March 29, 2001
Charlottesville, Va. -
The Cavaliers open their spring football practice period Friday (March 30) under the guidance of new head coach Al Groh and his staff.
Groh and company welcome 40 returning lettermen, including 11 offensive and defensive starters and both kicking specialists, for spring drills.
Returning starters on offense include offensive linemen Jermese Jones, Josh Lawson and Evan Routzahn, wide receiver Billy McMullen and tailback Antwoine Womack. Defensive starters expected to return include defensive backs Jerton Evans and Shernard Newby, and linemen Monsanto Pope, Darryl Sanders, Ljubomir Stamenich and George Stanley. Punter Mike Abrams and place-kicker David Greene are also slated to return.
"It is time to find out if the coach can do anything but talk. Obviously, we are looking forward to going on the field with the players," said Groh. "That is what we came here for, to coach the team and work with the players, so we finally get the opportunity to do that Friday afternoon. I know I speak for all the coaches when I say we are very anxious to do that."
Groh coached the New York Jets to a 9-7 record last season and was named to replace the retired George Welsh on December 30, 2000.
One twist Groh has added is the opening of several practices to fans. The team's first four practices this weekend (Friday-Monday) will be open to fans. Fans are asked to pick up a pass from the main football receptionist desk at the McCue Center or from a football office representative at the main gate to the football practice fields (adjacent to the McCue Center). There is limited grandstand seating for fans and it's possible not all fans will be able to attend. In case of inclement weather this weekend, practice will be moved to the U-Hall Turf Field next to the regular practice fields.
The practices on Friday and Monday are scheduled to begin at 3:55 p.m. Saturday's practice is at 1:20 p.m., while Sunday's practice is set for 2:40 p.m.
UVa's spring practice period concludes with its annual spring game on April 21. The spring game is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. and will be played at Kl?ckner Stadium. Admission is free.