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The Sterling Rangers football team held its draft Saturday for tonight’s spring football game and the top two picks were Garrison Shaw for the white team and Kevin Kirkland for the blue team. From left, white team head coach John Launius, Shaw, Kirkland and blue team head coach Alvin Dotson. 

Spring game tonight at 6 p.m.

It’s time to see if the work Sterling High School’s football program put in this spring has rewarded itself with some improvements.

Robert Toomer enters his second year at the helm of the Rangers program as its head coach and is about to complete his first spring football camp that has taken place over the course of the past month.

It all culminates in tonight’s spring game at Sterling High School where family, friends and members of the community can come out and watch how the 2019 Rangers might look when the season officially kicks off in August.

The spring game gets underway at 6 p.m.

Toomer and crew had its official “draft” party on Saturday as coaches selected players to represent the blue and white squads that will be on the field tonight.

“The kids were really excited,” Toomer said. “There was good competition between the coaches who were trying to find the best available players that would fit their teams. I think it adds a little bit more competition to it. Everyone wanted to see where they went in the draft.”

Now it’s on to the real deal of showing how much the spring workouts have paid off.

“We are going to go with 10-minute quarters and then decide if we want a fourth quarter or not or go with a running clock,” Toomer said. “We will be live and treat it like a real game. I need to see some physicality. You will get downs and if you go for it on fourth – we aren’t going to punt it – but we will actually mark off a 30-yard punt every time. If it’s inside the 40, we will mark off a 15-yard punt.”

Toomer said that his base sets are in place and he would like to see his players execute while also having fun as the spring officially comes to an end.

“I will give my coaches leeway to put some trick plays in there, try to get creative with the kids and have fun,” Toomer said. “I want to watch them run around and be athletic and physical.

“We will run what we worked on in the spring. We had both teams practice so they can’t see what the other is doing.”

Toomer said that his first spring game with Sterling will be more meat and potatoes focusing on football, but he could see other things happening around the event in the future.

“The first year is always harder because people aren’t used to having a spring game, but once we do we will be able to get more people involved next year,” he said.

Now it’s just about seeing the Rangers – who went 2-8 last fall – turn the corner in areas that could push Sterling football up the dial.

“I want to see execution and physicality and I want to see people having fun,” Toomer said. 

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