PAINESVILLE, Ohio – In college sports, gridiron battles are front-and-center when the leaves turn auburn, gold and crimson. But there is an underlying growth in the seasoning of football teams – a time when freshmen are somehow veterans and the leadership of a team buds forth.
That time is now. For Lake Erie, spring practice is now underway. Head Coach Mark McNellie and his troops held the first of 14 planned practice sessions on Saturday. And for a program looking to grow from the fertile ground work displayed in last fall's 4-7 season, now is the time to cultivate and build and get stronger.
"Spring ball is a time to compete against each other and continue the work we have begun in the winter," said McNellie. "You look to fill spots vacated by graduation and continue to develop quality depth across the board."
That depth will come from a stable of approximately 90 Storm players in camp this spring and from any newcomers ready to produce at the collegiate level. The culmination of a three-week practice for those players will be the 2014 Green & White Game. That game – an intra-squad battle at Jack Britt Stadium – is slated for Saturday, April 12. (The Green & White Game is tentatively scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.)
Tying together the traditions of LEC Football is the Storm Football Alumni Game prior to the Green & White Game on April 12. The Alumni Game is a touch football match-up bringing back Storm players who have already logged their allotment spring ball.
For the 2014 squad, the next three weeks are a time to get back to basics and grow.
"We will stress fundamentals," said McNellie. "We want to work on consistently competing at a higher level."
# # # STORM # # #