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Day Five: Full Speed Ahead!

August 11, 2009

The plastic started popping with a purpose bright and early Tuesday morning as the West Liberty University football team held its first full-pad practice of the pre-season on the muggy MondoTurf at Russek Field.

run to daylight

O-Line opens hole for Kevon Calhoun (34)

It was head coach Roger Waialae’s first chance to evaluate all facets of the 2009 Hilltoppers in conditions approximating game speed and the fifth-year mentor seemed pretty pleased with the results.

“I really like the competition I’m seeing along the offensive line,” Waialae said. “Yesterday, I thought the ones had the edge but today the twos really stepped up and looked better than the ones.

“We’re less than a week into camp and I’ve got 10 or 11 guys I wouldn’t be afraid to put on the field in a game. That’s something we haven’t had here for quite some time.

Several players have been slowed by nagging injuries in the first few days of camp but a sour note was sounded during the morning session when sophomore running back David Richmond suffered an apparent leg injury that will likely keep him off the field for an indefinite period of time.

“It was kind of a freak thing,” Waialae said. “David jumped over a couple of guys on the ground while we were working on our inside run and just came down wrong. He wasn’t even hit. It’s a shame because David had a good spring game and was working really hard in camp.”

The Tuesday afternoon session was cut short by Mother Nature. Lightning began flashing in the western skies only a few minutes after the players hit the field and the coaches sent everybody inside the ASRC for meetings as a heavy thunderstorm pounded the Hilltop.

Following the offensive meetings, senior veteran Eddie Hills – already a first-team All-WVIAC running back and first-team All-WVIAC wide receiver during his West Liberty career – became the first player to post a video interview on the “Hilltopper Huddle.”

Along with the daily practice reports and pictures, we’ll try to make the player videos a regular feature on the “Huddle” throughout the pre-season.

The team has only one 3 p.m. session set for Wednesday. Another 9 a.m. full-pads/3 p.m. “tops” double session is set for Thursday.

Day five photos.

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