Aug. 19, 2004
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington football team practiced twice Thursday in their fourth day of a week-long stay at fall camp at The Evergreen State College in Olympia. The morning workout, in helmets and shoulder pads, was conducted in nearly ideal weather conditions as the early cloud cover and morning air provided a climate that would be the envy of almost any college football team in the country right now as most squads slog it out in the late-summer heat that blankets most of the nation. The clouds did, however, burn off and gave way to a sunny day. Among those in attendance at practice Thursday were former Washington head coach, assistant coach and player Jim Lambright as well as current men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar and assistant Ken Bone. The day also featured a visit from UW flagship radio station KJR-AM as hosts Dave "Softy" Mahler and David Locke each conducted their shows from near the practice field. While the actual practices were running during most of the six hours of live coverage, both hosts were able to spend time with a number of players and coaches. Mahler was joined on the air by former Husky quarterback and sometime co-host Hugh Millen. Coach Romar and Coach Lambright also joined Mahler for a few minutes. In comparison to the morning weather, the afternoon was downright hot as no clouds were in evidence and the temperature rose into the 80s. Nonetheless, with full pads on, the team went full bore. The second half of practice largely consisted of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills as the offense and defense faced off in near game-like conditions. Among the highlights of the 7-on-7 period (backs & receivers vs. linebackers and secondary) were a nice touchdown pass from tight end Dash Crutchley and interceptions from cornerback Matt Fountaine and safety Dashon Goldson. The team then proceeded to some goalline work before the third and fourth units got some work to close out the session. The highlight of that period was a crushing hit from redshirt freshman safety Chris Hemphill. Coach Keith Gilbertson provided some injury updates, noting that defensive lineman Donny Mateaki and tailback Chris Singleton returned to action after brief layoffs. He also noted that captain and linebacker Joe Lobendahn will return to full duty Friday. Gilbertson also was praiseful of sophomore Kenny James. "Kenny is having a good camp," he said. "He's a really good north-south runner. There's no doubt he's the starting tailback right now." Gilbertson went on to commend redshirt freshman Louis Rankin, who he said is pushing hard for the second-string spot. With Charles Frederick sitting out a few days with an ankle sprain, Gilbertson said that his young corps of receivers is making strides in terms of taking advantage of that absence and making an impact. While commending several other wideouts, Gilbertson noted, "Anthony Russo has probably been our most consistent guy in terms of making catches and getting up-field. Friday, it's back to a one-a-day schedule, with special teams walk-throughs in the morning and a full practice in the afternoon. After one full-scale session Friday, the Dawgs will work out two final times in Olympia on Saturday before loading the buses to head back to Seattle. Don't forget: the season gets underway on a Sunday this year as Fresno State visits Husky Stadium, Sept. 5. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m.