KALAMAZOO – The annual “Wooden Oar” spring game played on Saturday marked the culmination of the spring season for the Western Michigan football season.
To commemorate the event, Broncos coach P.J. Fleck and school athletic director Kathy Beauregard presented three players with honors at halftime of the game for their hard work in practice.
The team presented junior offensive tackle Willie Beavers with the Bill Brown Offensive “Change Your Best” Award, senior safety Trevor Ishmael with the Bill Doolittle Defensive “Change Your Best Award” and sophomore quarterback Zach Terrell with the Coxswain Spring Leadership Award.
At the conclusion of the game, Beavers acknowledge how blessed he was to receive the recognition.
“It was really nice and all my hard work feels like it’s really paying off,” he said. “Coach (Fleck) is noticing me, I’m getting better everyday and I’m trying to do my best.”
Beavers, a Southfield Lathrup graduate, started all 12 games as a sophomore for the Broncos last season. He made his share of mistakes and had several learning moments throughout the year.
Those same moments have shaped how he practiced this spring and what his expectations of himself will be next fall.
“I try to lead everybody and try to get better everyday,” Beavers said. “My expectation for this season is to dominate every play. I need to make sure I perfect my technique during the offseason and summertime coming up.”
The 6-foot-4, 309-pound lineman said there are specific things he wants to improve upon before the season starts.
“I’m going to go outside and work on my craft,” Beavers said. “I need to work on my first step, second step and zone step. The whole offensive line will be working together this offseason.”
Western Michigan kicks off its 2014 season by visiting Purdue on Saturday, Aug. 30. Until then, Beavers said he is focused on improving his playing technique on a daily basis.
“There’s a lot of things I can work on and a lot of things I’m going to work on during the offseason,” Beavers said.
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