The Weber State football team will open spring practice this week with the first practice set for Tuesday, March 12. The Wildcats will have 15 practice sessions during the spring and will conclude with the annual spring game on April 13.
This year the Wildcats will practice early in the morning with practices scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. The ‘Cats are scheduled to hold three scrimmages which will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays. All practices and scrimmages will be held at Stewart Stadium.
The Wildcats are under the direction of head coach Jody Sears who returns for his second season as head coach. However, the Wildcat coaching staff will have a new look with new offensive coordinator Robin Pflugrad taking over the reins of the Wildcat offense. Pflugrad comes to Weber State with an extensive coaching background including two seasons as head coach at Montana. Eric Lewis who was an assistant coach with the Wildcats last season will take over the reins as the defensive coordinator of the Wildcat defense.
The Wildcats return three players that earned All-Big Sky Conference honors last season, led by junior linebacker Anthony Morales who earned Second Team All-Conference honors and finished third in the country in tackles at 12 per game. Also returning is junior wide receiver Xavian Johnson and junior offensive lineman Shelton Robinson who both earned All-Conference honorable mention honors.
One key position battle for spring practice will the quarterback spot where WSU looks to replace Mike Hoke who led the Wildcats the past two years. Junior Jordan Adamczyk has spent four years in the program and has seen action in nine career games at quarterback. WSU also added junior college transfer Alfonso Medina to the program and will have sophomore Ben Maraz and red-shirt freshman Jadrian Clark at the quarterback position. Tyler Parson will move from quarterback to wide receiver.
Another returner this year is junior running back and kick returner Bo Bolen who returns after serving a two-year LDS Church mission. Bolen played in 23 games with the Wildcats in 2009 and 2010 and ranks 24th in school history in career rushing yards and is third in school history in career kickoff returns.
“We are really excited to get going and start spring practice,” Sears said. “One of our major priorities is to get the players that red shirted last year ready to play. We want to find out who we can count on. We also want to see the progress we have made from the end of last season. We are looking for leadership and consistency from our veterans that are returning. The leadership has to come from our core unit for us to make a big step.”
“I’ve heard about practicing early in the mornings from other schools and have heard good things,” Sears continued. “A few of our coaches on our staff have done it before and loved it. It’s a chance to get our players up early and get our work done and it’s good for our kids to be mentally tough and ready to play at any time.”
“As far position battles the quarterback spot will be an open competition and we have to find out who is going to be the guy who will step up and take control. We have several good players at that position and I’m anxious to see how each guy will respond to the competition and opportunities they have.”
Weber State is coming off a 2-9 mark in 2012 and finished 2-6 in Big Sky play, picking up victories over rivals Southern Utah and Idaho State.
2013 SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE SCHEDULE
(Dates and times are subject to change each day. Practices will be at Stewart Stadium)
Tue. March 12 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Thu. March 14 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Sat. March 16 9:00 a.m.
Tue. March 19 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Thu. March 21 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Sat. March 23 9:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #1)
Tue. March 26 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Thu. March 28 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Sat. March 30 9:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #2)
Tue. April 2 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Thu. April 4 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Sat. April 6 9:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #3)
Tue. April 9 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Thu. April 11 6:00-8:00 a.m.
Sat. April 13 6:00 p.m. (Purple and White Spring game)