WSU football personnel hope to blossom in spring ball

WSU began spring practices March 21 and will finish with the Crimson and Gray Game April 22



WSU offensive lineman Konner Gomness snaps the ball to quarterback Cameron Ward during an NCAA football game against Arizona State, Nov. 12.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

WSU football has begun spring practices. The team has a new look, with different coordinators, early enrollees and transfers. 

These practices are to get players used to the system and to frankly get them in shape. Head coach Jake Dickert gave credit to his strength and conditioning staff who just did an eight–week camp strength and conditioning. It built up the culture and chemistry.

The offensive line needs improvement if WSU wants to win more games in the 2023 season. They do not have many players returning from 2022. Guard Christian Hilborn, center Konner Gomness and utility offensive lineman Ma’ake Fifita are returning but the rest are almost all new linemen. 

Dickert said the offensive line has been improving and has taken an important step in confidence.

The entire team is looking more athletic than last year, which is high praise from the head coach as the 2022 team was full of very good athletes. He focused on how impressed he is with the athletes the team has at wide receiver. 

“We feel like we’re more athletic at wide receiver. Josh Kelly has had an amazing eight weeks, I’m really excited to see him get out there. Kyle Williams and his ability to stretch the field, DT Sheffield in the slot. Carlos Hernandez, an early enrollee. I mean there’s a litany of guys at wide receiver. It’s going to be one of our most competitive positions,” Dickert said. “When you have a bunch of guys vying for their role and their piece of what I believe is going to be an explosive offense. I think that’s a great place to be.”

A big part of the team’s success will come from players that were previously on the roster. They will need to take a step forward in their production and play. Then consistency will be crucial if WSU wants to actually compete within the Pac-12. 

The team as a whole has been consistent, winning seven games in the past two years, enough to get into bowl games. However, to compete on a national level, a step forward will have to come from all the veterans. 

The most important improvement will need to come from the quarterback Cam Ward. With the new offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle, Ward’s improvement is expected. 

“One of the biggest things we’ve been talking about as a coaching staff is Cam’s maturity level and how much it has taken a great step forward. That’s huge for his future, it’s huge for the team and it’s huge for the leadership of what is needed at the quarterback position,” Dickert said. “It’s very vocal and it’s very example-driven. It’s a great relationship those two are forming.”

WSU football will continue to practice three times a week until April 22.

The Crimson and Gray Game will take place at 3 p.m. April 22 at Gesa Field.