And the winner is… .
Freshman Barrett Ahrberg will be at the controls as quarterback of the Northeastern A&M offense Saturday as the Golden Norsemen open the 2008 football season at 7 p.m. against Hutchinson Community College in Gowans Stadium.
Local fans can receive a Webcast of the game at www.hutchcc.edu/.
Ahrberg (6-1, 195 of Cushing) earned the starting nod from head coach Rob Green after two weeks of stiff competition from three other freshmen prospects.
“I made it perfectly clear to all four quarterbacks that nothing is set in stone,” Green said. “But, I made the choice based on the fact that Barrett has been the most consistent during the preseason.
“Honestly, it's almost day-to-day who is the No. 1 quarterback,” Green said. “We feel like Barrett has been the most consistent at picking up our offensive schemes and executing them.”
Competing with Ahrberg for the starting job are freshmen Trey Munden (6-1, 205 of Verdigris), Daniel Walker (6-1, 190 of Commerce) and redshirt Corey Conley (5-11, 190 of Catoosa).
“They are all still basically rookies, even though one may be a redshirt,” Green said. “None of them have taken live snaps in a game at this level.
“We're at a point where we can't go to practice or a game and alternate four quarterbacks,” Green said. “I'm a firm believer that the starting quarterback should be taking the majority of the reps to get ready for the upcoming game.
“One of the things that has given Barrett the edge has been how quick he has picked up our system,” Green said. “He throws a very catchable ball which makes our passing game just that much more affective.
“He also has good foot speed which makes him a threat to run,” Green said. “Of course after having a Bo Bowling for two years in your backfield, he's not as elusive as Bo was.”
Ahrberg will be at the controls of a ‘no-huddle' offense which Green and his staff installed last spring.
“The thing we've got to do as coaches is to put Barrett in positive situations as far as play-calling is concerned,” Green said. “Even though we're signaling in each play from the sidelines, he has to execute it.
“So, we don't want our play selection so difficult that he won't understand it,” Green said. “Or even so challenging that it's outside of the realm of what he can do.
“In high school, Barrett was very proficient at both running and throwing the football,” Green said. “But it is a huge step up to this level and he's only been here a little over two weeks.
“It never ceases to amaze me, I don't care if these kids are from Tulsa Union or Jenks or any other large high school, how players must adjust to the speed of the game,” Green said. “It's just magnified so much.”
Norse Notes: Season tickets for four Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen home football games are currently on sale.
Tickets purchased at the gate for individual games are $6 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens
Reserved season tickets are $40 per person while a general admission season pass is $25. A general admission family pass that includes two adults and three children under the age of 16 is $50.
Anyone wanting ticket information should contact Kathie Hulsey at 540-6327.