Spring Camp For Cougar Football Arrives


For the overwhelming majority of Cougar Nation, it seems like eons since the Washington State football team defended their home turf by defeating cross-state rival Washington in the 2012 Apple Cup. When time ran out on the Huskies, the brilliant illumination on the scoreboard in Martin Stadium read: WSU 31 – UW 28 That image is permanently etched in the memories of Cougar fans who likely have forgotten everything preceding that glorious victory.

Spring football practice will officially begin Thursday afternoon at 3pm. Make no mistake, every guy on the WSU football roster has been hard at work since the end of last season to prepare for a fresh start.

There will be 43 student-athletes returning as lettermen from last year’s AC champions.

The practice schedule presently has the team practicing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from March 21st through April 23rd. Don’t be surprised if second-year Coach Mike Leach adjusts that predictable pattern. It wouldn’t be the first or last time Coach Leach changed things up for the benefit of developing his team.

Eight starters on offense will be in camp. Two of those front line players earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2012. Senior Elliott Bosch developed into a leader for the offensive line at center. He was one of basically six guys who tried to learn how to play OL in Leach’s Air Raid scheme that calls for wide spacing across the line. More times than not, that on-the-job training was painful to watch and equally frustrating for players to learn. Sophomore wide receiver Brett Bartolone was recognized for his ability to run crisp routes inside and displayed sure hands when the ball was thrown in his direction. Bartolone will be joined by the other three starting receivers from last year’s Apple Cup champs.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of last season’s squad was the development and performance of the defensive unit. Expect to see continued improvement this spring from a group led by eight players who started the final game of last year. Leading the way for the Cougar D will be senior safety Deone Bucannon. Bucannon earned second team All-Pac-12 in 2012 while amassing 100 tackles, the first Cougar to do so since 2006. He’ll be joined by sophomore defensive lineman Xavier Cooper and linebackers junior Cyrus Coen and sophomore Darryl Monroe who all return after earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention accolades last season.

Coach Leach is almost exclusively recognized as an offensive genius. Yet last season the one area of performance where Cougar football excelled was getting to opposing quarterbacks. Washington State ranked 11th nationally in average sacks per game.

Most will follow spring football reading online stories. For serious Cougar fans there will be an enhanced opportunity to see where this team is heading and assess their progress for yourself.

Open your calendar app and enter this event now. The annual Crimson and Gray Game will be held April 20 at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane at 2 p.m. and this year be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. That’s right. For those unable to visit the Lilac City for the final scrimmage of spring ball, plan to tune in on the Pac-12 Network.

Are you ready for some football?

Washington State University 2013 Spring Practice Schedule

Thu, March 21….3 p.m.
Sat, March 23…..TBD
Tue, March 26….3 p.m.
Thu, March 28….3 p.m.
Sat, March 30…..TBD
Tue, April 2……..3 p.m.
Thu, April 4……..3 p.m.
Sat, April 6………TBD
Tue, April 9……..3 p.m.
Thu, April 11……3 p.m.
Sat, April 13…….TBD
Tue, April 16……3 p.m.
Thu, April 18……3 p.m.
Sat, April 20……2 p.m. (Crimson and Gray Game)
Tue, April 23…..3 p.m.