April 3, 2006
NEW ORLEANS - For the first time since Saturday, August 27, 2005, one day prior to evacuating the Tulane University campus in preparation for Hurricane Katrina, the Tulane Green Wave football team worked out on their home practice field Monday. Tulane opened 2006 spring football drills with an afternoon workout on the brand new Westfeldt Facility "Sportexe" turf.
"We're very excited about being back home and getting started on the field," said Tulane Head Coach Chris Scelfo, who led the 2005 squad through 11 games in 11 different stadiums while displaced to the campus of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. "It will be a fast-paced spring, but the excitement of being back in the Wilson Center and on the Westfeldt Facility practice field makes it all worthwhile."
Tulane is tentatively scheduled to hold 15 practices over the next 20 days with workouts scheduled for every afternoon this week and on Saturday, Monday through Thursday the following week (April 10-13) and Tuesday through Saturday beginning April 18th. The final practice is scheduled for Saturday, April 22nd. (See schedule at bottom of page.) Starting Wednesday, April 5th, practices will be open.
Spring practice was pushed back to April so that new Sportexe omnigrass 41 oz. synthetic turf could be installed on the Westfeldt Facility fields, which were covered by several feet of water in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina. While the main field was completed, work on the Barney Mintz Auxiliary Practice Field continues.
"Our goal for spring is to be able to execute in all three phases," Scelfo said. "Any hardships we have encountered in the past must be learned from and we must improve in our execution."
In addition to holding practice on the Westfeldt Facility field, the team was able to move back into its refurbished locker room on the first floor of the James W. Wilson Center. The first floor of the Wilson Center, which also houses the Green Wave strength & conditioning area, athletic training room, academic services offices and computer lab, equipment room and Ticket Office/Gift Shop, also received extensive flood damage but was officially "re-opened" last Thursday, even as new office equipment and weights continue to be delivered. Since returning to campus in January, the team has been working out in the Reily Student Recreation Center with limited supervision.
Scelfo, the third-longest tenured football coach in Tulane's 103-year history, returns for his eighth season at the helm of the Green Wave program in 2006. His staff, several of whom lost houses or suffered extensive flood damage to their homes, remains intact. The team graduated 15 seniors, including 11 starters, but 11 starters return, including six on offense and five on defense, plus punter Chris Beckman.
Scelfo believes there will be plenty of competition for all 22 starting jobs.
"Every position is going to be up for grabs," Scelfo said. "We'll find out what players have been working out on their own and which guys have dedicated themselves to becoming better football players."
"The bottom line is who are we going to be able to count on in order for this team to have success."
Tulane opens the 2006 season on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Houston versus the Houston Cougars. The Green Wave will play three straight road games to start the season before opening its five-game home schedule "Back Home in the Dome" on Saturday, Sept. 30th versus SMU. That game has been selected for CSTV national telecast and will kick off at 6 p.m. CDT. Kickoff times for Tulane's remaining home games versus Rice (Oct. 7), Army (Oct. 28), Southern Miss (Nov. 11) and UCF (Nov. 18) have not been set. Season ticket information will be made available later this month. For all Tulane Athletics Ticket information, call 504-861-WAVE.
2006 Spring Practice Schedule (Times and Dates SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
*Monday, April 3 - 1:50 p.m.
*Tuesday, April 4 - 1:50 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5 - 1:50 p.m.
Thursday, April 6 - 1:50 p.m.
Friday, April 7 - 1:50 p.m.
Saturday, April 8 - TBA
Monday, April 10 - 1:50 p.m.
Tuesday, April 11 - 1:50 p.m.
Wednesday, April 12 - 1:50 p.m.
Thursday, April 13 - 1:50 p.m.
Tuesday, April 18 - 1:50 p.m.
Wednesday, April 19 - 1:50 p.m.
Thursday, April 20 - 1:50 p.m.
Friday, April 21 - 1:50 p.m.
Saturday, April 22 - TBA
-- Roll Wave --