September 14, 2007

Sprints Begin Title Defense Against Penn

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Repeating success tends to be hard. It will probably be even harder for this year’s sprint football team, which will have to overcome the loss of last year’s impressive senior class that helped it win a CSFL title.
“There is no pressure [to repeat], this is a completely new team,” said head coach Terry Cullen. “We lost 25 seniors last year, and it was probably the strongest senior class in the history of the program.”
The squad returns players at some of its skill positions, however.
“The good thing about this year is the quarterback is back, the linebackers are back and our wide receiver is back,” Cullen said.
Lining up at quarterback is second-year starter and junior, Zak Dentes, senior linebackers Jason Remillard and Cameron Johnson and at wide receiver junior Michael Brennan will be the split end.
On the defensive side, Cullen’s staff has coordinated with Jim Knowles ’87 to incorporate a blitzing 4-2-5 formation. The team will run a shotgun option offense — one similar to the one Ryan Kuhn ran when lining up with the varsity squad three years ago.
Gone from last year’s squad is running back Mike Fullowan, a player the Red has found hard to replace.
“We definitely do not have anyone in Mike’s league,” Cullen said.
Expecting to replace Fullowan’s production will be junior Matt Malleo and senior tri-captain Glenn Palmer. But the running duties will not be restricted to the running backs only.
“We are option team, we run the quarterback and we have three of them that can run,” Cullen said. “We like to throw out of the play action.”
The wildcard will be junior tailback Ade Adesida, the fastest player on the team.
“Once he gets down the field, you are not going to catch him,” Cullen said. “He is the fastest player in the league, I believe.”
Adesida is currently struggling with a sprained ankle, but should see reps on his return.
Tonight, the sprints will take on Penn, and despite having won the league title last season, likely come into the cotest as underdogs.
“The league is very tough, both service academies are loaded and I think Penn will be too,” Cullen said.
It will be even harder due to the fact that the team has not had much time to prepare for the upcoming season.
“We only get 15 practices and the big guys [the men’s varsity team] gets 31, so we are really felling out our way,” Cullen said.
Senior outside linebacker Cameron Johnson will be one of the few expected to lead the Red into tonight’s game.
“We tried to make the most of practices,” Johnson said. “We weren’t able to prepare as much as we want to physically, but we just got to prepare mentally.”
John­son and last year’s CSFL Player of the Year, Jason Remilllard, will work double shifts, mainly as outside linebackers and also as wide receivers.
“I am going to do what we need to do to win,” Johnson said. “Playing wide receiver is kind of fun.”