Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

August 4, 2012

Rams eager to play some football

BLUEFIELD — For all the emphasis on the historic return of football at Bluefield College, several BC players looked at Saturday with a more fundamental thought: “It’s football.”

“It’s great. It’s another opportunity to put the pads on again,” said cornerback Michael Hall of Pulaski, Va. “I think it’ll be a great experience.”

Quarterback Greg Hampton, from Long Island in New York state, arrived at Bluefield after transferring from Alfred State College in New York. He said he did so because “it will give me the opportunity to play. I mean, it’s football. You’ve just got to go out there and play.”

The Dome gymnasium was crowded with blue-shirted players Saturday at mid-afternoon. Each player had to be weighed, before and after practice, to keep track of possible dehydration. The training room was a very busy place. And players lined the balcony overlooking the basketball playing floor.

Lamont Edwards, who graduated from Graham High School slightly more than two months ago, was one of those in line to be weighed in.

“It’s different,” he said of the pre-practice routine, “but, it’s football. It’s something you have to do, so we’re doing it.”

“I’m playing running back up here,” he said. “It’s just something I’m comfortable at. It’s a position where I can progress, and excel.”

Many players were toting the program’s playbook in large white binders. As a quarterback, Hampton must be familiar with the hundreds of formations and their mutations in that binder. He seemed to be taking it in stride.

He said the way to master it is “just read it. Night, morning, just memorize it.” In fact, he said he likes “the way the terminology is used. They want to make it simple for us.”

Head coach Mike Gravier said the complexity will come later.

The first day, he said, is “really just the basics, where we’re teaching them our basic formations, and some of our very early-on plays, [and] defensively just our basic fronts. So the first day is very, very basic, and we’ll keep adding, each day, to that playbook.”

Hall said, “We all got here Friday. [On defense] we’ve just learned alignments, stunts, the calls and audibles. I feel like it’ll be all right. ... It’s kind of all the same. It just takes some getting used to.”

The former Pulaski County Cougar said he is not bothered by the challenges the BC program will face in the Mid-South Conference.

“I think it’ll be good just to be here to build a program, to make some noise, to get people talking about Bluefield College,” he said.

Edwards, the ex-G-Man, took that attitude up a notch when asked about the teams Bluefield will face.

“Just whoever lines up to play, we’re coming for ’em,” he said. “I got a good team around me, and we’ll go from there.”

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

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