After day two of training camp, the Augusta Stallions aren't ready for the ArenaCup -- the arenafootball2 equivalent of the Super Bowl. However, the team did take a step forward.
"We made progress," Stallions head coach Mike Neu said. "Compared to yesterday, we're definitely a better football team. We still have a lot to do."
"After the second day of practice, I feel like we're all right," offensive/defensive lineman Jason Lawson said. "We still need to turn it up two, three, maybe four notches. We've got to jack it on up some because we play in two weeks."
The Stallions will hold a scrimmage, which is free to the public, today at 3 p.m. at the Augusta State University soccer field at the school's athletic complex on Wrightsboro Road.
The scrimmage is the final chance for players, on the bubble of making the team, to make an impression.
"I've been up front with them since the very first meeting," Neu said. "(Today) I've got to make some decisions as a coach. I'm going to have to cut some guys come Monday morning."
While players have practiced arena-style football the past two days, the team hasn't gotten the full indoor experience. But Lawson said it's all the same.
"Football doesn't change, whether it's on grass, carpet or concrete," he said. "When you're little, you go out in the backyard play. And you could play anywhere."
Another thing that doesn't change is the conditioning aspect. Unlike college or pro football where most players play on one side of the ball, arena football players have to play offense and defense.
"The younger guys probably don't realize the conditioning that goes in," 30-year-old wide receiver/defensive back Chris Siegfried. "I started my conditioning back in December. Granted, I'm a little older, so it takes a little while to get back in shape.
"You can't work hard enough in the off-season. These guys will find out what it's like in the third or fourth series when they're still in the game. It's not what you have in the first quarter. It's what you have late in the game."
Because of the inaugural football season, Neu said the team wasn't able to get everybody on a conditioning program.
"When you're starting something from the ground up, it's tough to get everybody on the same page because you sign them at different times," he said. "There are guys I signed a month or two ago that don't really understand the importance of conditioning. Since they've been here, that's something I've preached and made the emphasis of a lot of my talks."
The Stallions open their season on the road at Jacksonville on April 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Open houseThe Stallions will hold an Open House at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the event and take a tour of the civic center and "Choose Your Seat" for the inaugural season.
Volunteers from the Augusta Sports Council and the Stallions staff will be available to share information and assist with ticket purchases.
The Stallions also will practice on the indoor turf during the Open House.
For more information, contact the Stallions office at (706) 738-9539.
Name: Derrick Reeves
Position: Offensive/defensive line
College: Georgia Southern
Pro experience: Played football last summer with the Augusta Heat.
You may not know: He played on the Eagles' 1997-98 conference championship team.
Arenaleague2 thought: "It's definitely a step up. It's a goal of mine to play professional ball. This is finally coming true. I feel real good about it."
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222.
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