Panthers progressing through practice

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The Eastern football team continued its slate of spring-style practices for the fall semester last week as they work on preparation for the eventual start of the season.

Before the season can take place, there is still a lot for the team to work on, said head coach Adam Cushing.

“I think what we found out is that we’re a long way away from being ready to play a football game,” he said. “All that stuff comes to a head and comes to light when you go play live ball.”

The Panthers practiced in full pads Friday as they ramp up football activity.

“I think that there was a little bit of uncertainty to be honest, on both sides,” Cushing said, adding that it has been since the end of last season that most of the players have delivered or taken a hit on a football field in pads.

There are 15 practices that the Panthers are alotted during the “spring ball in the fall” model, and Cushing said that situational football is going to be one of the main goals of those practices.

“What we looked at, and just kind of planned it out over the 15 practices, to make sure that we get exposed to every situation. And we have great video to teach off of.”

Sophomore super back Nick Stricker said that he thinks practices have been going well, and had some takeaways from some of the situational drills.

“Our fundamentals need to get better,” he said. “We kind of forgot that since we’re going live we still need to focus on the little details we’ve been working on technique-wise, but we’re going to get back in the film room and fix those problems.”

For Stricker and the other second-year Panthers, this fall has been their first exposure to what spring ball is usually like, after actual spring activities were canceled earlier this year.

“The most exciting thing about this that I didn’t know about spring is that it allows you to improve on the field, like you would in a normal season, but your bodies are also recovered enough so that you can improve in the weight room,” he said. “So it kind of feels like the best of both worlds between an offseason, getting bigger, stronger and faster, and getting better actually on the field.”

Cushing said that so far in practice, neither the offense or defense seem to have a noticeable advantage and both have responded well.

“I think it’s going back and forth to be honest, and that’s what is great about this team,” he said. “There’s days where the defense absoultely dominates and then there’s days when the offense comes out and responds great to that in the next practice.”


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]