UMHB football opens 2017 camp with first practice

Posted at 9:21 PM, Aug 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-13 22:21:47-04

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team hit the practice field for the first time in the 2017 fall camp with a spirited, if not a little ragged, first practice Sunday evening (August 13th) in Belton. The team spent nearly an hour and a half on the field for the first workout

With 214 players taking part in the first practice and several more expected the first day of school, much of the early portion of work focused on teaching and demonstration. The high-intensity workout featured individual drills and group work with multiple repetitions for each group. The pace was fast to provide an opportunity to get as many players looks as possible. The final segment of practice consisted of the Cru’s “boot camp” conditioning drills with returners leading the newcomers through the session to help set a tone for the rest of fall camp.

“It was so exciting to see so many people, but it was strange because we practiced so late in the day,” Cru Head Coach Pete Fredenburg said. “Normally when you get started when the grind you get up and going, but today we started with a brunch. I’m not used to that because I guess I am old school.”

A healthy group of onlookers, including family, friends and a media contingent of three television stations, two radio stations and a newspaper on hand watched the defending Division III National Champions on Sunday. One of the biggest position battles of fall camp will consist of finding a replacement for departing starting quarterback Blake Jackson. Converted wide receiver and former reserve quarterback T.J. Josey took the bulk of the snaps with the #1 offense, but Kyle Jones and Zane Boles also saw plenty of time. That situation will play out over the next several weeks, as twill the battles to replace four other departed starters on offense and five lost starters on defense. However, over the next couple of days, Fredenburg is really just looking for some improvement over the first day of practice.

“I think we need to get everyone coached up a little better and get them prepared,” Fredenburg said. “I think we need to slow things down a little bit and dividing the guys up tomorrow will help with that. Everyone got a good sense of what to expect from seeing the returners lead the way today and we will get better.”

The Cru will split Monday’s practice into two sessions. Newcomers will hit the practice field at 7:45 AM. Returners are scheduled to practice at 9:30 AM on Monday. The first work out in full pads will be on Thursday, August 17th.