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YSU FOOTBALL Penguins work to overcome inconsistency



Published: Sun, April 6, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Youngstown State will hold a jersey scrimmage Friday at Stambaugh Stadium.

By PETE MOLLICA

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State football coach Jon Heacock knows he might have to make some position changes with his team this spring, but it won't take place this week.

The Penguins went though another rigorous workout Wednesday afternoon on one of the best days, weather-wise, that they've had in the last three years of spring practice.

"It was a good day, all around from the weather to the play of the kids out there," Heacock said. "They worked hard and competed out there, but we still have a long way to go.

"We're not playing well right now, but we're playing hard," he added.

"Basically it's fundamental things that have been going wrong, but I like their attitude and their enthusiasm.

Growing pains

"Just like today on offense, we get sacked twice and then come back and throw a touchdown pass and the same thing on defense, not a whole lot of consistency," Heacock said.

"But a lot of it is youth and they're going to make those mistakes and we have to correct those before the season opens in August," he said. "That's really what spring practice is all about."

A couple of players who have made position switches going into spring practice are looking good, according to Heacock.

Sophomore Mike Andrews from Oldsmar, Fla., who was a safety last season, put on about 20 pounds and is playing the bandit linebacker spot this year.

"For Mike it was a good move, it got him closer to the football and he's been impressive this spring there," Heacock said.

Another position change involved senior Steve Durbin of McDonald, who was a center last season. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder is now a defensive lineman.

"I think that Steve can really help up there, especially since we lost three starters on the defensive front last year," Heacock said.

"He's been looking good there this spring so far."

Testing their trade

Heacock said that there probably will be some more position changes this spring, but not until after Friday's first jersey scrimmage.

"I want these guys to have at least one good scrimmage at the position that they have been working at this spring," Heacock said. "Then after Friday's session we'll do some evaluating and make our decisions from there."

Heacock said that Friday's scrimmage will get underway at 3:30 p.m. and the team would be out for warmup drills at 3 p.m.

YSU also will hold a light no-contact drill on Saturday and then come back with a special teams scrimmage Sunday at 3 p.m.

All the action will be at Stambaugh Stadium.

mollica@vindy.com




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