The University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff football team completed its first week of fall practice with another spirited effort Thursday at Simmons Bank Field.
Hard work and dedication by the players combined with structural changes around the program has second-year head coach Cedric Thomas pleased after the opening week.
"I'm really excited about where we are right now," said second-year UAPB head coach Cedric Thomas. "Both sides of the ball are flying around, and we're also making plays in the kicking game. I can't thank the administration enough for getting our guys here in July which has paid dividends for us. Our retention level high on both sides of the ball, which has allowed us to be smart with our veteran players and work in our newcomers to get additional reps. We are continually getting better."
The intensity of practice continues to heighten as well, as UAPB continues to more toward the Aug. 31 opener at TCU.
"We're flying around being really physical," Thomas said. "We're starting to see some scuffles, but that's what you want to see. When you get tired, the ol' legs get to screaming, and players get frustrated and start pushing and shoving, but at the end of the day, they love each other, and they are competitors."
The Golden Lions were scheduled to host their first fall scrimmage at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
"We're going to put the football down on the turf and run around in a game format," Thomas said.
"I want to see execution on both sides of the ball within the concepts that we have and put a good product on film. I want to see how we operate in game mode with signs and signals within the offensive and defensive units executing as one. They are going to run around and hit as we'll have live tackling and we now they'll be excited about that, but we also want to see them execute concepts at a high level for the duration of the scrimmage and see them transition in and off the field."