The annual Spring Game gives football coaches a chance to showcase their younger players and new faces or even their old faces in new places.
In other words, it’s about lesser-known entities.
Junior quarterback Anthony Abenoja, senior wide receiver John Brown, senior linebacker Nate Dreiling and senior offensive tackle Cody Holland will not play today in the PSU Spring Game, which starts at 10 a.m. at historic Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium.
Fans not in attendance may track live statistics at pittstategorillas.com or listen to KKOW 860 AM or kkowradio.com.
Last year’s contest featured an offense-vs.-defense format with a scoring system that had defensive coordinator Dave Wiemers and offensive coordinator Steve Rampy not exactly sure of the methods used.
Two years ago, redshirt freshman Abenoja first displayed the potential which manifested itself in the school-record 378-yard performance against Northeastern State last season in the opener.
This year, it’s back to the more traditional format of “Red” and “White” teams led by the six team captains. By the way, the other two captains this year are junior linebacker Tyler Disney and senior running back Solomon Watkins, Disney a first-timer and Watkins a second-timer.
Abenoja, Disney and Holland captain “White” and Brown, Dreiling and Watkins captain “Red.”
The Gorillas return 14 players (six offense, eight defense) who made four or more starts during a 7-3 season. Pitt State began its season 5-0, only to fade away with a 2-3 record its last five.
Pitt State practiced 15 times before its Spring Game — 120 players entered spring camp, a large number of them redshirt freshmen.
Seniors this season include Dreiling, Brown, Holland, Watkins, cornerback Israel Maselera, wide receiver Levi Kuntzsch, linebacker Joe Windscheffel, fullback Scott Lester, safety Jared Vinoverski, wide receiver Daniel Rank, safety Austin Leake, running back Taylor Counts, wide receiver Jake Catloth, running back Stephen Poston, offensive lineman Taylor Peak, tight end Conner Combes, wide receiver Trey Derryberry, defensive end Joe Uzzel, defensive end Will Grissom and offensive lineman Ethan Smith, a newcomer from Caney who played collegiately at the University of Sioux Falls and before that at Coffeyville Community College.
The Gorillas roster features two players with experience at Big 12 schools — safeties Keeston Terry (Kansas) and Isaac Maselera (Oklahoma State). Terry recorded 38 tackles and two interceptions his first season in Pittsburg, not exactly at 100 percent. Maselera recently transferred to Pitt State and joins his brother Israel on the roster, the pair from Glenpool, Okla.
On the record watch, Dreiling enters his senior campaign with 382 career tackles, good for third on the PSU all-time chart. Ahead on the list are Josh Lattimer at 394 and Chris Brown at 470. On his rise up the charts last season, Dreiling passed legendary names in Gorilla lore like Wes Baker, Troy Wilson and John Roderique.
Page 2 of 2 - Brown surpassed Ronnie West’s school career receptions mark in the regular season finale last year against Missouri Southern. Brown sits at 124 receptions after two seasons with the Gorillas.
In other news involving schedules, a time has been set for the Fall Classic at Arrowhead XII — 3 p.m. kick Oct. 19.