In The Spirit of Football: Ottawa Spring Underway

The building and shaping of Ottawa University football continues both on and off the field in far west Valley. What was once a vacant, dirt lot is now beautiful field turf with bleachers, a press box, football offices and other facilities expected to be completed by August.

In between the white lines the Spirit are hard at work in spring practices in Surprise preparing for their inaugural NAIA season which kicks off this fall.

So far head coach Mike Nesbitt, who has been at the program since its inception, likes what he sees.

“These players have done a fantastic job, they’re a bunch of good kids,” he said to before a recent workout. “They’ve really done a great job coming from the fall and getting involved in the spring. Since we’ve come back from Christmas break they’ve done nothing but work hard. They’ve really stretched themselves.”

The turn of the calendar following the holidays also marked the beginning of not only a new year, but a historical one for the OUAZ football program.

2018 will be the year to make history.

“We have great expectations,” Tucson Sahuaro linebacker Justin Barnett explained to “We’re all getting more prepared now that we have games coming up. Everyone is getting excited…just to get out there on the field and hit someone else.”

In the meantime Nesbitt and his staff have been working hard, pushing players in practice with a potential reward being a starting position for the upcoming season.

With over 100 players on the roster the Ottawa coaching staff will have plenty of practice film to sift through before setting their two-deep roster and eventual traveling squad.

The Spirit yet to release their 2018 schedule but they will play in the Sooner Athletic Conference with fellow Valley NAIA school Arizona Christian University.