Cardinals hard at work during preseason camp
WASHINGTON – The CUA football team is nearly one week into preseason camp and working hard in preparation for its season opener in two weeks. The Cardinals reported to campus on August 13, went through testing and meetings the next day, and on August 15 CUA hit the practice field for the first time.
"The start of camp has been good for us," sixth year Head Coach Dave Dunn said. "We've gotten a lot of good work done so far. We have the bulk of our skill guys back on both sides of the ball, so they were pretty much up to speed after one or two practices. After that it's about getting our younger guys up to speed with playing college football; it's become a bit of a grind for those guys, we're starting our days at 7 in the morning and getting out of our last meeting at 11 at night."
Among the skill players CUA brings back on offense are quarterback Greg Cordivari, running back Mike Pitsenberger and wide receiver Alonzo Cooke.
Cordivari started all 10 games under center for the Cardinals last season and threw for 2,205 yards and 20 touchdowns during that time. Pitsenberger, the 2010 ODAC Rookie of the Year, had a strong first season in the red and black, rushing for 901 yards and an average of 100.1 per game. Cooke meanwhile was CUA's top playmaker, hauling in 47 passes for 856 yards, good for an average of 18.2 yards per catch.
On defense CUA returns a number of players that saw plenty of time last year, including Conor Stueckler, who amassed 48 tackles in 2010, and Alex King, who received All-ODAC honorable mention accolades after totaling 23 tackles, including 5.5 for loss.
One area that CUA will look to address during camp is the offensive line. Four starters were lost to graduation, including three-time all-conference performer Rich Brennan, so Dunn is looking for some of the younger Cardinals to step up.
"We have a bunch of young guys who are working hard at that position," Dunn said. "We've had great competition there; Sean Fryer is our lone returning starter and Ethan Metelenis has started some in the past, so those guys are going to be the anchors of the line. The other three spots are wide open and we have about 11 guys fighting for those three spots."
CUA will practice in the morning on Friday, while on Saturday the team will scrimmage for the first time.
The Cardinals kick-off their 2011 season on Saturday, September 3 when they travel to face the Green Terror of McDaniel. Game time is slated for noon.
See what Coach Dunn said about the Cardinals first few practices below.