Panthers Ready To Get Back To Work For Spring Ball
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // February 21, 2015
'spring ball is a great chance to see the younger guys'
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.
Head coach Steve Englehart and company open spring practice this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with a great deal of excitement.
Held at the Varsity Training Center, Saturday’s opening practice will be the first of 14, concluding with Florida Tech’s annual spring game on Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m.
All practice sessions will take place at the Varsity Training Center and are open to the public. Fans are encouraged to bring their own chairs.
“It’s all very exciting,” said Englehart.
“I think spring ball is a great chance to see the younger guys and try to build the depth within the team.”
“It’s always good to get back out on the field and compete. At the same time, hopefully the guys have fun. That’ll be one of the main objectives this spring is to have fun, but also come together as a team and continue to get better.”
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.
In a season full of heart-racing finishes, Florida Tech picked up a pair of wins in the closing moments, including a 44-yard Hail Mary pass from Mark Cato to Xavier Milton to defeat Shorter as time expired.
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.
“It’s huge to have those guys back,” said Englehart.
“Those guys have a lot of playing experience, and we don’t have to do a ton of teaching because of that reason. If anything, those guys are helping us teach the younger guys.It’s always good to have experience returning and have guys that have been in the program for several years.
I’m looking forward to the 2015 season.”
Florida Tech Spring Football Schedule
Saturday, Feb. 21 – 10:30 a.m. (helmets)
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*