Approximately 49 sophomores and more than 80 freshmen prospects are expected to report to Northeastern A&M College Tuesday for the start of preseason football, according to head coach Rob Green.
Players will participate in registration from noon until 2 p.m. in the lobby of Russell Hall.
“Things have certainly been crazy around here these past three weeks since the July 4th flood got in our facilities,” Green said. “But the workers have done a phenomenal job to turn the field house locker rooms into a magnificent place.”
“Everything has been cleaned, sanitized and painted,” Green said. “It's remarkable the pride and professionalism these workers have shown in getting everything ready to go.
“We're expecting our sophomores to come in with something to prove,” Green said. “With just 17 days until our season opener here with Dodge City, Kan. (7 p.m. on Aug. 25), every second of every day is very significant.”
While Green will serve as head coach and offensive coordinator, Travis Rhatigan begins his second season as defensive coordinator. Other members of the Golden Norse coaching staff are Donnie Bigby, offensive line; Kyle Woods; J. Dee Marinko, receivers; Jarod Green, defensive line and Mac Whitehead, defensive secondary.
Prospective players will start checking into the dorms from noon until 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Following team dinner at 6 p.m. in the college cafeteria, the prospects will participate in a team meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Robertson Field stadium.
“Because of Southwest Junior College Football Conference rules, we can't do anything football-wise the first day,” Green said. “So most of Tuesday is spent getting the kids settled into the dorms, enrolled in college classes and their financial aid taken care of.”
The sophomores will begin workouts in shorts and helmets at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
“It will be interesting to see what kind of physical shape our sophomores come in with,” Green said. “They know what it takes and they understand what we expect, so we'll see.”
After the sophomore practice session, the NEO coaching staff will work out the freshmen starting at 6:30 p.m.
“Our primary focus these first couple of days will be installation of basic offensive, defensive and kicking game formations,” Green said. “We worked on these things during the spring, so we'll see just how much of this they retained over the summer.
“Because it's supposed to be hot all week, another main focus will be our overall conditioning,” Green said. “Optimistically, we hope that he players report in good physical shape. But, we want to get them in better shape.
“Conditioning is always a concern because the sophomores were gone all summer and you don't know what their workout routine has been,” Green said. “There are certain kids that are going to be in shape their whole life, so our main focus will be on our big linemen.
“We're only allowed one practice a day these first three days,” Green said. “So by dividing them up we can go at a different pace with each group. It also allows us a chance to evaluate our freshmen more efficiently.”