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Lehigh Mountain Hawks feeling pretty good
The Lehigh football team knows it’s not going to be easy next fall.
The Mountain Hawks, who have won back-to-back outright Patriot League championships and wonplayoff games in the NCAA FCS tournament each of the past two years, know that everyone is coming after them. Lehigh is circled on the calendar for all 11 opponents.
They know that after losing quarterback Chris Lum and so many members of a stout defensive unit, people around the league feel they are vulnerable.
Yet, as spring practice winds down for the final week and heads toward next Saturday’s Brown and White Game, there is a positive feeling over on South Mountain. These guys know there’s a huge challenge coming and are already embracing it.
Talking to a couple of players and coach Andy Coen after Thursday’s sessions, I sensed a confident, positive tone that tells me these guys aren’t going to rest on what was accomplished the last two years.
I especially like the attitude of new quarterback Mike Colvin, who likes where he’s at but knows he has to get better between now and the season opener on Sept. 1.
Some comments that didn’t make the print story:
“I definitely have to learn more about reading defensive coverages and getting a feel for what they’re doing,” Colvin said. “I’m confident in my ability to read and react, but I’d like to get a clearer picture of what they’re doing. That’s what is great about spring ball because our defense is so multiple. And they’re good, too. So it’s helpful to go against them all spring and summer. We always say that if we can execute against our defense we can execute against anybody.
“I’ve got to work on some things with my mid-range throws, my touch,” Colvin continued. “Fortunately, we have a good group of receivers and tight ends. We have a very good corps coming back and a strong offensive line coming back as well. We have some injuries, but when they get back I believe we will be able to put it all together and even the guys who are playing now have stepped up and taken advantage of their opportunities.”
“Everything is going pretty good right now and the younger guys are learning the playbook and stepping up,” said defensive tackle Sajjad Chagani . “We’re getting better every day. The new co-coodinators hasn’t changed anything. We’ve still got the same playbook and the same mindset. It has been a very smooth transition. It hasn’t felt like any change at all.”
“Donnie [Roberts] and Gerard [Wilcher] have done a great job with it,” coach Andy Coen said concerning the defensive coordinator position. “They have been a big part of the schemes we’ve run under Dave [Kotulski, who left for Stanford]. They know what’s going on and when things go wrong, they know how to fix it. Plus it has been really good to have Matt Sanders back working with the linebackers.”
“Going forward, I think the whole league is a huge tossup. I’m excited about the challenge. I know it has been a long time since a team won three straight league titles outright. i don’t know if we were able to do it here when Kevin [Higgins] was in charge in the late 1990s and then Pete [Lembo] took over. I know it’s very difficult, especially when the league is as close and competitive as this one is. But it’s an exciting challenge for us.”
By Keith Groller, The Morning Call