Hatch it is!
I was able to listen in to some of the weekly Ivy League Football coaches conference call today.
The big news came from Harvard Head Coach Tim Murphy who announced that last year's starting QB, Collier Winters, is out for the season with a turn labrum. So the controversial Andrew Hatch will be the starter after all... as I predicted years ago.
At 24, and with two transfers and a rescinded commitment under his belt, Hatch has a huge bullseye on his back this year.
Here were some of the highlights from Head Coach Norries Wilson’s remarks:
-He thought practices were good this camp. He realizes that the scrimmage was bad against Brown, but reminded everyone that Columbia played well in opening games after bad scrimmages in 2008 and 2009.
-Have to get ready for Fordham. They’ve shown a good ability to score points.
-Great to have Alex Gross and Owen Fraser back. No substitute for good players.
-Sean Brackett will be the starting QB barring him getting kidnapped! Sean has grown up. He gets better with every rep he takes. He has a decent hold on the passing game now, and when that gets even better, he will be a “great quarterback” for Columbia.
-He’s been thinking about how to replace Austin Knowlin since the end of last year. Our receivers and runners need to pick up the slack from losing him.
-Tight end Andrew Kennedy has been playing since he was a freshman. We think linebackers trying to cover him is a mismatch in our favor.
-Jeff Adams needs to realize that last year is over. He needs to play with a “bad attitude” every day!
Estes Speaks Out
I also got a chance to ask Brown Coach Phil Estes about how he was planning to stop Stony Brook’s powerful running attack despite the losses of guys like James Develin and Dave Howard to graduation.
Estes insisted he isn’t going to change his strategy, he’ll just use eight-man fronts and his players will just have to avoid missed tackles.
He also sounded like he’s going to use all the talk about the losses of Howard, Develin, and Buddy Farnham and Bobby Sewall as a motivating tool for his team this year. It sounds like the Bears are getting a little annoyed at how more attention is being paid to graduated players than the team right now.
In other highlights...
-Jordan Culbreath WILL start for Princeton against Lehigh. That's a great story and a triumph over disease.
-Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli says he's still not sure if he'll start Keiffer Garton Saturday. It could be Ryan Becker or Billy Ragone at QB.
-New Cornell Head Coach Kent Austin says both Adam Currie and Jeff Matthews will get some snaps at QB this Saturday. No definite word on who is the actual "starter."
On a somber note, we have some scary reports that Penn player Owen Thomas’ suicide may have been partly due to a brain disease that’s a result of concussions. They bring renewed urgency to the concussion studies being conducted by a number of football experts, including a number of former Ivy players turned doctors. Incidentally, Al Bagnoli would NOT comment about this story in the coaches conference call this morning!
But for parents worried about letting their kids play football or any other sports, please consider this:
We have a MUCH bigger epidemic in this country with childhood obesity, adult obesity, juvenile diabetes, etc. We need more kids playing sports, not less. The chances of a kid getting a serious injury that will lead to death from playing sports are minute compared to risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes inactive children face much more often.
I DO want the safety issues addressed in football. The helmet is used as a weapon far too often. But give me more kids playing football, not less