For the first time in exactly five months, Appalachian State University football hit the practice field on Tuesday when the 86th team in school history opened preseason practice at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Appalachian State’s first practice since it wrapped up spring drills on March 4 was its first of 29 workouts leading up to the Sept. 5 season opener versus Howard. Per NCAA regulations, the Mountaineers wore helmets and shorts for the first practice of the year.
The season-opening practice was actually split into two 90-minute sessions, with half of the team participating in each workout. The split practices included a mix of veterans and newcomers in each session and allowed Appalachian’s coaches to give less-experienced student-athletes some additional reps that they might not have been able to receive had the whole squad practiced at once.
“It was a good first day,” head coach Scott Satterfield said. “Our starters, in particular, practiced with great tempo, which is always good to see the first day.”
“With so many returning starters, our goal in camp is to develop those second- and third-team guys because you need those guys to win championships,” Satterfield continued. “That’s why we split practice — we wanted the opportunity to give a lot of guys a lot of reps, which we were able to do.”
Eleven-on-eleven periods were limited for the first practice of the year, as much of the workout was dedicated to individual and group drills. However, each practice closed with 12 plays of full-team work.
The most notable play of the 11-on-11 periods came in the first practice of the afternoon when sophomore cornerback Brandon Pinckney (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman), who came into the preseason as the frontrunner to fill the only position without a returning starter on defense, made a terrific break on a sideline pass and went high in the air for an acrobatic interception.
Appalachian State returns to the field for another split practice session on Wednesday. Practices are closed to the general public but full recaps and video reports are available throughout fall camp at appstatesports.com.
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