Dayton football set for annual spring game

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Dante Casciola and Cole Dow among QBs competing for starting job

Trevor Andrews’ first spring as Dayton Flyers football coach concludes Sunday with the annual spring game and then one more practice on Tuesday.

“It’s been a blast to say the least,” Andrews said Wednesday. “I’ve really enjoyed it. The guys are working hard. It’s been fun and competitive. Whenever you have a whole new staff and you’re putting in new systems offensively and defensively, it’s not like one group is ahead of the other. You’re working on your installs and learning the new schemes and systems all at once. I don’t want to say it’s been smooth but it’s been competitive, and it’s been a good experience for the players and the coaches.”

Dayton hired Andrews, a 1998 UD graduate, on Dec. 12. The announcement came 13 days after Rick Chamberlin announced his retirement. Andrews took over a program that finished 8-3 last season and fell one victory short of its first Pioneer Football League championship since 2015.

Andrews announced the hiring of five assistant coaches on Jan. 12. He announced a 37-man recruiting class in February. He has since added two players to that class: safety Vincent Firenze, of West Genesee High School and Syracuse, N.Y.; and running back Luke Hansen, of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis.

Dayton will play its spring game at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Jerry Von Mohr Practice Facility next to UD Arena. Admission is free, and the football team will accept donations of non-perishable food items for the Flyer Food Bank.

According to a UD press release, “Due to limited seating at JVM, fans are encouraged to bring their own seating. Returning players and their families will be located at the east end of the field, while new recruits and their families will be located at the west end. Other fans at the game can sit in the north grandstand, or in their own chairs on either side of the offensive team bench area on the north track.

“The winning team will be announced at a later date when film evaluation is concluded. Immediately after Sunday’s spring game, the 2023 team captains will be announced.”

The spring game will be the 14th of 15 practices since March 1. The quarterback competition will continue Sunday. Dante Casciola, who won the starting job last season but suffered a season-ending injury in the fifth game of the season, and Cole Dow will get most of the snaps.

“We’re trying to get as many guys snaps as we can,” Andrews said. “We’ve got six (quarterbacks) on the roster right now, so it’s hard to get six guys a million reps. We’ll try to spread them out as as much as we can. But those two that will get the bulk of it and and then the other the other guys will divvy up the rest.”

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