Spring Football Begins On Thursday
March 25, 2008
GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado football team begins its four-week spring practice session on Thursday, March 27 at 3:30. The Bears will have 14 practices before competing in the Blue & Gold Scrimmage on April 19 at 11:00 a.m. on the synthetic practice fields.
The Bears return 43 letterwinners from last season's team and add three mid-year transfers and 21 redshirts to the mix. In those 43 letterwinners, the Bears return seven players on offense and seven on defense, as well as both placekickers that saw action in 2007.
Head Coach Scott Downing prepares for his third spring with the team and has the majority of coaches from last season returning for this year which should help with continuity.
"We are excited to begin practices and continue to build upon the good things we saw at the end of last fall," said Downing. "We continue to build our program through high school players and this spring we should see how a lot of our redshirts have continued to improve through the offseason. The staff is also looking forward to seeing how the returners and mid-year transfers mesh."
The most talked about mid-year transfer is quarterback Bryan Waggener, who will battle it out this spring with Mike Vlahogeorge, who started five games behind center in 2007, redshirt sophomore James Schrenk and redshirt freshman Dylan Orms.
Senior tight end Ryan Chesla, who became the school's first All-Big Sky First Team selection and senior linebacker Cristian Sarmento, a second-team pick last year, anchor the team's offense and defense, respectively. The defense also had linebacker Joe Kenney, defensive end John Eddy and defensive back Ryan Lutz earn honorable mention honors.
The Bears lost several key players and will be looking for replacements this spring. Besides the quarterback position, where Dominic Breazeale started seven games, NC lost four-year starting center Jake Gable, tight end Clint Wright and wide receiver Andy Birkel on the offensive side of the ball and tackle Vinny Pallone, rover D.J. Craft, tackle Ben Sibert and punter Rafael Mendoza to graduation among the starters.
The team will practice on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with the April 4 practice being held at Littleton High School with the time still to be determined.
Thursday March 27 3:30-6:00
Friday March 28 3:30-6:00
Monday March 31 3:30-6:00
Tuesday April 1 3:30-6:00
Thursday April 3 3:30-6:00
Friday April 4 3:30-6:00
Monday April 7 3:30-6:00
Tuesday April 8 3:30-6:00
Thursday April 10 3:30-6:00
Friday April 11 3:30-6:00
Saturday April 12 9:00-Noon (Bear Cub Experience)
Monday April 14 3:30-6:00
Tuesday April 15 3:30-6:00
Thursday April 17 3:30-6:00
Friday April 18 3:30-6:00 (Alumni Day)
Saturday April 19 11:00-1:30 (Spring Scrimmage)