Archive For The “Preseason” Category
(Photo Credit: New Hampshire Union-Leader)
It’s easy to tune in to college football coverage at the beginning of fall practices, to see the accolades like preseason all-America teams and preseason all-Conference teams and not think about all the hard work that has been put in to prepare for the upcoming season.
Try telling that to the family of senior WR Troy Pelletier, though.
“My family is in New Hampshire and my parents are able to make almost every game,” he told me my email. “[But] with my summer job and my commitment to the offseason workout program, I have only been able to spend four days at home since the past Christmas break.”
Football players “appreciate the recognition” of preseason awards and nominations, senior OL Zach Duffy told me last week, but they also understand that most fans also don’t see or appreciate the amount of work it takes to become the best football players they can be when there’s no crowds, no reporters, and no crazy fans around.
It’s almost here – the 2016 football season.
On August 8th, the Lehigh football team finished their offseason testing and officially started in with the incoming freshman class.
Head coach Andy Coen was very impressed with the 20 new faces of the incoming class.
“It’s always a huge for the freshmen coming from high school to college but I think that group of kids did a really good job,” he told LehighSports.com. “I was really impressed that we didn’t have as many mental mistakes, especially the young guys,” he continued. “That’s always good to see. The guys are keeping their faces in the playbook, learning and trying to get better.”
So what will Lehigh Nation be looking at during the 2015 preseason?
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The spectators at tonight’s scrimmage couldn’t have missed the emotion coming from the sidelines.
Sure, it was a practice, not a game situation, but as Lehigh was practicing its red zone defense, the sidelines – darkened somewhat by the lights, which had gone out briefly as the sun set in the Lehigh Valley – was loud.
The defense was behind each other, as a unit, rallying their Brown shirts to deny the offense a chance to punch the ball in the zone.
It was more than a passionate tweak at the day’s competition, the White-shirted offense. It seemed like it signified that they were ready to take on all comers.
The defense stopped the offense in the Red Zone once again, and it felt good – for both the defense and the fans gathered on a beautiful summer evening, a cool breeze blowing through the Whitehead practice fields.
If it’s late May, it’s magazine season.
With the season still three months away – the official kickoff to the FCS football season, North Dakota State at Montana, will be happening on August 29th on ESPN – the big way to whittle away the time is to look at the many FCS Top 25’s that are getting published in airport reading material such as Athlon and The Sporting News.
Preseason Top 25’s are not right or wrong – they’re just one sportswriter’s opinion on the top teams going into the season.
So I figure, I’ve got as good as opinion as anyone else – so why don’t I post my Top 25 here, and let people read that when they go on an airplane this summer and head to the beach, the lake, or wherever their hearts take them?
So here we go: My preseason Top 25, from No. 25 to No. 1. As a added, free bonus, you’ll learn exactly why I put each team where I did.
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Once upon a time, Lehigh’s football team was many preseason pundits’ consensus No. 1 in the Patriot League. It wasn’t even a question.
Sure, some of that was due to the fact that Fordham, now for the first time in years an full, card-carrying member of the Patriot League, was ineligible.
But in 2010 and 2011, Lehigh was the undisputed king, with wins over their Rivals, undisputed Patriot League championships, and even playoff victories against Northern Iowa and Towson.
This season, it’s a new team with a dynamic offense and a team loaded with talent that is the undisputed champion going into the 2014 season. With one of the best FCS quaterbacks in the nation, QB Michael Nebrich, and a talented defense backing them up, the Rams now have the targets on their backs.
And if Lehigh hopes to stand a chance to challenge the new kings of the hill, they will have to improve immensely on the defensive side of the ball.
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