It's the nature of college sports.
Every season is a season of change with players coming and going, and the four years go by fast for players who make it through their careers. John Russ and Mercer's rising seniors are just another example of that.
It seems like the reboot of Mercer's program just got going, but the Bears have finished three seasons. And there was Russ last week talking about his final spring practice with the program and he prepares for his senior season this fall, along with almost 30 other seniors.
"It's really had to believe, to be honest, because it goes by in a flash," said Russ, the only quarterback to start a game the past three seasons. "Just like high school, before you know it, you're a senior, and I'm a senior again, and it's my last spring practice. It's crazy."
Russ and this group have been special as they have helped lead the program through the early stages of growth. There have been plenty of special moments, including a 10-win inaugural season in 2013, the first Southern Conference season in 2014 and a victory at Furman and a win over third-ranked Chattanooga in 2015.
Head coach Bobby Lamb is counting on even more from this group heading into the 2016 season, the first season really that the Bears have had senior leadership to lean on. He's excited to see what's next from these players and how they will lead the team through the season.
"We're just better leaders," Russ said. "As you grow up, as you play more games, you become a better leader. You just become better at football, and that's just where we are. We're kind of rubbing off on the younger guys and teaching them the ropes of how to play football at the FCS level in the Southern Conference."
If they can succeed in that, the Bears can have a strong season in 2016 and these seniors can end their careers with something even more memorable.
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