EMORY, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Football Team will have its final workouts of the spring this weekend. The NCAA allows Division III programs to have 16 practice opportunities over a five-week period in which the teams are permitted to work on the implementation of new offensive and defensive playbooks, technique enhancements and conditioning without contact.
"It's been a productive spring," commented Head Coach Curt Newsome. "I think at this level what you try to get better at is throwing, catching and covering because you really can't work on blocking and tackling."
This spring, the Wasps have spent much of their time working on new offensive and defensive schemes as introduced by new Offensive Coordinator Timmy Chang and Defensive Coordinator Dick Hopkins. In addition to new coordinators, E&H has seen Billy Ray Stutzmann move to the offensive side of the ball where he will coach the receivers. Eric Tilson and Stephon Roberston have joined the program during the winter and will work with the defensive line and linebackers, respectively. Tilson will also handle the Wasps' recruiting efforts.
"We really needed this spring because of the addition of two new coordinators," continued Newsome. "Although we are very similar to what we have been doing there are some nuances – a few little changes – in what we are doing. I wouldn't call them major changes but I think it's important for the players to interact with our new staff."
In addition to the other coaching changes, Josh Wellenhoffer has been promoted to Associate Head Coach. Wellenhoffer, who will be in his 12th season on the E&H staff this fall, will continue to coach with the Wasps' offensive line and coordinate the team's equipment room.
Also during this spring, Emory & Henry has had the pleasure of hosting a young man who is aspiring to be a football coach. Jack Bolton, an 11-year old from Davidson, North Carolina, is in a wheelchair but has not let that fact stop him from pursuing his dream. Click HERE to read about Jack's story.
Coach Doug Blevins, who worked extensively with Jack during his time at Emory this spring, is also being featured in an upcoming Spanish documentary. The documentary tells the story of Jesús Angoy, who kicked for the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football and later the NFL Europe. At the time, Blevins was employed by the League and based in Amsterdam, serving as a consultant for each of the League's teams.
This spring, Coach Newsome and Gary Lester have joined up to record three special episodes of "Keys To The Game." The broadcast can be heard on the air on Tuesday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 26 on 90.7 FM WEHC. The three spring broadcasts and each of the broadcasts from last fall can be found HERE.
"I think we are ahead of the game; we got the 16 practices that we needed, and I think we got better as a football team," Newsome added.
Emory & Henry will open the 2016 season on Saturday, September 3 at long-time rival Ferrum College. The contest between the Wasps and Panthers will be at W.B. Adams Stadium, with kickoff set for 1:00 p.m.
-photo courtesy of Brent Treash '01, E&H Public Relations