Maine football looks to Saturday’s Spring Game

Jeff Cole Memorial Spring Football Game set for 11:30 a.m.
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:37 AM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - It’s Spring Game Saturday for the Maine Black Bears.

Jeff Cole Memorial Spring Football Game set for 11:30 a.m.
Jeff Cole Memorial Spring Football Game set for 11:30 a.m.(WABI)

The Black Bears have bought into head coach Jordan Stevens’s plan and staff during spring football.

“Coach Stevens definitely showed us that he’s a true Black Bear. His experience on defense and playing on the Black Hole too adds a little more value to it,” said Shakur Smalls, sophomore defensive back.

Stevens said the team has had a productive spring.

“It’s a part of the process of just another opportunity for us to improve. I think the more we can build our depth, that’s been the message to the team. We want to build depth and improve fundamentals,” said Stevens.

Look for some friendly competition at Saturday’s Spring Game.

“Guys are always trash talking each other and having a good time. At the end of the day, it’s all fun. We’re all teammates. We’re just pushing each other and trying to get the best out of each other. When there is a different opponent out on the field, we’ve been there and done that. If you can do it against your brother, you can do it against a guy you don’t know,” said Joe Fagnano, senior quarterback.

Fagnano nominated Shakur Smalls as top trash talker.

“I can’t say too much on here. It’s just me. I like to get after Joe. He’s the quarterback, and I’m the safety. I’m the quarterback of the defense. I like to talk to him, get in his head a little bit, talk trash, and stuff like that. It’s all love though. That’s my quarterback, QB1,” said Smalls.

The game gives the players a chance to end the spring on a high note.

“You don’t want to kill your teammates, but you’ve got to go out there and perform and play. You’ve got to go out there and give it your all,” said Smalls.

“We get to go out there in kind of a game situation and put it all together. We’ll give it one last go in the spring, and then obviously carry that onto the summer and fall,” said Fagnano.

They’ll be back for summer workouts in June.

The game is named in honor of Jeff Cole for the 16th time.

Cole was a former assistant coach with the team who passed away from cancer.

The game helps bring awareness to the Jeff Cole Foundation, which raises funds to support cancer research.

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