Special to the Journal
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team opened the 2014 fall camp with its first practice of the season Thursday morning. The newcomers went through an hour and 45 minute practice to open the day before the returners hit the field for their own hour and 45 minute session to kick off the fall schedule. A total of 193 players went through the first day of practice. Five more are expected to join that group later this week with up to 20 more reporting to camp on the first day of classes on August 25th.
The newcomers opened the day with a practice that was heavy on teaching and skills. Coaches described the session as “chaotic”, but were also encouraged by the talent and enthusiasm on display. Head Coach Pete Fredenburg singled out the offensive and defensive lines as impressive in the first session and likes the chances for some of the newcomers to make an immediate impact this season.
“We knew we are some talented kids coming in and it is exciting to get a look at them and try to get everyone in the right position,” Fredenburg said. “Some of these guys will contribute on the special teams, we are looking for help in the secondary and I think we have a linebacker or two who could really help us this year.”
The returning players closed out the day with a practice that seemed a little more polished after the rough edges of the early work out. The Cru returns seven offensive starters and five defensive starters from last year’s National Semifinalist, Fredenburg liked the carryover into that workout.
“I think our guys came back very eager and had a lot of retention from the spring,” Fredenburg said. “The really cool thing is that our guys have been through so much and to see how these players worked out over the summer and dedicated themselves to getting better is a whole lot of fun.”
The Cru continued with the split practice schedule on Friday and Saturday before holding its first full-team workout on Sunday evening. UMHB held its first practice in full pads on Monday morning.