PRACTICE UPDATE: Practice Number One in the Books
March 26, 2010
NORFOLK, Va. -- It was less than ideal conditions, but the ODU Football Monarchs were excited and ready to take the field for their first spring 2010 practice. The rain may have been coming down and the wind whipping in every direction, but it certainly didn't deter the Monarchs from comimng out to the field and working hard.
"The guys were excited to get on the field and compete today," said Wilder following practice, "and today was a great start. Adding seven mid-year transfers to a 9-2 football team with all of our starters returning will make for great competition at every position."
"At Fordham, the weather was worse than this," noted Wilder on the dreary first day practice conditions that saw temperatures in the 40s and 20 mph wind gusts. "I want you to fly to the ball, ignore the weather, and get it done," he told his troops.
The Monarchs are certainly no strangers to adverse conditions on the field. Last year in Jacksonville, ODU battled temperatures of 110 degrees to battle back to a 28-27 win over the Dolphins for their first FCS road win during the final ODU drive of the game. Against Fordham, the game in which Wilder was referring to, the Monarchs were down early in driving rain, but found themselves coming from behind and nearly pulling off the victory in the game's final minute. Also at home against Campbell, a blustery and cold day saw Old Dominion cruise to a 28-17 over the Camels with Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) recording a pair of touchdown receptions and Desmond Williams (Windsor, N.C.) running for 145 yards.
"The biggest improvement from last fall to our first practice today was our speed on the field," said Wilder. "From our individual drills to our team periods, we could see the improvement in how well our team runs with the football on offense and to the football on defense."
During the off season, the Monarchs spent a tremendous amount of time in the weight room with Strength and Conditioning Coaches Ryan Martin and Joe Makovic improving their overall individual strength and conditioning, something that was immediately noticed on the first day of practice.
FOCUS FACTOR: "Our focus this spring will be first and foremost on our special teams," said Wilder of the areas he is looking to improve upon this spring. "We must make improvements in our return units from last fall."
IN THE BOOKS: Practice number one is in the books with 13 more left before the spring game on April 24th.
VIRGINIA SCRIMMAGE: The Old Dominion Monarchs will be holding their own practice at the Powhatan Sports Complex later Saturday afternoon, while the Virginia Cavaliers will be using Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium for their own scrimmage at 1 p.m. For information on the Cavaliers scrimmage, visit VirginiaSports.com".