Tech spring game returns to The Joe Saturday for first time since 2018

Aaron Allen is trying to stake his claim to Louisiana Tech’s No. 1 quarterback position after spring practice. Photo by ASHLEY SPRINGER

Staff writer

The last time Louisiana Tech had a spring game, J’Mar Smith had 13 completions for 113 passing yards, Jaqwis Dancy carried the ball 12 times for 78 rushing yards and Dae’Von Washington had a team-high nine tackles.

That was three years ago. And none of those Bulldogs are suiting up these days.

The usually annual event was canceled in 2019 due to inclement weather. In 2020 … well, we all know why the spring game (or much else for that matter) did not happen.

Now come noon Saturday — the hiatus will end as the 15th and final practice of the spring will be on display to fans inside Joe Aillet Stadium once again (don’t even think about it, Mother Nature — but the forecast is encouraging).

“I have been in coaching for a long time and I do not know that I have ever gone without a spring game,” said Tech coach Skip Holtz.

That was until the last two springs.

“Spring is a great opportunity for our players to get another scrimmage in,” Holtz said. “But, it is also the first opportunity many of our fans have to take a look at some of these young and new players and what the 2021 football team is going to look like and get some excitement and enthusiasm with it.”

One Bulldog that did play in that 2018 spring game is looking forward to competing in another come Saturday.

“The team has come a long way from last season and we are excited to show the fans the new LA Tech football team,” said wide receiver Griffin Hebert, who had two receptions in the spring game three years ago. “Not having spring practice last year, we just had to throw it all together in fall camp. I am glad we got to develop more this spring.”

As is customary, a lot of eyes will be on the quarterback position.

While Luke Anthony continues to recover from a season-ending injury he suffered at TCU in December, Aaron Allen and JD Head have been battling it out behind center (with another young QB learning quickly as well).

“It has been a two-man race,” Holtz said. “We have a young Caleb Holstein who is learning and has been doing a really nice job, but there is a pretty heated debate going on right now with JD Head and Aaron Allen. There is a heck of a competition going on and it is going to be a lot of the little things that will make the difference. It is putting a lot of weight on the spring game on Saturday.”

The details again. The 2021 LA Tech Spring Game presented by Origin Bank is set to begin at noon with gates to the stadium scheduled to open at 11 a.m. The game is expected to last approximately 90 minutes.

Fans are encouraged to enter on the west side where concessions and bathrooms will be accessible. The 13 suite holders within the Chris Richardson Family Suite Level will have access to their individual suites during the game.

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