VIDEOS: Florida Tech Opens Up Spring Practice
By Zach Clark // February 22, 2015
'Our defensive line is looking really strong'
ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights from the first day of spring practice (Video by Zach Clark, SpaceCoastDaily.com)
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – After making some noise in year two of existence, but falling just short of a playoff berth, the pieces of the puzzle are in place for the Florida Tech Panthers to explode onto the national scene in 2015.
The Panthers worked out in helmets for two hours at the Varsity Training Center Saturday morning.
Saturday’s opening practice was the first of 14 practices scheduled for Spring Ball, leading up to Florida Tech’s annual spring game on Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m.
“Practice went real good for me. It was about getting back to basics and fundamentals,” said returning starting quarterback Mark Cato.
“It was about getting my feet wet again and throw it around to these guys so it was a great day.”
ABOVE VIDEO: Mark Cato speaks to SpaceCoastDaily after practice. (Video by Zach Clark, SpaceCoastDaily.com)
Players To Watch
“I’m seeing T.J Lowder, a wide receiver who is coming in for us. He made a few nice catches and is picking up the offense well,” said Head Coach Steve Englehart.
“Nate McDowell, he really made a impression on me today.”
“Our defensive line is looking really strong, as well.”
“Building depth, that’s the key for me, is to build depth and give guys that didn’t get those reps normally and give them those reps now,” said Englehart.
ABOVE VIDEO: Head Coach Steve Englehart talks about practice and some guys that stood out to him. (Video by Zach Clark, SpaceCoastDaily.com)
All weekday practices are slated for 4 p.m., with the 4:15 p.m. start time on March 17 being the only exception.
In addition, weekend practices are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. besides this Sunday’s 9 a.m. commencement.
Due to spring break, the Panthers will be off the week of March 9.
In 2014, Florida Tech made great strides, producing its first winning season (6-5) in program history.
The Panthers also notched their first victory over a ranked opponent, coming at none other than “Jerry’s World” in Arlington, Texas.
FIT welcomed a combined six mid-year transfers and early enrollees to campus prior to the spring semester.
All six – Demetrius Allen (Western Illinois), Landon Galloway (Air Force Prep), J.J. Keels (South Alabama), T.J. Lowder Jr. (Florida International), Carlby Mendes (Everglades HS) and Henry Montgomery III (Gainesville HS) – are expected to be on the field this spring.
Creating buzz, the Panthers return 16 starters, seven of whom – Manny Abad,
Mark Cato, Matt Garcia, Gabe Hughes, Trevor Sand, J.J. Sanders and Chris Stapleton – were All-Gulf South Conference selections a year ago.
Of those 16, 10 also happen to play on the defensive side of the ball, with middle linebacker Justin Arcune being the only Panther to exhaust his eligibility.
Florida Tech Spring Football Schedule
Sunday, Feb. 22 – 9 a.m. (helmets)
Tuesday, Feb. 24 – 4 p.m. (shells)
Thursday, Feb. 26 – 4 p.m. (full)
Saturday, Feb. 28 – 10:30 a.m. (full)
Sunday, March 1 – 10:30 a.m. (shells)
Tuesday, March 3 – 4 p.m. (full)
Thursday, March 5 – 4 p.m. (full scrimmage)
Tuesday, March 17 – 4:15 p.m. (shells)
Thursday, March 19 – 4 p.m. (full)
Saturday, March 21 – 10:30 a.m. (full scrimmage)
Sunday, March 22 – 10:30 a.m. (shells)
Tuesday, March 24 – 4 p.m. (full)
Thursday, March 26 – 4 p.m. (helmets)
Saturday, March 28 – 2 p.m. (Spring Game)
*Admission is Free*