Scrimmage will conclude first “week” of spring practice

Eagles will spend half of Saturday’s practice scrimmaging, starting at about 1 p.m.

Now with four practices under its belt, the Eastern Washington University football team will spend half of its practice Saturday (April 10) scrimmaging as the Eagles continue spring football practices which began on March 31.

The Eagles will start practice at noon on the EWU Sports and Recreation Center practice fields, with the scrimmage starting at about 1 p.m. Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin said earlier this week the scrimmage would be approximately 30 plays as the Eagles have only had two practices in pads thus far and just four total in a span of 10 days.

Besides the obvious search for graduation replacements and depth at all positions, Baldwin is hoping Eastern can use the full-contact scrimmages and other practices to improve the team’s tackling ability and physical play. The third-year head has about 75 players participating this spring, including 42 returning letter winners.

The Eagles finished the 2009 season with an 8-4 record and advanced to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the fourth time in the last six seasons. Eastern returns 10 starters from that team -- including five on offense and five on defense, plus a pair of returning players who started nearly half of the season as injury replacements.

However, the Eagles did lose 17 Eagle seniors who combined for 350 starts in their careers, including quarterback Matt Nichols, tight end Nathan Overbay and right tackle Chris Thomas off an extremely prolific offense.


Remaining Practices: Practices take place various days through April 29. Most practices are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (media interviews at approximately 3:45 p.m. or after practice at about 6 p.m.). All practices take place on the EWU Sports and Recreation Center practice fields.

April 10 - Scrimmage, approx. 1 p.m., EWU Sports & Recreation Center Practice Fields
April 13 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 14 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 16 - Practice (no pads), 4 p.m.
April 17 - Scrimmage, approx. 12:30 p.m., Woodward Field
April 20 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 21 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 24 - Red-White Spring Game, 2 p.m., Woodward Field
April 27 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 28 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 29 - Practice, 4 p.m.


Scrimmages: Eastern is also scheduled to scrimmage on Saturday, April 17 (approximately 12:30 p.m.), with locations to be determined based on field conditions. The annual Red-White Game will take place on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash., in conjunction with Killin Weekend at EWU.


Killin Dinner/Dance/Auction: Orland Killin Weekend, which is presented by the Michael Roos Foundation, includes the Coaches Golf Tournament on April 23 and the annual Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction following the Red-White Game on April 24. Besides the presence of former Eagle and Tennessee Titan Michael Roos, this year’s event features host Colin Cowherd, who is a former EWU student and is current an ESPN radio and TV personality. More information on Killin Weekend is available at: and


The Gunslingers: Eastern will take a look at six players this spring competing for the starting quarterback position. Returning letter winners Jeff Minnerly and Scott Burgett are in the mix, as well as 2009 redshirts Nick Gauthier and Anthony Vitto. Minnerly and Burgett are both sophomores, and had 10 pass attempts between them as redshirt freshmen in 2009. Gauthier is a junior who transferred from Bakersfield College in California, and Vitto is a freshman.

A big push for the starting position will come from a pair of transfers -- Bo Levi Mitchell and Greg Panelli. Mitchell played two seasons at Southern Methodist University in Texas where he started all 19 of the games he played. In his career, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Mitchell completed 385-of-676 passes (57.0 percent) for 4,590 yards (241.6 per game) with 36 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. He was also 29-1 as a high school starter at Katy (Texas) High School. Panelli is from Newman, Calif., and Modesto Junior College. The strong-armed, 6-foot-3, 225-pounder passed for more than 5,000 yards and 56 touchdowns at Modesto and twice earned All-Golden Gate Conference honors.

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