay safe. We’ve been doing a lot of drill work so we’re properly coached,” Camp said. 

“The coaches here do an awesome job, getting the kids to hustle around. I told them if you do a great job and give great effort, I’ll correct mistakes.”

Prior to the scrimmage, the annual Family Fun Fest will take place at 4 p.m. in which fans will have the opportunity to meet their favorite EOU football players. 

Children will have the chance to show their skills and compete in drills organized by EOU players and coaching staff. 

The event is free, and there will be hot dogs and drinks available.

“It’s going to be a barn-burner out there,” Camp said. “Hopefully we get about 300 kids.”

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