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August 18, 2011

Football Practice Report: First Scrimmage Friday, Arizona Game Hotel Deals and Practice Notes

Photos by Matt Howdeshell, NAU Football

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona football team will hold its first live scrimmage Friday starting at 11 a.m. on the Practice Fields south of the Walkup Skydome. The scrimmage is open to the public unless weather forces the practice inside.

"We just want to bring enthusiasm and effort," said safety Taylor Malenfant of the scrimmage. "We want to put all the things we have been working on together. We have to bring the positional work into the 11-on-11 scrimmage."

The Lumberjacks are planning on running 45-50 plays in the scrimmage. The scrimmage will include punt, field goal and point-after special teams reps. The first-team group is expected to get 10-12 reps.

Newcomer Jake Hess said the first scrimmage has a lot of importance.

"The first scrimmage is always a big one," said Hess, who transferred from Boise State. "It is the one where all the guys are going to start showing up and see the true starters. The first scrimmage is important because it will what the coaches go off on (determining) who they want to play."

The Lumberjacks will be conducting their 14th practice of the fall camp on Friday.

"We are trying to get fundamentally better each day," said Souers.

Team Bonding via Bowling..

As an effort to promote team unity, the NAU staff has created a team competition series for fall camp. The groups competing have been created by the coaching staff and were distributed across all positions as well as being divided between newcomers and returners. This allows group members to connect and interact with members of the football team they usually might not know or even talk to. A certain contest might involve a quarterback working very closely with a defensive lineman, cornerback or special team player, to complete the task at hand. There are 10 groups made up of two seniors who serve as captains, seven other players from throughout the team, and one coach.

The team led by Brian Riley and Alec Hutton won the bowling competition earlier this week.

"It means a lot to me and shows the coaches respect me and see me as a leader," said Hutton about being selected to be one of the team captains. "It is really nice to see everyone come together and try something new. We are learning different people and positions. Even though I did the worst at bowling it is still a lot of fun."

The entire competition series is made up of five different contests involving various skills. The winner of each contest gets 100 points, and the winning team at the end of the competition is deemed the winner, and earns bragging rights.

The first competition of the series was a name remembering game where every member of the group had to remember the other group member's names within a limited amount of time and recite them in front of the entire team. Every group aced this first competition and therefore, heading into bowling all teams were virtually tied.

Arizona Game Tailgate Information and Hotel Deals…

Join us in Tucson for the NAU vs. U of A game and tailgate this Labor Day weekend! The fun takes place Saturday, September 3, 2011, starting at 4pm at the McKale Center, North Lawn (On the mall, south of University Blvd & west of Campbell Ave).

Tailgate: $15 adults/$7 children (12 & under) R.S.V.P. for the tailgate at 888-RSVP-NAU by August 26th.

Game - 7:00 p.m. kickoff: $15 adults/$10 children & NAU students Call (928) 523-5353 for game tickets.

**Special hotel discount rates available!!**

Tucson Marriott University Park is offering a special rate of $89 + tax for Friday (Sept. 2) and Saturday (Sept. 3) plus $69 for Sunday night (Sept. 4) if you book now. Details HERE!!

The Omni Tucson National Resort is also extending a special discount rate for the weekend of $89 + tax per room (single or double). $25 per person additional charge for each adult over two adults per room. Resort fee waved. Rate available Friday (Sept 2), Saturday (Sept 3), and Sunday (Sept 4) nights. Must book by Friday, August 19th. To book call  1-800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) and reference the `NAU Alumni Association' special discount rate.

Muay Thai...

The kickers have worked in some new kicking drills during practice working with their strength and conditioning coaches. They work a series of kicks in the drill against a bag including an IT band kick right above the knee, a rib cage kick and, for some flexibility, they do a head kick  to get their hips into it and get as much power and force coming out of their foot as possible.

"The Muay Thai kicks help get their hips initiated so the power comes from their hips," said Strength and Conditioning Coach Cody Hodgeson. "They can use their clean and squat into their foot instead of just swinging their leg. They get an approach with all of their kicks. They also get to have a little emotion when they kick me because I am the one the tortures them."

The Lumberjacks return both place kicker Matt Myers and punter/kickoff specialist Drew Zamora in 2011. Both earned All-Big Sky Conference honors last season and placed among the leaders in the NCAA last season.

Picture of the Day…Assistant Coach Charles Huff was part of the winning team at the bowling competition.

 

Video of the Day…

Today's video installment includes the highlights from the Southern Utah, Eastern Washington, Montana State and Montana games last season via the NAU Athletics You Tube page.

 

Next Practice…The Lumberjacks will hold two practices on Saturday at 10:30-12:30 p.m.and 5-7 p.m.