The Jacksonville State football team will close out spring practice Thursday at Burgess Snow Field. Instead of the traditional J-Day game with the band, cheerleaders, public address and typical gameday environment, the Gamecocks will hold a practice with a situational scrimmage. The practice is free and open to the public. Head coach John Grass says part of the reason for the change is because of the issues surrounding the March 19th tornado, but they are taking away a lot of positives both on and off the field.
(Hear from Coach Grass in the featured video)
"We wanted to end up and still have our spring scrimmage, just not a full-blown game," head coach John Grass said. "We won't have the Southerners here or the cheerleaders, and we will miss that part of it. It is open to the public, but we don't feel that the timing was right to broadcast a spring game, even though we are back in school and everything is ok."
The Gamecocks have dealt with more than they normally would in a spring season in 2018. After two weeks of practice led into spring break, a March 19 Ef-3 tornado ripped through JSU's campus and the north end of the city of Jacksonville, leaving behind a trail of destruction that Grass and his guys felt the need to help clean up. He beamed with pride when talking about how his team responded to the needs of the campus and community.
The aftermath of the storm forced JSU to lose a practice and a scrimmage, so Grass and his staff needed to use the final practice day of their spring period to evaluate the Gamecocks in practice and situational settings. The new format of Thursday's workout will allow that, as well as an opportunity for the Gamecocks to welcome recruits and families under the lights at Burgess-Snow Field.
(Information courtesy: JSU Sports Information - www.jsugamecocksports.com)