Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

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Wide receiver Darryl Pitts (88) during a game last season.

GVL Archives

GVL / Archive Wide receiver Darryl Pitts (88) during a game last season.

Brady Fredericksen

It’s been five months since the Grand Valley State University football team wrapped up its 2011 season, and it’s been 13 padded practices since they’ve began working toward their new one in spring practice.

Now, the Lakers stand two days from the culmination of those spring practices with their annual Spring Game on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Due to the on-going renovations at Lubbers Stadium, the game’s location has been shifted to Houseman Field, located in downtown Grand Rapids on the corner of Houseman Avenue NE and Fountain Street NE.
The game, which will give fans a chance to see the Lakers in action one last time this year, will showcase a number of players who may not have seen the field much during the regular season, but have performed well in the spring.
“I think it’s less about the guys we know can make plays and more about some of the younger players in our program,” said head coach Matt Mitchell. “Guy like Charles Johnson, who led our team in receiving last year, I don’t need to see him get hit … I know what I’ve got, I’m trying to figure out some of the freshman, redshirt freshman how they react to that environment.”

With the game’s location being moved, that also means the team’s spring practices have had to be moved. Along with the Lubbers Stadium construction, the football practice fields have also been renovated, forcing the team indoors this spring.

“The Kelly Family Sports Center has been great,” Mitchell said. “Us being able to do offense, defense, special teams in that building is not a problem … The size of the building, our filming, the turf — it’s been great.”

Fans expecting an all-out, full-contact scrimmage from the opening kick on Saturday may be disappointed. Mitchell has said the plan is for the game to open as more of a practice, and as it progresses they’ll finish with a scrimmage in the second half.

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