JONESBORO (ASU) – The Arkansas State football team continued fall camp Saturday with its second two-a-days, holding a couple of practices at Liberty Bank Stadium that were followed by continued team-building exercises and competitive events the coaching staff has termed the "Red Wolf Olympics."
The Red Wolves were in full pads this morning and returned to the field at approximately 4:30 p.m. this afternoon in shorts and shoulder pads for their second practice. A-State also practiced twice last Wednesday, and head coach Bryan Harsin said he saw improvement over the team's first two-a-days.
"I thought the players did a better job today dealing with and working through the fatigue, both mental and physical, that goes along with two-a-days," said Harsin. "We were able to get some solid work in this morning, and the second practice was pretty good too. For a second practice and where we are in our fall camp, our guys were executing well and the energy level was high."
The Red Wolves' players and coaches both benefit from two-a-days, according to Harsin, as there are elements incorporated into them that are similar to what the staff will see during the course of the season as well.
"There is a sense of urgency and a scramble that goes into two-a-days," said Harsin. "What I like about them is that they're not only for the players, but for the coaches too. You've got to come in and watch film, get prepared for the next practice and then get back on the field again, so there is a scramble in there similar to times during the season when you've got to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time."
The Red Wolves had to work around sporadic weather conditions Saturday, including rain and lightning. The team had to delay its morning practice by 30 minutes due to lightning and while it didn't spend its entire practice in the rain, got some work in under that weather element as well.
"We've had to adjust for the weather some this fall, but it's been pretty good overall and cool enough it hasn't depleted the players energy as much," said Harsin. "You would like to get in some practices in hotter temperatures so the players can become more adapt to working in those conditions, and also so we can get back on the grass (practice fields), but the weather we've had so far has been to our advantage in a lot of ways."
Following the second practice, the team went to Arkansas State University's Convocation Center for its "Red Wolf Olympics." Tonight the team took part in a chili cookoff, the latest in a series of events that has also included a "story race" and home run derby. Prior to the season the assistant coaches drafted teams of players, and the first event was naming the teams that were voted on by a judging panel made up of Harsin, Director of Football Operations Brian Wilkinson and Director of Player Personnel Antwon Murray. The coaching staff thanked Richie Crawford and Wixson Huffstetler for providing the food and cooking for the event.