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Poulson's Pulse (Weekend Edition) -- Aug. 22

Aug. 22, 2009

EASTON, Pa. - This season, senior tri-captain Andrew Poulson is be taking fans inside the action of everything that is Lafayette football -- practices, off-field anecdotes, road trips, games, the inside scoop on his teammates and more. Be sure to check all season to experience preseason football through the eyes of a Leopard.

Hello again! Good news, my internet has been successfully installed and I am again capable of posting (I had to run over to my friend and teammate Tony Caljean's house in order to make my latest post). Yesterday (Friday) concluded another successful doubles-day starting with early practice at 8:30. With the heat rolling in as the practice continued, I have to say the team reacted accordingly: without missing a beat. Coach Tavani decided to make it a helmets practice, in order to take a load off our legs and make the morning session a focused, technique driven and mental training sort of practice. The most important thing about helmet practices following a string of full padded practices is that everyone brings the same intensity, focus and effort to practice. Coach Tavani put it best, "We're taking the pads off, not the practice."

Concluding the morning session, the team had lunch in Farinon followed by a few hours of down time (2 ½ hours- the biggest break the team has from football duties throughout the entire duration of camp). Meetings were at 2:30 p.m., followed by dinner. The coaches, ahead of time, had announced that there would be several live periods in the night practice session, which had a lot of people excited. The thing about live scrimmaging is that it provides the best opportunity for a player to show what he is capable of and what he can contribute to the team. This provides the coaches with the best scenario to assess a player's capabilities and how they might fit into the leopard system here.

With this in mind, the coaches got practice off to a running start. It was a hard and fast first set of periods getting everyone up to speed and ready to go `live' (as you can imagine, when practice is `Live' it simply means that everything is done in game fashion meaning the running backs and wide receivers are allowed to be tackled. The quarterback is the only exception to this rule. Go figure.)



The scrimmage started off with a bang with big hits and big plays showcasing the strengths of both sides. A lot of the younger players had the opportunity of taking the majority of the snaps. With competition throughout several positions still very much open, many players gave it their all to fight for a spot on the bus (the varsity squad travel bus). Tremendous effort was shown by Jarred Ricks, a recently converted corner now tailback, Ricks showed the kind of toughness that this team needs. No matter hard he was hit, Ricks popped right back up ready for the next play. Defensively, underclassmen linebacker, Ben Eaton and safety Evan McGovern (not to be confused with older brother Eric McGovern) supplied the biggest hits and plays of the night. Overall the effort was excellent and both teams have now had a chance to watch the film of the scrimmage. Both sides still requiring improvement, there are certainly signs of improvement throughout the team.

This morning, due to weather forecasts, practice was scheduled for 8:30 am as opposed to one o'clock in the afternoon. With an overcast and a cool breeze, the team was released from the heat provided extra energy for everyone. A productive and fast-paced practice, the team pushed through and made a hard effort towards the 18 periods practiced. Lunch followed practice and then we were off to meetings and team lift with Coach Potts. Coach Potts has been doing an excellent job as well as the athletic training staff of keeping everyone strong and capable of playing. He had expressed the importance of taking care of our bodies (eating right, getting treatments, etc.). He concluded by telling the team that our legs are tired and bodies are aching, but that is but a glimpse of what a team needs to be able to push through if they are to strive for greatness.

Players will be hurt and tired, but it is no different now than at the end of a game. You're hurting, you're tired, your lungs are bursting and legs burning; what are prepared to do? Quit? Or strive for greatness?