For most of last week, University of Central Arkansas spring football has resembled spring swimming.
The UCA coaches and players, like everyone else who goes outside, have battled rain and more rain.
"We’ve been fighting the weather but while we’ve had contingencies, we’ve been able to get outside," said UCA coach Steve Campbell. "It’s been wet.
"And Saturday, our second day in pads, we were able to get in a morning practice and a half-scrimmage of 65 plays. We had a good day. We have some new faces and I was pleased with the effort."
After losing a large senior class, the Bears have position battles across the board that include the backfield, the offensive line, the defensive front and linebacker.
"We have some older guys coming back at receiver but we have a lot to replace in the offensive line," Campbell said. "Our line has been set for a couple of years. The new guys need to learn to play together and play under duress during the spring. There’s a difference in being a guy and the guy."
Quarterback Hayden Hildebrand is mainly operating with the first unit but sophomore Kirk Baugh and redshirt freshman Kolton Harfield are coming along well, Campbell said.
The Bears have had some attrition at running back. Dominque Thomas has left the team after because of injury, which plagued him most of last season. Jeff Anderson of Conway is no longer with the team. Campbell said Anderson told him he had lost interest in playing football.
UCA, which has 11 more workouts, will have three this week with a scrimmage Thursday night. They will take spring Break, then come back with eight more practices, including the climactic Purple-Gray game on April 9.