Ever the thinking motivationalist, Kent State football coach Darrell Hazell had one final motivational ploy up his sleeve following Thursday morning’s physically demanding practice at Dix Stadium.
“They were tired and should be tired,” the second-year coach said. “But that’s all a part of football. This is practice number 13 and we hit a lot today. You have to make the hard practices hard so they understand the game’s hard.”
Just as practice appeared to be coming to a close, Hazell had his team split up into groups and run one final lap outside of the stadium. While the players were gone, the school’s sports victory bell was rolled onto the field near Hazell.
When the players returned, Hazell gave a short speech, and then randomly choose eight –players to ring the bell, the sound bouncing around the otherwise empty stadium.
It didn’t matter who he chose to ring the bell, the main significance was thast it was rung eight times.
“I didn’t have anybody in mind to ring the bell,” he said. “But if we’re able to get eight (wins), a lot of great things are gonna happen for this football team…It’s the victory bell, and when (we) win a football game here, we’re gonna ring that bell. So I wanted them to hear it, want it to echo in their minds constantly in the off season. It’s going to be a lot of work between now and the fall, but this team is capable of good things.”
Flashes offensive coordinator, Brian Rock, pointed to junior college quarterback David Fisher as having his best practice of the spring. Not only did he complete some accurate long passes, but he also “made some good things happen with his feet.”
“The team’s play makers stood out today,” Rock said with a smile. “I like how we look when they do that.”
Hazell pointed to junior center Phil Huff as having his best day of the four-week camp. Huff has the tough assignment of taking over for graduated senior center Chris Anzevino, a former mainstay in the middle of the Flashes’ offensive line.
The Flashes have one final practice Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. before Saturday's 2:30 p.m. spring game.