March 24, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Prior to Saturday's fourth practice of Wyoming's spring training, head coach Joe Glenn took his Cowboy football team into the Arena-Auditorium.
Why the Double A? The entire squad sang "Cowboy Joe" to the Cowgirl basketball team which was practicing for Sunday's big WNIT showdown with South Dakota State.
That's Joe Glenn.
Family is everything to him, and it doesn't matter whether it's his own, the football team, or the athletic department. He believes in family.
"We're so proud of them for what they have accomplished, and what they are about to accomplish," said the head man following his two-and-a-half hour practice. "We wanted to make sure they knew we were behind them."
A spring snowstorm chased the Cowboys into War Memorial Fieldhouse for Saturday's practice session. "Sure we'd rather be outside, but the weather and being indoors didn't limit us today We got everything done. This old place (the Fieldhouse) still has it," Glenn said. "It's been a great facility for this program for over 50 years. But it won't be long before we'll be in the best facility in the Mountain West Conference. We are looking forward to being in the new indoor."
After the first week of practice Glenn said his Cowboys were "on target". He said that it will take all spring to install everything offensively and defensively. "We've gotten about 25 percent of things in right now. I know some of the young guys are swimming a little bit, but there is more carry over this spring than we've had since we've been here. That has been impressive, and makes things go so much better."
That carry over has made the first four practices fun and productive, the head coach said. "I really like the spirit and attitude of this team," Glenn said. "They come to practice every day ready to work and with a willingness to learn."
He said that is especially true of Wyoming's offensive line. "They have a lot of spunk to them because they are young, and they are excited about it. "We're not as big as we've been, but we seem to be more athletic than we have been in past years.
"Our secondary is a lot the same way. It's not as young as the o-line, but there are some new starters. I like their attitudes. It really helps to have those two veteran corners (senior Michael Medina, Lakewood, Colo., and senior Julius Stinson, Victorville, Calif.). They both have great experience, and are outstanding leaders."
Individually, Glenn had praise for several Cowboys. "Travis Burkhalter (freshman, Eufala, Okla.) has made some great catches at wide receiver. He was a greyshirt who is in the learning process. But we are pleased that he is as athletic as we thought he was.
T.J. Atwater (sophomore corner, Wichita, Kans) and John Prater (senior linebacker Kerrville, Tex.) have played very well so far. They are hungry, and playing with a lot of spirit. In fact, that entire defense is going to be pretty salty," Glenn concluded.
Wyoming didn't go through the first week without some injuries. Defensive tackle John Fletcher (sophomore, Erie, Colo.) fractured the fourth finger on his right hand and could miss the remainder of the spring. It is the same finger he fractured last year. Offensive lineman Erik Kottom (redshirt freshman, Eden Prairie, Minn.) suffered a concussion on Friday, and will miss at least a week. Offensive tackle Nick Brousseau (redshirt freshman, Chippewa Falls, Wis.) tore a tendon in the fourth finger of his right hand. He will have surgery on Tuesday and should return to practice in a week.
Five Cowboys are missing the entire spring as they rehabilitate from various surgeries. Tight end Wade Betschart (senior, Torrington, Wyo., shoulder); tight end Chris Sundberg (junior, Columbus, Mont., elbow); offensive lineman Ryan McKinley, sophomore, Arvada, Colo., foot); linebacker Jake Edmunds (junior, Yoder, Wyo., knee) and offensive tackle Jeff Zimmereman (sophomore, Silt, Colo., ankle, knee).
The Cowboys will resume practice on Monday. They will conduct their first scrimmage of the spring next Saturday at noon.