It is Kaleb Luna’s turn.
On the verge of his senior season, Ellison’s defensive lineman joined his teammates for the conclusion of spring practices Thursday as the program held its annual Green-White Game.
This time, however, things were different.
“It’s a nostalgic feeling,” Luna said. “I used to look up to all the seniors when I was a freshman. Now, I’m about to be a senior now, and there are guys looking up to me, so I have to do my job as a leader and team captain.
“This is a very memorable moment.”
Multiple soon-to-be seniors experienced similar emotions during the contest, which saw the White team emerge with a 43-6 victory.
But the outcome was not as lopsided as it appeared.
Instead of using a traditional manner of splitting teams evenly, the White team consisted solely of offensive players, while the Green team was comprised of defensive players.
During the intrasquad scrimmage, the White team ran 13 series with each beginning at its own 30-yard line, converting seven into points.
And the result was exactly what Ellison head coach Todd Wright hoped for.
“We wanted to see both teams making plays,” he said, “and our first group didn’t turn the ball over. That’s something we were looking for.
“We knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of luster on this game, but at this point, we know what we have.”
The White team scored on four of its first five possessions as Malachi Robins connected on a 30-yard field goal to cap off the opening drive, before junior Breezion Spiller found Treaelen Williams for a 35-yard touchdown on the next drive.
On the ensuing possession, the Green team forced a turnover on downs, but the White team increased its advantage to 23-0 as Damashja Harris broke free for a one-play, 70-yard touchdown followed by a 41-yard touchdown from Spiller to Khalid Mendez.
Then, the Green team began delivering defensively, thwarting four of the White team’s next five drives. Outside of Dominic Choquette’s 6-yard touchdown run, the Green team produced a pair of turnovers on downs, recovered a fumble and Mousa Dassama intercepted a pass.
But the White team responded, sandwiching touchdowns around Antonio Jones’ interception for a touchdown, and the outburst was highlighted by Everitt Rogers’ 50-yard pass to Isaiah Grant. Rogers typically plays defensive tackle.
“They had me line up at quarterback,” he said, “and I just let it go.
“That was pretty cool, because I never get to touch the ball like that.”
With spring practices complete, the Eagles now turn their attention toward two-a-days and their season opener at A&M Consolidated on Aug. 30.
Like Luna, Rogers is preparing for his senior season, and his priorities are changing as well.
“It’s my job to make sure the younger guys know what they are doing,” Rogers said, “because a bunch of us on the team are seniors, and we want to leave a legacy.
“But we also want to make sure the younger ones are ready to come up and take over.”