GRIDIRON GLORY: UMass Football Practice Underway
Aug. 6, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - Summer is over for the UMass football team as the start of the 2008 season is here with the opening of preseason camp on Wednesday in Amherst. The team took part in various drills and tests during the day before the first practice under the lights at the Gladchuck Practice Facility. UMass had four players bench press more than 400 pounds and had eight tandems run sub-2:12 marks in the conditioning test.
The team reported back to Amherst on Tuesday for administrative paperwork, but Wednesday was when the work started as UMass seeks its third straight conference championship and third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
The early 7 a.m. wake-ups will be commonplace for the next three weeks as UMass prepares for its season opener on Aug. 30 against Albany under the new lights at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Following breakfast at the stadium, the players had positional meetings followed by physicals.
After lunch the true work started beginning with the bench press competition. UMass had four players surpass the 400-pound mark. Defensive lineman Kyle C. Harrington topped the charts with 440. Fellow junior lineman and captain Brandon Collier lifted 425 pounds. Senior linebacker George Byrd followed at 410 and junior offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse hoisted 405.
From the weightroom it was off to McGuirk Alumni Stadium for the conditioning test. The team was paired off into sets of two by skill positions, semi-skill positions and non-skill positions. The fastest time of 2:08 was posted by the duo of junior Jeromy Miles and freshman Alan Williams. Three other pairs clocked in at 2:09: senior receiver Joe Sanford and senior cornerback Courtney Robinson, junior receiver Jeremy Horne and junior defensive back Corey Davis, and redshirt freshman Julian Talley and sophomore Shane Viverios. Three more groups were at 2:10: sophomore receiver Torrey Esalomi and freshman back Kumar Davis, junior receiver Victor Cruz and senior defensive back Brian Ellis along with junior quarterback Scott Woodward and junior secondary man Eric Dickson.
Senior captain duo quarterback Liam Coen and cornerback Sean Smalls timed out at 2:11. The fastest time among the semi-skill players were linebacker Anthony Rouzier and tight end Matt Silver at 2:13.
After the conditioning test, it was back to the Boyden Gym for the Mat Room and more agility and ability drills for the Minutemen.
That was followed by a healthy dinner and a return to the stadium. The Minutemen broke up for meetings and watched tape before heading to the Gladchuck Practice Facility for the first practice of the 2008 year.
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