BELTON, TX — The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team put on full pads for the first time in fall camp on Wednesday, August 21st. Coaches broke the squad down into two groups, with the 2s, 4s and 6s making up Team B and the 1s, 3s and 5s making up Team A. The two groups held separate hour and a half work outs on another humid and sunny day at the Crusader practice fields.
With the team no longer broken down strictly into newcomers and returners, coaches can begin to really evaluate players as some start to separate themselves. The newer faces are also getting a chance to work their way into the flow of practice as the emphasis on teaching decreases and the intensity of the practices increases.
“Getting back into pads after nine months is a great feeling, to finally be able to hit someone,” senior defensive end Elijah Cross said. “Everyone just seems to pick it up on this day because you can hit and be physical and no one wants to be embarrassed, you have to pick up your level of play. Hearing those pads popping is just a great feeling.”
The defensive line continues to impress with a mix of all four starters returners and some promising newcomers. Head Coach Pete Fredenburg also singled out cornerback Chaka Watson has a pleasant surprise on the first day in pads as the sophomore has played his way into a shot at a starting job. The offense is still looking for some players to step up to replace some of the departed playmakers, but that unit is also showing progress through the first five days of camp
“There was a lot more intensity and urgency today and it was great to see people flying around,” Cru senior quarterback Luke Poorman said. “From the first day to now, I think we have shown tremendous improvement, especially in terms of timing. I think that will just continue to go up from here as we get more work together”
The team will hold split practices again Thursday morning beginning at 7:55 am. There are still 199 players in camp with at least 30 more expected to report when classes start on Monday, August 26th. On Friday, August 23rd, Team A will scrimmage Monterrey Tech at 6 pm at Crusader Stadium. Team B will scrimmage another team from Mexico on Saturday, August 24th, at 6 pm at Crusader Stadium.