Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2004

Baker football gearing up for opener

August 26, 2004

There's been plenty of excitement during first-year Baker University football coach Mike Grossner's opening camp. There's been weather, a scrimmage, regular practice and more than a few bumps and bruises.

"Barring tornadoes and rain, we'll continue on," Grossner said in reference to Monday and Tuesday's wild weather. "The last couple of days have been an experience for a Phoneix kid.

"We were in the gym Tuesday because our fields were just soaked," he said. "We hit a little bit on Wednesday and today we're going to work on special teams. Friday will be a regular practice and we're also going to scrimmage again at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday we're going to do some team building and Sunday we'll start game-week preparations."

The Wildcats had their first scrimmage of the season Saturday and had a few injuries, most notably returning All-American Jon Reeves with a pulled hamstring. But, there was also a fractured hand for an offensive tackle and a fractured thumb on a defensive lineman.

But, it's Reeves, who set rushing records for Baker last year and has a goal of gaining 2,000 yards this year, who's getting most of the injury attention.

"It's a pull," said Grossner. "Luckily, it's not a tear, it's a strain. We've just got to nurse him back. The other guys stepped up. We're lucky that we're fairly deep in that position.

"We're shooting for him to play Sept. 4," he said of the season and home opener against Evangel at 7 p.m. in Liston Stadium. "He was better Monday. With a tailback, you never know. He's walking around fine, but if breaks free on a run during a game and something happens, it can look like a sniper attack. We're going to play it and see how it goes."

Other than those three injuries, the Wildcats have stayed pretty healthy. The scrimmage gave the coaching staff a look at what they've got for the first year.

"For the most part, we came out relatively healthy," said Grossner. "I felt our first scrimmage went real well. Execution on both sides of the ball was good. We as a staff felt pretty good about it."

The team is coming together in all phases with an eye to the season opener.

"We're progressing along like we're getting ready for a football game," he said. "We need to just polish some things."

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