The Wofford College football team practiced in full pads for the first time on Friday afternoon, the fifth day of practice. The two-hour practice was conducted in hot and muggy conditions, which did not slow down the Terriers.
“It was a good first day in pads,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “The kids came out and worked hard. It was warm, but they came out focused and stayed focused for all 24 periods. I think we see that the young kids are starting to pick it up and they able to think a little bit less and just play football. Chris Tommie punted today and punted the ball very well. I am real pleased with the way he has come off surgery. We think maybe overall it is the best day we have had so far. Tomorrow is our first two-a-day. We will go in the morning early and will have an evening practice. During the evening practice, we will work on the kicking game, we will do skelly and a good bit of eleven-on-eleven scrimmage situations.”
The practice began with the offense and defense each getting six plays in the “off on the ball” drill. After nearly 30 minutes of individual position drills, the offense and defense both worked in skelly against a script. With the offense on the field, Mike Rucker caught a long pass from Stev Davitte, Eric Breitenstein had a long run and Andrew Young had a nice catch from Mitch Allen. With the defense up, C.J. Turner came away with an interception.
After working on punt return, in which Christian Reed, Chris Tommie and Landon Bennett all punted, the offense and defense worked separately for several periods. To end practice, each unit worked 15 plays as a full team. The offense kept the ball on the ground, with Arsenio Parks, Stev Davitte, Derek Boyce and Bryan Youman making plays. On defense, the highlights were provided by the defensive line, which made several big stops.
The injury bug has not been kind to the Terriers so far this season. Freshman running back Cody Burris suffered a broken clavicle and freshman tight end Kenny Barnes suffered a knee injury. Both injuries will require surgery and it is expected that they will miss the season.
Players who were limited in practice due to injury included DE Mitch Clark, DB Michael Roulhac, LB Mark Flott, HB Brad Nocek, DB Mychael Johnson, S Hunter Hobson and WR Devin Reed.
The team will return to the field on Saturday for the first two-a-day. The morning practice will begin at 9:00 am on the intramural fields, followed by a 6:15 pm scrimmage at Gibbs Stadium. All practices are open to the public; however keep in mind that the schedule can change without notice.