Click here to view photos from the Aug. 15 practice.
MEQUON, Wis. – After a conditioning session to officially begin training camp on Thursday night, Concordia University Wisconsin's football program hit the field in shells for just over two hours on Friday afternoon.
It was a spirited practice at Tomasini Stadium for the defending Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference champions, who return with a target on their back after being selected to repeat as the league's top team in the preseason poll.
Senior quarterback Austin Damaschke (Bristol, Wis.) and senior wide receiver Garrett Wenzelburger (Hartland, Wis.) return to again lead the NACC's highest scoring offense from last year, while senior defensive lineman Uzziel McDermit (Kansasville, Wis.) and senior defensive back Brett Waldorf (Hartford, Wis.) will lead a defense looking to improve.
Some thoughts on the Falcons' second practice of the season:
- Practice was just over two hours and featured numerous position and installation drills to get the over 60 newcomers acclimated with each other and their position coaches. Nearly every position coach returned from the championship season, while head coach Greg Etter added Gino Perfetto (running backs) and Blair Grover (assistant defensive line/special teams) to his experienced unit.
- The offensive line will feature two new starters because of graduation and it appears as if sophomore Jim Scully (Silver Lake, Wis.) and junior Josh Ullmann (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) have the inside track for those openings. Meanwhile, seniors Nick Smith (Cudahy, Wis.) and Sean Jones (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) return to anchor the guard positions, and junior Ben McKay (Hebron, Ill.) moves to center after playing tackle last season.
- Wenzelburger, along with seniors Dylan Krivoshein (Cedarburg, Wis.) and TJ Nelson V (Fort Myers, Fla.) are going to be relied on heavily as go-to targets at the wide receiver position. The Falcons return half of the receptions from a year ago and need several younger wide receivers to make a name for themselves early in training camp.
- Defensive coordinator Adam Walker didn't send out his No. 1 unit during 7-on-7 drills, but instead elected to give his experienced returners the nod early on. Twice during the skeleton drill (7-on-7 offense versus defense) they forced two whistles, which signifies a sack.
- Waldorf and freshman Luke Zuehlsdorf (Kenosha, Wis.) made impressive plays to deflect away potential first down receptions during the 7-on-7 portion of practice. On the other side of the ball, Wenzelburger made several over the shoulder catches. One wide receiver who stood out was freshman Adam Stewart (Chandler, Ariz.) who made some difficult receptions along the sideline. The big, physical wide receiver has the potential to become a crucial target for Damaschke.
- The quote of the day came from defensive coordinator Adam Walker, who consistently told his defensive backs to get up and "smell his breath" when playing in coverage.