WMU News

Spring football scrimmage set for Saturday

April 11, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University football team will close spring drills with the Brown & Gold intrasquad game slated for this Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m. in Waldo Stadium.

Head Coach Gary Darnell has implemented a new format for this Saturday's scrimmage. Earlier this week, the coaching staff divided the senior class into two teams. The seniors, in turn, conducted a draft to complete their squads. In past years, WMU's top unit faced the remaining balance of the team.

By having evenly-divided teams, Darnell feels the Broncos can accomplish their spring game goals: "From a competitive standpoint, the players wanted it this way," he said. "It doesn't divide up the team into an 'us' versus 'them' scenario so much. Our goal is to always make this game competitive, safe and fun."

While the spring game is an ideal time for players to make an impression, several starting jobs are still expected to be open come training camp in August. "Saturday's game is a starting point for training camp," said Darnell. "When we begin workouts in August, it will be a continuation of spring practice. At this point, nothing is final. Our quarterback situation won't be decided until the first game of the season."

WMU's running game will be a focal point Saturday as senior Charles Woods has decided not to return for next season. Woods, who will graduate this summer with a degree in criminal justice, was in line to gain an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. Woods was the team's second-leading rusher last season with 323 yards (3.4 avg.) in eight games. He also led the team with four rushing touchdowns and finished second in scoring (30 points).

Woods' departure leaves junior Philip Reed (team-high 539 yards in 2001), along with redshirt freshmen Daniel Marks and Trovon Riley, as the leading candidates to start in the backfield next fall.

Saturday's game will feature 12-minute quarters with a running clock that is stopped under normal NCAA rules in the final two minutes of each half. The scrimmage is scheduled to take no longer than an hour, 15 minutes.

The losing team will once again wash cars on Sunday, April 14, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the front of the Bill Brown Alumni Football Center. All donations will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Kalamazoo.

Due to construction of the Donald "J" Seelye Athletic Center adjacent to Waldo Stadium, fans attending the Brown & Gold Game are encouraged to park at Ebert Softball Field or Lots 10 and 95 atop Oliver Street hill.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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