FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Seven practices in the books and the Northern Arizona football team is a few weeks away from its annual Spring Game that will be held at the Walkup Skydome on Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
As the Lumberjacks continue to prepare for the upcoming 2017 season, linebacker Jake Casteel is working hard to be ready to take the field for his junior campaign.
Casteel played in all 11 games as a redshirt freshman in 2015. He finished his season with 39 tackles in limited playing time. The following season, Casteel finished third on the defensive stat sheet in overall tackles (67), nearly 30 more than he registered the prior year.
Now as Casteel and the rest of the Lumberjacks find themselves midway through the spring season, it is all about coming together as a cohesive unit and performing at a consistent basis day after day.
"I think we're coming along really well," reflects Casteel. "We have a lot of new guys, but everyone is adjusting quickly and picking things up well. This spring we want to come together as a unit and grasp what the coaches want us to do. The season starts now and coming together as a team in the spring will help us once fall camp arrives."
Casteel remembers when he was a newcomer and how he had upperclassmen around to help him adjust to everything.
"When I came in I was really blessed," Casteel said. "I had Austin Hasquet, Craig Frum, Josh Bamrick, and Jake Thomas that showed me how to do things properly. I followed their example and played hard."
Heading into his junior season, Casteel is now an upperclassmen and will be looked upon to help guide the younger guys on the team. The spring season is the time for players to ask questions and do the hard work so that it all comes naturally in the fall.
With plenty of technique and fundamentals to learn during this time of the year, the Lumberjacks have eight more practices scheduled including the spring game on the 22nd of this month to prepare.
Please see below for a list of NAU Football spring practices to come.
Thursday, April 6 – 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, April 8 – 10 a.m.-12 p.m. SCRIMMAGE
Tuesday, April 11 – 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, April 13 – 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, April 15 – 10 a.m.-12 p.m. SCRIMMAGE
Tuesday, April 18 – 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, April 20 – 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, April 22– 2-4 p.m. SPRING GAME