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YSU FOOTBALL Joe Bishop earns punting role



Published: Tue, August 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The team's placekicker hasn't been decided yet.

By PETE MOLLICA

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

YOUNGSTOWN -- Junior Joe Bishop will be handling the punting duties for Youngstown State football team this fall, but as yet who the team's placekicker still hasn't been decided.

Bishop begins his third season as the No. 1 punter for the Penguins and Monday afternoon in the team's kicking scrimmage Bishop didn't do anything to lose that role.

The battle for place-kicking honors is between a couple of youngsters, redshirt freshman Brian Palmer of Mineral Ridge and true freshman Halley Ferrell of Deland, Fla.

"We've got two young kids with very strong legs battling for the job," said coach Jon Heacock following the scrimmage.

"They both still have a lot to learn, but their leg strength isn't one of our concerns at this point.

Palmer connected on a 48-yard field goal, while Ferrell hit a 47-yarder during the session, which was won by the White team, 18-12.

Veteran

Bishop will be starting for the third straight year.

"Joe's kicking the ball well and he's continuing to work very hard," said Heacock.

Bishop, the 5-10, 195-pound product of Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas High, has been happy with his performance thus far this year.

"Things have been going pretty well so far," Bishop said. "Today I thought I kicked it well and they didn't get much in the way of returns, so I guess I'm doing my job OK."

Bishop kicked 12 times in the scrimmage, with five of them traveling over 40 yards, with the longest being 49 yards. He also kicked three times from his own end zone, averaging just under 35 yards a kick.

"This wind wasn't really a factor; in fact I thought I kicked better into the wind," Bishop said.

"I've really tried to improve on my consistency this season," he added. "Last year I had streaks, where I kicked very well and others when I didn't. I just want to be more consistent."

Place-kicker

Palmer, who was 4-of-9 in field goal attempts during the scrimmage, had two blocked, but Heacock said he needed to see the films to see why.

"I know on the first one someone missed a blocking assignment and Brandon Brown came in easily, but I didn't have a good view of the second one," Heacock said. "But it's a concern."

Ferrell finished 6-of-7 in field goals and also punted four times, including the longest of the session 54 yards. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder kicked once out of his end zone for 44 yards.

The Penguins will hold a single workout today at 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday morning will go through their actual pre-game routine for all the younger players.

"We might practice for a little while, but nothing much," Heacock said.

YSU will take off Thursday before beginning preparations for their season opener. The Penguins meet Slippery Rock Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Stambaugh Stadium.

"We'll practice Friday night following the high school game here and then work out Saturday and Sunday afternoons," he said.

School is scheduled to begin next Monday unless the strikes at the university postpone the opening.

mollica@vindy.com




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