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Clarksville, TN – With a handful of practices in the books, Austin Peay State University football team will take the field to scrimmage for the first time this spring, noon, Saturday, at Governors Stadium.
After a 2014 spring interrupted by stadium construction, the Govs have enjoyed excellent weather and a more tranquil Governors Stadium this spring, giving coaches and players a calmer ground upon which to hone their craft.
Austin Peay Football’s first Spring Scimmage is set for Saturday at noon. (APSU Sports Information)
Although no one begrudges the needed stadium upgrades, head coach Kirby Cannon least of all, there’s no denying that the lack of construction has made this spring easier on the coaches and players.
“It’s a teaching environment,” Cannon said. “When you’re out there teaching, you never know what (players) miss sometimes until you get in games and realize ‘Oh, he didn’t hear me back in April or back in August.’ It’s a lot better. Our kids enjoy that atmosphere we’ve got now.”
With a thin reserve of offensive linemen in spring camp – the Govs added 11 linemen on Signing Day, with Ethan Self and Ryan Sinkler reporting as early enrollees – the coaching staff has limited the hitting during spring, instead focusing on refining technique and developing some continuity along a line that lost three of its five starters from a year ago.
That line is charged with protecting whichever quarterback wins the starting job, a battle still raging as camp winds toward its April 11th conclusion during the annual Red-and-White Spring Game. Cannon has been encouraged by what he’s seen from the men in blue jerseys during the spring but acknowledged that the group is still plagued by inconsistency at times.
“Had you asked me last Thursday, I would’ve said Darrien Boone was our starter,” he said. “If you’d asked me on Friday, I would’ve said Trey Taylor. If you asked me on Saturday, I would’ve said Mickey Macius. They’re all playing at a higher level than they had in the past, but we’re still looking for someone to step up and separate themselves from everybody else.”
On the defensive side, the return of an experienced and deep defensive line and linebacker core gives the coaching staff less teaching and more enhancement of already-acquired knowledge, a valuable step that will pay dividends come fall.
Cannon, who again will serve as his own defensive coordinator and has been coaching the safeties during the spring, and cornerbacks coach Leron Eaddy return a pair of stalwarts in sophomores Damien Whitfield and Roderick Owens, but also are working to help freshmen such as David Wall, Kyran Moore and Demarion Allen fill the void left by the departure of three-fifths of the Govs 4-2-5 secondary scheme.
“We’re on schedule,” Cannon said of his squad’s spring. “We’re ready to have some live snaps.”
Saturday’s scrimmage will be limited, with about 30 plays scripted out. Fans are invited to attend the event, one of three scrimmages on the Govs spring calendar, the other two scheduled for Thursday, April 2nd and the April 11th Red-and-White game.
Video – Gino Roberson
About APSU Sports Information
Austin Peay State University Sports Information provides the latest news and updates on the Athletic endeavors of the student-athletes at APSU. Under the direction of Brad Kirtley, the APSU SID’s office consists of Cody Bush, and Colby Wilson. To contact the APSU Sports Information office, contact, 931.221.7561.