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Unique Workout Spotlights Final Practice

April 16, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Unique Workout Spotlights Final Practice
Liberty held a lighter-oriented practice on Friday afternoon at Williams Stadium, as the team worked on unique game-day situations and held a mini "walk thru" for tomorrow's spring game.

The two-hour workout started with head coach Danny Rocco calling a "meeting on the field", where the squad walked through several specialty-type plays. During the spring, Rocco has his squad conduct a considerable amount of punt and field goal work, but very limited amount of punt and kickoff return situations.

"We do mostly drills, as we do very little 11-on-11 punt and kickoff return work," commented Rocco. "Most of the team work during the core of spring practice has been with our punt team and with our field goal units. A lot of special teams situations got drilled out here, but never get touched on the field in group work."

The instructional time allowed Rocco to work on such plays as on-side kicks and surprise on-side kicks, along with fake punt plays and "punt safe" situations. "These are things you don't want to go through the entire spring and never introduce to the kids," continued Rocco, "but you don't necessarily want to be out there executing practice time on these situations or play."

During the second half of practice, Rocco had his white-clad offense on the north end of the field, while his blue-jerseyed defensive units works on the south end of the field. During the later part of practice, offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter and defensive coordinator Tom Clark spent time going over tomorrow's game plan.

The practice ended just before 6 p.m., allowing the team enough time to shower and make the trek off Liberty Mountain, down Candler's Mountain Road over to the Kirkley Hotel, where Liberty held its annual Senior Appreciation Dinner, starting an hour later.

During the event, which is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous season, Liberty's coaching staff and current player honored the winningest senior class in program history. The group posted a combined 32-13 record during their four years at Liberty and were the first senior class in program history to not have a losing season on its record.

Below is a complete list of the 2009 senior class, who was properly honored this evening:
Tommy Beecher
Derek Bishop
Freddie Brown
Wes Cheek
Ian Childress
Mario Cosby
Chuck Duffey
Cameron Gillespie
Tim Hartman
Aaron Hewlett
Trey Jacobs
Dominique Jones
Spencer Landis
Terron Lawrence
Mark Malvaso
Bryan Mosier
Will Quarles
Chris Rocco
Pierre Tinsley
Tim Torrence
Josh Weaver
Paul Young

At the conclusion of the evening and after the senior honors and accolades were heralded, the pinnacle moment of the evening took place, when each member of last year's squad, both senior and underclassmen, were giving their 2009 Big South championship rings. For this year's senior class, it marked the third-straight Appreciated dinner where they walked away with a championship ring.

Now with the celebration of the past season officially behind them, Liberty will turn its attention to tomorrow's spring football game, which kicks off inside Williams Stadium at 1 p.m.

The event, which is a scripted practice where roughly 100 plays will be supervised by Liberty's coaching staff, will pit Liberty's offensive and defensive units against each other. Rocco has created a unique scoring breakdown that rewards each side with points for certain situations.

The offense will receive points for first downs, extra points, two-point conversions, field goals and touchdowns. The defense can make its mark on the scoreboard by virtue of stops on downs, missed field goals, fourth-down stops, sacks, two-point conversion stops, takeaways, three-and-out series and touchdowns. All game situations will be "live", expect for hits on the quarterbacks, who will be wearing red jerseys.

At halftime, Liberty will publicly honor its 22-member senior class from the 2009 team, who helped Liberty to three-straight Big South titles. During the break, Liberty will also name its Samkon Gado Award (most improved) and Luke 2:52 Award (whole-person development) winners, as well as head coach Danny Rocco's captains for 2010.

"I'm expecting to see a really good high energy go out on the field on Saturday," stated Rocco, when asked about what he is looking for from his team on Saturday. "I'm expecting to see playmakers on both sides of the field. "

"Offensively, we have passed the ball with precision this spring, and I expect to do that again on Saturday," continued Rocco. "I one the things that I hope people see out here on Saturday is the speed of the team. I'm hoping the speed of this team will show up on both sides of the football."

"Ultimately, I want to make sure the play is physical on both offense and defense," concluded Rocco. "We don't have many lengthy scrimmages during the spring, like we do during training camp. This will be the most extensive scrimmage of the spring and I'm hoping that it will be the most productive, as well."

Tomorrow's spring game is free of charge and open to the general public. Kickoff for the game is slated for 1 p.m., and the gate will open at 11:30 a.m. Due to the Williams Stadium expansion project, all spring football game activities will take place on the east side of the stadium (student side).

General public access to the stadium will be through the east gate (student gate), and fans are encouraged to park in the LaHaye Ice Center and Liberty Bookstore parking lots for the easiest access to the stadium.

LU Dining/Sodexho will be providing "lunch on the grounds" for all Liberty University students. The box lunch will be free to all students who are on a LU meal plan. For those not on the LU meal plan, including the general public, the box lunch can be purchased for $5.

The Liberty University Flames Club will be holding a catered meal inside of Williams Stadium for all current Flames Club members. The meal will be open to all current Flames Club members and will be located in the Flames Club tents that will be stationed in a private area on the east side of the stadium behind the concession stands.