The month of April was a busy one for the Foresters. As can be hectic in every college student’s life, it is no different for the student –athlete, only add a varsity athletic commitment to finals, end of the year projects, etc.
The Foresters had their annual spring practices this April. The team came into the spring with a lot of work to do. In addition to several new coaches, there was chemistry development between the new coaches and their players. A new offensive coordinator, lead to a quick learning curve for the players who had been entrenched in the same offensive playbook for the last four years.
“Spring ball was a huge advantage for us this year. I remember my first off season at LFC, and we didn’t have spring ball. It put a lot of pressure on our August camp. Not only was it the first time that the players were coached by me, but it was their introduction to our defense. The initial teaching that took place was overwhelming in that small amount of time. With the time that our players had with Coach Arthur this spring, it will be more of a review this upcoming August, rather than an introduction,” said head coach Jim Catanzaro.
The Foresters also found themselves needing to replace several prime components of their offensive attack from the last two seasons. Conference Player of the Year, Al Mitchell, 1st team all-Conference Wide Receiver Austin Sobey, and record setting quarterback Pete Scaffidi have all graduated. There was no shortage of players trying to replace them in the spring competitions.
|Mike Lewis hands the ball of to Joey Valdivia|
against Illinois College in 2012.
“Mike Lewis really entrenched himself as the starting quarterback. He will still have to win the August competition, but he really stepped up and established himself as “the guy” coming back in August. At the running back spot, we return Senior Alec Howe and Sophomore Joey Valdivia. These two guys are outstanding and their running styles are extremely complimentary to each other. The other thing that really excites me is the incoming running backs in our recruiting class have run for over 10,000 yards in their combined prep careers. As for the receiver position, we really saw a lot of hard work out there. Vidas, Rantis, and Burns really stood out from the freshman class. Mike Peters did a great job showing the younger players how to go through the spring ball practices. I am excited that with a summer of training, they will continue to polish things up for the 2013 season,” said Catanzaro.
|The team after the Benny Watters Mini-Golf Tournament|
yelling "Fly Benny Fly"
The Foresters finished Spring Workouts with the 2nd Annual Benny Cup in honor of Benny Watters, the Foresters Adopted Teammate through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The Lumberjacks leadership board team won this year’s competition. Their prize, in addition to the annual trophy, was breakfast at Egg Harbor Café compliments of the Watters family.
“I love this event. Our guys did a great job honoring Benny today. It was great weather, which makes us know that the Benny was watching over us,” said Catanzaro.
|The Lumberjacks, with Brendan Watters and a |
cut-out of Benny Watters , and the championship trophy.
The Forester kick off the 2013 season on September 7th against Concordia University- Chicago. This game will also serve as the Benny Watters Memorial Game.