top of page
  • Cole Deyo

University of Olivet’s Football Program Gears Up for Spring Practice

As the snow makes a feeble effort to thaw in the early days of spring in Olivet, the football program starts the last cycle of their spring semester training. The part where they put the pads on and march back on to the turf to polish up their plays, make key adjustments, provide opportunities, and reinforce the foundational ideals that holds the team together.  


Through the earlier months of the semester the team focuses on getting stronger and testing their will with the strength coach, Coach Waber. The team took a different approach this semester allowing for more individualized training plans rather than lifting sessions that were broader and for every position. Along with a focus on weightlifting, the team also made sure to sharpen their speed and conditioning. Every Friday the team would have the standard of waking up for a 6 a.m. session that was more geared towards speed and agility aspects. These “Finish Fridays” help form and strengthen the bond between each athlete as they test their commitment to the program. 




Montreal Reid. Photo via UO athletics.

The spring season is a time to try new formulas to see what kind of results can be improved. The coaches will spend countless hours going through the roster and evaluating the traits of each athlete, and seeing if those traits can align with a different position on the team. This allows for a lot more opportunities for players to showcase their abilities and fight for playing time on the field. A current freshman at Olivet, Montreal Reid, is going through this exact process right now. During the fall Montreal showed a lot of potential throughout practices but was in a running back room that held a lot of depth. This put the coaches in a position to ask Montreal if he would have interest in moving to the defensive side of the ball. Montreal offered his time, and perspective on the change and his experience during spring ball in a short interview. 

 

Q: Can you share some of your perspective on switching positions during this spring season? 

MR: “My experience has been a mixture of nervousness, and excitement. I’ve gained a lot of positive feedback from the coaches and that has definitely helped my confidence in a new position. Playing behind older guys like Z (Senior, Zameer Wallace) and Huff (Freshman, Dianta Huffman) has also been a huge help. 


Q: What is the current mentality of the team?  

MR: I’d say the current mentality of the team is simply to improve every single day, whether it be in the weight room or actually practicing on the field. No one’s happy with how the season went last year and we all are demanding better from ourselves individually and as a team. 


Q: What is your favorite workout/bonding event that the team has had during this offseason so far? 

MR: My favorite bonding moment during this off season would have to be Finish Fridays. Not because they were fun, but because it showed us all who is really committed to this team and this school and who wants to be the best. 

 



Alexander Rowe. Photo via LinkedIn.

New opportunities aren’t just rewarded to only players. The University of Olivet makes sure to allow for hands on experience in your field of study, and one of the most relevant fields on campus is the Sports Recreation and Management Degree. In this major there is Junior, Alexander Rowe, also known as the equipment manager for the football program. Alex wears his love for the sport on his sleeve and keeps an unwavering commitment that represents the exact culture the program wants to personify. Always on the sidelines prepared to keep the athletes on the field, and just as invested in the results. During some free time, Alex was able to offer up some insights into his time as equipment manager and what it meant to him. 

 

Q: How has representing this position helped you in your career path? 

AR: My position has led me to a lot of new perspectives in my field of study and has helped me connect with people at the higher levels of college football. This past weekend my boss, Coach Jav (Javier Smith), and I went to Central Michigan for one of their spring ball practices, and I got the unique opportunity to meet their equipment staff and ask questions about what they do differently from the D3 level, and how to get where they are. 


Q: What does it mean to you to still be able to be close to the game? 

AR: For me it means everything, being on the sidelines for my twin brother Isaac (Junior Isaac Rowe) and watching him play still gives me a taste of when we used to play together on the field. It also lets me be myself, which is an encouraging and energetic person with a lot of passion that people can see from the stands. 


Q: How would you describe your relationship with the coaches and players? 

AR: My relationship with the coaches is, simply put, awesome. They respect me like I am on the full-time staff, and it means a lot to me as I try to do everything I can to make their job easier. For the players, I am just another one of the guys, but they definitely respect me as an individual for being there to help them during games and practices on my own time. 

 



Bo Brandt. Photo via UO athletics.

For a select group of players this is the final preparations. This is the time of reflection leading into the final season. The upperclassmen of the team not only hone their tools but take their time to influence the younger players to pave the road for the future of the organization. Bo Brandt, a junior heading into his senior season next year and has spent his previous years being a crucial component to the culture and leadership of the team. Brandt brings a consistency and work ethic to the team that is inspiring and a great representation of the foundation the program wants to leave behind. 


Q: Can you describe the importance of the spring ball season? 

BB: The spring ball season is very important because it allows us returners to continue building our skill and play development all the way until the fall. It helps us to stay in touch with each other and keeps our bodies right physically. We also can teach new transfers players plays and the expectations of the teams. 


Q: What are the expectations for this upcoming season? 

BB: We always have high expectations for the upcoming season, and this year they are set even higher. We expect to win all our games and win the championship. 


Q: What are some of the life lessons UO football has taught you? 

BB: I have learned a lot through UO football, but the most important would probably be that there are so many different people from all areas of life, and we can all come together and be teammates, and just play ball! 

 

The spring season is a time to slow things down, and to reflect on what needs to be done moving forwards. In the most straightforward form of phrasing, it is a time to get better. That is exactly what the University of Olivet has been doing. 

Comments


bottom of page