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Bearkats Put On The Pads
The football team put on their pads for the first time Monday and began hitting for real as 2008 spring practice
continued at Bowers Stadium.
“We’ve got a lot of exciting things going on in spring ball this year and it was good to get the pads on and see who is ready to hit,” Head Coach Todd Whitten said. “We’ve got some great competition going on for starting spots in the offensive line and the secondary and we want to get a good look at our backup quarterbacks.”
Sam Houston State will workout Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and hold a full contact scrimmage on Saturday morning. The annual Orange-White spring game is scheduled Saturday, April 19.
“Three of our 15 spring workouts have to be in shorts, shirts, and helmits with no pads,” Whitten said. “We got two of those workouts out of the way last week. We’ve got a lot to get done this spring.”
With 10 starters gone from last year’s 7-4 Southland Conference runner-up squad, Whitten and his staff begin their fourth season at Sam Houston State, seeking to build on back-to-back winning seasons and Southland Conference runner-up finishes. A total of 42 lettermen return from the 2007 team including seven starters on offense and and five on defense.
Several transfers figure to fill important spots in the Bearkat lineup including wide receivers Darrell Armstead (New Mexico Military Institute) and Jason Madkins (Navarro JC), tight end John Clark (Glendale CC), defensive backs D. J. Emerson (SMU) and Jamal Skipper (Kilgore JC), and offensive lineman Mike Mosmeyer (Navarro JC).
Quarterback Rhett Bomar, who led the Southland and ranked No. 8 nationally in total offense (290.6 yards per game), is recovering from off-season knee surgery. Redshirt freshmen Taylor Weidman of Boswell and Jeff Welch of Cy Falls are among the candidates seeking the backup role at quarterback.
Defensive end Chris Brown, who accounted for five of the Kats’ 13 sacks in 2007, and Eric Mikolajchak return in the front line. Nolan Bucek led the Southland in tackles (88) and Luke McCall added 72 stops as linebackers last year. Four secondary starters have graduated. Michael Capparelli ranked third in the Southland in punting with a 41.0 average. Kicker Taylor Wilkins was 33-for-33 on extra points and hit 14-of-18 field goals. Justin Humphrey returns for deep snaps.
Eight All-Southland Conference Bearkats return. Defensive end Chris Brown was a first team selection. Running back Chris Poullard, kicker Taylor Wilkins, and linebacker Nolan Bucek were named to the second team. Quarterback Rhett Bomar, offensive lineman Hunter Schmidt, defensive lineman Eric Mikolajchak, and punter Michael Capparelli were honorable mention All-SLC.
“Defensively, we had a whole bunch of safeties graduate, so we are a little thin there,” Whitten said. “We need some young guys to step up for us. We also signed a couple of junior college corners and we need those guys to get a hold of things. We are going to be able to evaluate these guys this spring and hopefully find some that can really help us next season. We have a good attitude and are getting good effort.”
SAM HOUSTON STATE PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL INFORMATION
Starters returning: 12 of 22 (7 of 11 offense, 5 of 11 defense)
Lettermen returning: 42 of 57 (19 offense, 20 defense, 3 specialists)
OFFENSIVE STARTERS RETURNING
Rhett Bomar QB 6-2 215 Sr-1L All-Southland
John Dirk OL 6-3 278 Sr-2L 11 starts
Catron Houston WR 5-11 182 Sr-2L 46 catches
Darnell Jones WR 5-10 185 Sr-3L 20 catches
Chris Poullard RB 5-10 194 Jr-2L All-Southland
Hunter Schmidt OL 6-3 303 Jr-2L All-Southland
Justin Wells WR 5-10 182 Sr-3L 42 catches
OFFENSIVE STARTERS LOST
Ryan Dretke OL 6-0 292 4L All-Southland
Brandon Hale OL 6-3 334 4L All-America
Blake Martin TE 6-3 236 4L All-America
Brennan Williams OL 6-0 273 4L All-Southland
DEFENSIVE STARTERS RETURNING
Wonseleh Brewer DB 5-8 161 Sr-1L 43 tackles
Chris Brown DE 6-2 218 Jr-1L All-Southland
Nolan Bucek DB 5-10 202 Sr-3L All-Southland
Luke McCall LB 6-0 235 Jr-2L 72 tackles
Eric Mikolajchak DL 6-4 302 Sr-3L All-Southland
DEFENSIVE STARTERS LOST
David Branch DL 6-2 251 4L All-Southland
Jerod Brown DL 6-2 267 4L 31 tackles
Carlton Cobey DB 5-10 202 2L All-Southland
Stanley Garrett DB 5-10 183 3L 51 tackles
Josh Moore DB 6-2 194 4L 71 tackles
Byran Richmond DB 5-9 226 4L All-Southland
Michael Capparelli P 5-8 162 Jr-1L All-Southland
Justin Humphrey DS 6-4 230 Jr-2L Deep snaps
Taylor Wilkins K 5-7 151 Jr-2L All-Southland
OTHER RETURNING OFFENSIVE LETTERMEN
OL - Travis Best, R. C. Fairchild, John Goree, Nick Grimes,
Aaron Saunders; WR - Jake Lebens, Chris Lucas, Trey
Payne; RB - TyMagic Robinson, Isaiah Sneed; FB - Matthew
Powledge; TE - Paul Mansfield
OTHER RETURNING DEFENSIVE LETTERMEN
DL - Antonio Cobb, Ryan Gloston, Frank Simon, Kevin
Smith, Chris Stewart; DB - Cameron Jenkins, Frank
Onwuachi, Derrick Raymer, Billy Skinner, Jeff Sparks,
Randy Stewart; LB - Shane Richburg, Patrick Robinson,
Shawn Weatherford, Jeremy Werland.
Football team puts on the pads
Photo/Article Courtesy: GoBearkats.com