Schuckman: Progress made, but for Hawks to succeed come fall, hard work must continue


The Quincy University football team wrapped up spring practice Saturday at QU Stadium. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The work isn’t done because the pads came off.

Come August, Quincy University football coach Jason Killday and his staff will see if the players embraced that message.

The Hawks wrapped up spring practice Saturday at QU Stadium with an energetic, determined effort that highlighted many of the positives gleaned from five weeks of on-the-field work. They ran the ball efficiently despite injuries keeping some linemen out of the mix. They clamped down in pass coverage. They played hard through the final snap.

More importantly, the Hawks made strides in understanding Killday’s philosophy, intensity and demands.

“There’s been tremendous growth, really from January 20 and their first day back on campus through every practice,” said Killday, hired the week before Christmas to be the Hawks’ head coach. “The last 12 practices have been really important in showing that. All of our initial installs are in place, so the guys know what we want to do and what we want to accomplish.

“The expectation level of how we go about our business, how we practice, how we carry ourselves is there. They have to continue to meet that expectation.”

The Hawks are fully aware of it.

Many of them had family on hand for Saturday’s final practice — the Hawks didn’t do a traditional spring game but welcomed parents and fans to attend the workout — and they left the stadium with a positive vibe. They made comments to coaches, to each other, to those around they will continue moving forward in the offseason and not take steps back.

“Now you’ve learned it, so what are the next steps?” Killday said. “What do you have to do next? How can you continue stressing the details about how you go about your business?”

If the offseason approach is consistent, the play on the field should be, too.

That’s what the coaching staff needs to see,

“Overall execution and consistent execution are the things we have to get better at,” Killday said. “There were high points and low points, too much of that to be honest. We have to be more consistent with our execution.”

There are no excuses now either. The expectation level has been set.

It’s the Hawks’ job to meet it.

“To me it doesn’t really matter what you do, it’s how you do it,” Killday said. “One, knowing what to do, and two, the effort in which we go about our business is huge. If you can’t play hard, you can’t play.”

There will be no exception to that rule, especially when the pads come back on.

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