2022 Soccer Spring Training Blog
On Friday March 11, Temple Football held the first of 15 allocated spring training sessions, the first under the new head coach Stan Drayton. Spring 2022 will culminate with the Cherry & White Spring Game to be held at Edberg Olson Hall on Saturday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m.
OwlSports.com will post a blog of each practice along with videos of the players and/or coaches made available to the media on those days. Please come back throughout the spring to follow your Temple Owls.
Friday March 11
Head Temple Trainer Stan Drayton celebrated his birthday by living his best life – standing on the football pitch and instructing young men as the 2022 Temple Owls took to the grill for the first time. It was only a coincidence that the first head coach’s birthday fell on the first day of practice, but Temple fans are hoping this is just the start of a good lineup for their Owls.
After spending the past two months learning a new system, Drayton said players are overthinking it right now, but once they learn where they need to be, they’ll play much faster and succeed.
The practice started with great energy. Chris Fenelonthe head strength and conditioning coach, got the team started from the front lines to start on day 1. One of the positives was DL Xach Gill, who missed all of last season through injury. He returned to the field and broke a screen pass. Muheem McCargowho moves from linebacker to safety, skipped a route and went down with an interception in 7-on-7 drills. QC D’Wan Mathis and WR Jose Barbon showed some chemistry on several occasions, including a 30-yard touchdown reception.
After practice, the team serenaded Drayton and sang Happy Birthday.
Saturday March 12
On Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day, despite the rain, sleet, hail and snow, nothing stopped the Temple football team from delivering a solid practice in front of dozens of corps members. Temple faculty and staff and more than 80 recruits. The weather proved to be a test today, both physically and mentally, and the Owls earned passing marks.
Physically there is room for improvement as the conditions made hands and feet slippery. On a series separated by a single game, security Dae Sean Winston picked up a pair of fumbles that he returned for touchdowns. However, quick cuts helped a pair of running backs as Trey Blair took a pass down the left side and quickly passed the defense for 55 yards. Newcomer Darvon Hubbard also broke a 25-yard run.
The team scored high on the mental execution of the practice. The weather was rough at times, forcing guests to watch most practice from inside Edberg Olson Hall, but the players emptied it and remained focused throughout the two-hour session.
tuesday march 15
The third day of Spring Ball was sunny, a welcome change from Saturday’s snowy day. The biggest change, however, was that this was the first pad practice for Stan Draytonthe team, and the pads were popping.
The team showed a lot of energy and competitiveness throughout training and the hits only increased the energy.
The sun wasn’t the only thing shining today because Malik Cooper, making a return to wide receiver after spending last year at running back, shone in the 7-for-7 drill. 55 yard score. He also did a one-handed grab on the sideline to complete the drill.
Under the center, D’Wan Mathis and Mariano Valenti looked very sharp in their quarterback drills. They both made impressive deep passes to wide receivers Jose Barbon, Amad Anderson Jr.and Zae Bainesin addition to Cooper.
Before training, Drayton mentioned that the tight end position had developed depth with three players – James Della Pesca, David MartinRobinsonand Jordan Smith – compete at a high level. He also said the defensive line was a bright spot in the early spring.
Thursday March 17
On St. Patrick’s Day, even though the quarterbacks wore green, luck seemed to be with the defense. This unit held its own during running drills, with defensive ends Jordan Laudato and Layton Jordan make remarkable plays on the line of scrimmage.
On a rainy day, the elements didn’t slow the defense down as it was also raining interceptions. defensive back Jalen Ware jumped an exit lane to intercept a pass. Transfer linebacker Jacob Hollins added to turnovers with a pick-six to him on a deep crossing route. In 7v7 drills, the defensive backs, Alex Odomeand Dominica Hill played tight coverage and deflected passes.
After a very energetic practice, it was only right to end it on a high note. defensive end Dyshier Clary put a stamp on the defense’s performance with a practice-ending interception.
The entire defense heard Coach Drayton’s call to action loud and clear: get the ball.
Saturday March 19
On a glorious football Saturday, nearly 200 scouting guests watched the team perform morning drills.
The defense shone again in the third segment down. Kobe Wilson backs up to cover and intercepts a pass. While the linebackers Lambumba Howard Jr. and Audley Isaacs added with impressive pass breakups.
In Stan DraytonDuring the introductory press conference, he mentioned that there is an open door policy for past winners. That proved true today as a handful of former owls showed up for practice. These players included Atlanta Falcons center Matt Hennessy, 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl MVP Chris Coyer, Kareem Ali, and recent graduates Ra’von Bonner, Freddie Johnson, Tayvon Ruleyand Amir Tyler..
Drayton emphasized in the post-workout huddle how impressed he was with the team’s enthusiasm and competitiveness. A few live tackle drills and the presence of extra spectators only seemed to increase the energy.
tuesday march 22
From the third week of training, there were several live drills. Offense and defense spent various drills trading explosive plays back and forth.
On the defensive side of the ball, transfer linebacker Jacob Hollins and defensive end Darian Varner bags saved in full team drills. In third practice period, linebacker/safety hybrid Muheem McCargo picked up a pass for the first turnover of the day.
The attack also had the opportunity to shine. Strategist D’Wan Mathis made several touchdowns during the red zone drill. On his first score, Mathis unfolded to his flippant side and ripped a solid pass to the receiver De’Von Fox for a touchdown. Then he found the tight end Magnus Geer on the sidelines for a touchdown. However, perhaps the play of the day came when the quarterback Mariano Valenti perfectly placed a ball to the wide receiver Shekuna Kamara who made an outstanding one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone.
The defense however finished with the upper hand in the defensive end Layton Jordan picked up a strip fumble, bringing it home to close out practice.
Thursday March 24
Spring training felt more like winter training today as players and coaches had to play in the cold and rain. Stan Drayton previously mentioned that the defensive line impressed from the start of this camp. This proved true today as the defensive front continued to fight in the trenches.
In the third live exercises, it was raining bags. Defensive tackles Jerquplane Mahone and Demerick Morrisdefensive side Dyshier Claryoutside linebacker, Layton Jordan each added to the narrative. In live running exercises, Yvandy Rigby found a running back to the outside making an impressive tackle for the loss.
The defense also had a handful of takeouts. The first from security Dae Sean Winston in the 1-on-1 drill. The second came from a strip fumble by linebacker Kobe Wilson and recovered by cornerback Keyshawn Paul in live exercises.
While the defense stood out most of the day, the offense was able to trade punches in the final session from the red zone.
All in all, Dayton told the team to “Run, Punch and Have Fun”, and that’s what they did today.
|Friday March 11||Practice 1||Stan Drayton (video)|
|Saturday March 12||Practice 2||Stan Drayton (video)|
|tuesday march 15||Practice 3||Stan Drayton (video)|
|Thursday March 17||Practice 4||Stan Drayton (video)|
|Saturday March 19||Practice 5||Stan Drayton (video)|
|tuesday march 22||Practice 6||Stan Drayton (video)|
|Thursday March 24||Practice 7||Stan Drayton (video)|
|Saturday March 26||Practice 8||Stan Drayton|
|Tuesday 29 March||Practice 9|
|Thursday, March 31st||Practice 10|
|saturday april 2||Practice 11|
|Tuesday, April 5||Practice 12|
|Thursday, April 7||Practice 13|
|friday april 8||Practice 14|
|saturday april 9||Cherry & White Spring Game|