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Day Seven: Onward Through the Fog

August 13, 2009

A chilly fog drifted across the MondoTurf at West Liberty University’s Russek Field Thursday morning but a 2 ½ hour practice helped the Hilltopper football team shake off any lingering cobwebs from a good night’s sleep.


True freshman wide receiver Vinnie Candelore making a spectacular diving catch

The first of two Thursday sessions found head coach Roger Waialae and his staff pushing a little harder for perfection with much of the morning spent running through the playbook in 7-on-7 and full-team formats.

Several offensive linemen were “fired” – sent to the sidelines – by offensive line coach Dan Hopkins for such offenses as missed calls or blown assignments. Any offensive lineman who jumped early – a false start – had to run off the field and jog up the hill to Main Hall at the other end of campus and back before being allowed to return to action.

A number of defensive linemen suffered similar fates, courtesy of defensive line coach Brad Forshey, who “fired” his share of players during the session.

Coach Waialae says that attention to detail is already paying dividends at this early juncture.

“I judge the progress we’re making by the number of mental mistakes I see,” Waialae said, “and I’m not seeing nearly as many now as I did a couple of days ago.

“A couple of the defensive stunts caught us on the O-line but that’s why we take so many reps with our groups. It’s important to get that communication established and get used to working with each other in order to function as a unit.”

There were several impressive performances on both sides of the ball.

All-American linebacker Clay Beeler was a disruptive force throughout the morning session, blowing up several plays behind the line of scrimmage. Beeler’s most spectacular play came when he popped free on a blitz and leaped high in the air to bat down a pass by quarterback Zach Amedro.

Defensive end Eghosa Ogbebor also played well against the pass and run. Ogbebor dominated several offensive linemen during the afternoon 1-on-1 sessions, as well, and appears to be pushing hard for a starting job.

The offense had its moments, as well. Amedro flashed some of the mobility he’s shown throughout the camp when he bolted out of the pocket to avoid the pass rush, ran parallel to the line of scrimmage and hit wide receiver David Kampfe in stride along the back of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown. Kampfe also had a 65-yard TD catch in the afternoon session.

Tailback/wide receiver Eddie Hills continued to impress with his running and receiving skills. Hills scored when he bounced outside right tackle to get to the sideline and pirouetted between two would-be tacklers at the flag.

Running back Arvin Bell turned in the most physical run of the day, caroming off three would-be tacklers during an inside run series to power his way into the end zone from 10 yards out.

Today’s photo album is a combination of shots from both the morning and afternoon sessions with more than 100 images available. To access the photos, click on the following link Training Camp Photos: Day 7

The team will have only one workout on Friday, going in full pads at 3 p.m.


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