Editor's note: Sebastian Perez-Navarro is currently a senior at Eastwood High School and hopes to study journalism and broadcasting in college this fall. He intends to spend his first two years at UTEP for his basics before transferring to another school to study broadcast journalism. He has served as the athletics play-by-play broadcaster for Eastwood's Film and Broadcast program over his high school tenure. As he prepares for his fall internship with 600 ESPN El Paso, Sebastian wrote an opinion article on UTEP football after the spring game. 


By: Sebastian Perez-Navarro

This past December, UTEP officially hired the man they hope leads the charge of a new era—one that brings hope into college football in the 915.

Now, 138 days later, head coach Scotty Walden gave his first impression to all of El Paso in the first spring game, which saw over 3,000 fans in attendance last Saturday.

Coach Walden came into UTEP with a mindset to make an immediate impact. He signed over 40 players, an action which gave the school its highest-ever ranked recruit class by Rivals, earning them the No. 1 spot in CUSA recruiting.

The Miners began spring football practices on March 18, and during the past month, all the city had to work with was slight hints through interviews and the Miners' social media as to what was being brought into UTEP’s game plan. After 14 practices seen by no fan or media member, the day for public judgment came at the spring game.

The spring game's purpose is not a statistical one; rather, the game holds a motive to foster community involvement and excitement.

Throughout the spring game’s highs and lows, there was a recurring trend—HYPE. Before the game, coach Walden delivered a speech to the fans to set the tone for the game in the morning. Once halftime rolled around, Walden once again brought back the adrenaline while introducing the 25 Miner alums who served as guest coaches.

The community involvement didn’t end there, as alumni had an impact on the game’s result. Multiple completions took place in the elongated break seeing the game go into the locker room with a Blue lead of 10-7, to coming back with a 28-27 Orange advantage.

While critics might continue to be pessimistic, and even though the performance will be further dissected, there is one factor of the team that can be determined now: Miner football has El Paso’s attention.

Whether Walden's regime brings success is still to be determined. However, they have already accomplished bringing back something that has been lacking at UTEP: anticipation.

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