Husker hopefuls hit field for spring camp

Valley Husker returnees and recruits got together for four days of workouts as the junior football team prepares for the season.

Valley Huskers head coach Adam Smith says Brett Westad (pictured) 'tore it up' at last weekend's spring camp.

Valley Huskers head coach Adam Smith says Brett Westad (pictured) 'tore it up' at last weekend's spring camp.

Valley Husker head coach Adam believes his team will be better in 2015, with a full stable of returnees bolstered by an influx of talent.

He’s put the names on paper.

He’s juggled lineups in his head.

But it was all educated guesswork until the players were standing in front of him.

Returnees and recruits gathered together for the first time last weekend, going through the paces at spring camp.

The camp ended Monday morning with a scrimmage — the closest thing to live action that these players will see until July.

Smith, the energetic second-year bench boss liked what he saw.

“We really focused on the kind of kids we need to fill some of the holes we’ve got this year,” he said. “The talent I saw this weekend is certainly upgraded. We’re ready to go and now I can’t wait til July camp.”

As many as 68 players were involved over the weekend, a good turnout compared to past spring camps. Among the standouts, rookie running back Brett Westad, who’s trying to make the leap from high school ball (GW Graham) to junior.

Another running back also made an impression.

“We call him Cariboo, but Brendan Atkinson from Mission joined us late last year,” Smith said. “Between Brendan and Brett, on the ground we look really solid.”

Kyle Cummings impressed Smith on the defensive side.

“He’s ripped. He’s strong. He’s a beast causing heck on the edge, and it’s nice to see he put in the work and is ready to go,” Smith said. “Halfback Jordan Tabin is another kid who put in the work in the weight-room and on the field and it really showed out here.”

Making the trip to Chilliwack from his home in California, Super Bowl champion running back J.R. Redmond (2001 New England Patriots) helped out as a guest coach.

Redmond’s experience being coached by the legendary Bill Belichick showed in the way he dealt with the Husker players.

“It’s going to be sad that he’s not here the entire season because he fit in so well,” Smith said. “His attention to detail, all the little things — he demands perfection from players with every assignment.”

“J.R. gave us one of the best compliments we’ve ever had when he said that of all the places he’s been to in the U-S and Canada, we’re the ones who made him feel most at home,” Smith added. “We’ve got that family atmosphere developing and that’s when you start getting a good reputation.”