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After playoff snub last season, Eastern Washington football ready to return for spring practices

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 21, 2018, 9:54 p.m.

Eastern Washington  quarterback Gage Gubrud was the Big Sky Conference’s leading passer last season. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud was the Big Sky Conference’s leading passer last season. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Still salty from last year’s FCS playoff snub, Eastern Washington will get back on the field in less than five weeks.

Beginning April 3, the Eagles will spread 15 practices over 26 days, culminating in the annual Red-White Spring Game on April 28.

The Eagles return 17 starters from a team that went 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky Conference but was denied a postseason bid by the NCAA selection committee.

“I’ll be honest, we felt like we earned to be in the field of 24,” coach Aaron Best said. “Like our motto says, ‘Leave no doubt,’ is a small reminder that in 11 weeks of work if you finish 7-4 you could be watching on TV.

“That’s a taste we don’t want in our mouth and aren’t used to, so we are out to earn the eighth win and beyond.”

The Eagles also return up to 56 letter winners and several players with extensive starting experience.

Quarterback Gage Gubrud, an all-American in 2016 and the leading passer in the Big Sky Conference last year, is back for his senior year.

The Eagles will have a large group of as many as 28 seniors on its 2018 team. The Eagles had only 14 seniors in 2017 and 12 in 2016.

“We have experience coming back and the entire coaching staff is intact. So change won’t be a factor in why things are the way they are,” Best said.

After its opening practice on April 3, Eastern will practice on each Wednesday and Friday from April 4-27, as well as April 9, April 16 and April 24. The Eagles will scrimmage on April 13 and April 21 ahead of the spring game.

Eastern has yet to announce its game schedule for this year.

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