It was a beautiful day for football at Goodman Stadium on Saturday morning as the Mountain Hawks took the field for their annual spring scrimmage. The offense wore white jerseys and the defense wore brown.
The defense won 33-19 in a game that used a modified point system.
Evan Kauffman, a rising senior out of Bethlehem who graduated from Freedom High School, returned to the field for the first time since his sophomore season. Kauffman’s role has been back and forth — joining the team on defense as a freshman, moving to the offense the next year and sitting out due to an injury his junior year. He will be back on defense as a linebacker in 2016.
“I haven’t played here since last year spring ball,” Kauffman said. “So it’s been a while since I’ve been out in Goodman Stadium, so I just want to come out here and give my best effort.”
Although Kauffman put up some good numbers at Saturday’s scrimmage, he said getting back into the swing of being a linebacker was not easy.
“My first practice was not good,” Kauffman said. “My reads were all off. It took me a while to get back into it. It’s been two years since I’ve been on the defense side of the ball.”
The hiatus, however, didn’t hinder his performance. Kauffman notched two of the eight sacks in the game, earning the defensive side four points. The offense lost 10 yards on his second sack.
Kauffman said it was a lot of fun getting back out on the field. Having played as a linebacker for most of his high school career, he said he trusts the coach’s decision to move him from offense back to the defensive side.
“I could not wait to get out here,” Kauffman said. “Even just from the start of spring ball I had so much energy and its been so long.”
For the most part, Kauffman, as well as his teammates, are looking forward to seeing what the linebacker is capable of now that he is healthy and ready to play.
“He’s one of my best friends coming in just because we’re local boys,” said fellow rising senior Nick Shafnisky who hails from Whitehall. “We’re here during the spring, during the summer. (He and I) have a good connection. He’s obviously got injuries back and forth on both sides of the ball, but for him to finally love where he’s at, love how he’s playing, I can’t wait to actually watch him.”