SPRING FOOTBALL Injuries mount for YSU program
An already-thin defensive line took another hit.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Injuries have always been a part of college football and this spring is no different for Youngstown State.
The Penguins completed their 11th of 15 scheduled spring practices Wednesday and the injury list of those players who won't take part in next week's spring game grew to 11.
YSU began spring drills knowing that five players from last season wouldn't take part.
Junior defensive back Jake Godec was diagnosed with colitis and will miss the entire 2003 season. Wide receiver Philip Larmon (hamstring), defensive back Wayman Peters (hamstring) and defensive back Pat Reece (ankle) all knew before practice started they wouldn't participate.
Senior center Nick Roberts was limited to just some weekend practices because of academics and is not expected to play in the spring game.
Since spring practice began, the Penguins have lost sophomore quarterback Aaron Marshall (fractured ankle), senior tailback Mike Burns (shoulder) and defensive tackle Nate Baston (knee sprain), all probable starters.
Also suffering injuries were wide receiver Jim Smith (hamstring), defensive back Tyler Morton (broken hand) and college transfer Matt Porter (hip pointer), who was making quite an impression on the defensive line. Porter went down Wednesday.
"Injuries happen and there's not much you can do about them," said YSU coach Jon Heacock. "You can only be thankful that they are in the spring and they still have a lot of time to get healthy before the fall.
"The way these kids have been hitting each other, we're probably fortunate that we don't have more injuries," he added. "But on one hand you hate to see anybody get injured, but then it gives somebody else more playing time."
The injuries to Baston and Porter hurt an already thin defensive line.
Sophomore offensive lineman Nick Limongi of Niles was moved to defensive line this week to help out that situation.
The team held a full workout Wednesday, finishing up with a short scrimmage.
On the positive side
The two quarterback candidates, senior Luis Gonzalez and junior Matt Rycraft, were both impressive, as was sophomore running back Josh Cayson.
The kicking candidates, junior transfer Nick Terracina and freshman redshirt Joe Bishop, held a kick-off.
Terracina made one field goal from 42 yards into the wind, then converted a 57-yarder with the wind and just missed from 60 yards.
The next workout will be Friday afternoon, then a jersey scrimmage Saturday at 9:15 a.m. at Stambaugh Stadium.
There will be a workout Monday before the spring game Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The teams for the spring game will be selected Monday at the Bob Dove Spring Luncheon. That will be held at the DeBartolo Club at noon.