ALBANY -- The UAlbany football team kicked off their spring season on a blustery University Field Monday afternoon and their was a strong sense of urgency from Head Coach Bob Ford as he watched the team run through drills
"Practices in the spring have to be much, much harder and more grueling," said Ford.
That's because the Great Danes are entering their first season as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.
"Obviously it's a bigger and better league than we've ever been in the last 8-10 years," said Junior quarterback Will Fiacci. "The outside expectations, I'm sure aren't as high as they are inside our team. We know that if we go out and practice and give it our all everyday, we have the potential and the ability to be really successful no matter what league we are in."
That's certainly true for the Great Danes. They were successful in the Northeast Conference winning 6 championships in their 14 year tenure in the league. However, as they took the field Monday, a number of those players who helped lead them to those titles were gone.
"Big losses with Drew Smith, Jon Morgan, Ryan Kirchner, and Nick Hutcherson, those were playmakers" said senior wide receiver Kevin Chillis.
"I think we've got a lot of spots to fill, at the same time we've got a lot of talent," said Ford.
Talent that will have 15 practices including two full scrimmages and a spring game at the end of the month to show coach Ford they're ready to play at a higher level.