April 04, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 4, 2012

MONARCH MEDIA: Practice #6 Update:

The Football Monarchs are about halfway through spring drills and the coaching staff emphasized the need play through any losses of energy and step-up when injuries or set backs occur. Head Coach Bobby Wilder referred to last year when the Monarchs' didn't have a bye-week until the final week of the regular season and then had to go into the playoffs making adjustments for injuries, which included moving top receiver Nick Mayers to cornerback against Georgia Southern.

"If we are going to take this program to a higher level, we need to understand the difference between pain and feeling a little tired and be able compete and push ourselves through," said Wilder.

A few different Monarchs got a look at punting on Wednesday, including quarterback Taylor Heinicke, kicker Jarod Brown, and back-up Josh Williams.

"We want to have the ability to run specialty plays so we need to take a look at a numbers of different players who have shown they can punt the ball and have the ability to run those plays out of that formation, " Wilder noted.

Last season, outside of All-American Jonathan Plisco, quarterbacks Thomas DeMarco and Taylor Heinicke took turns punting the ball. Heinicke made four punts, all inside the 20, averaging 42.5 yards per punt.

Going into spring ball, quarterback Taylor Heinicke noted that one of the areas he wanted improve upon was his feet. So how is he doing?

The staff has seen improvement in situations in the pocket under pressure where Heinicke is resetting his feet into the open lane and keeping his eyes downfield to complete the pass.


Wilder, who is always looking into different ways and different phrases to motivate the Monarchs, has recently added "choices" as a key word in his arsenal.

Choices stands for:
C - Character
H - Humble
O - Optimism
I - Influence
C - Courage
E - Education
S - Sacrifice

"We are always talking about choices with our student-athletes," said Wilder . "Just like in football, in life everything comes down to the choices we make. We are trying to get our student-athletes to understand the choices they make on-campus, in the community, in the classroom, and on the field will affect not only their short term goals, but their long terms goals."

"The ultimate goals is that five or 10-years from now that they can look back on this experience and that is a lesson they learned - how to make choices in their life."

Former defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron was a guest of Gary McCollum on Cox Connections talking about his life as a student-athlete and what he's learned on and off the field.

Check out the interview below or on Cox. Ch. 11 premiering on Wednesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. and will continue to air various times throughout the month. It will also be available On Demand.

Congrats to Ernie Hux of Virginia Beach and Ian Armstrong of Chesapeake, the next two winners in the 15 Days of Prizes promotion for renewing season tickets. Ernie won the opportunity to take his holiday card photo with Big Blue on Foreman Field, while Ian won an appearance by Big Blue at his pre-game tailgate.

There's still time for you to renew your season tickets and win more great prizes through April 15th. Click here for more information on how you can win.

Football Monarchs hit the field again on Saturday afternoon.