Bowling Green, Ky. - It's back to work for head coach Willie Taggart and company as the Western Kentucky University football team opened 2011 spring practice with a spirited first workout on Monday afternoon at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
"There was a lot of energy - which you would expect on a first day," said Taggart. "The beauty of it all is the guys came out and were really working hard and really trying. When guys are giving you 110-percnet effort, you know as a coach that things are going in the right direction."
With 81 players in camp, including 20 starters and 43 letterwinners returning from last fall, Taggart can already see an improvement from where the mentality of the program was just one year early at the start of spring drills.
"It's night and day. Guys know how we are going to practice and what we expect from them in terms of enthusiasm and effort," explained Taggart. "They understand each other now, so as a coach you expect things to go smoother. Again, these guys want it - and I think that's a huge difference. They are a lot more confident now."
Monday's practice was the first of 15 over the next four weeks. The Hilltoppers will get back out on the field Wednesday afternoon with the goal of continued improvement at the forefront.
"One of our goals is to keep stacking positive days on top of each other," said Taggart. "We want to keep that same energy that we have on day one."
WKU spring practice will culminate with the annual spring game at 5 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday April 16. The Hilltoppers open the 2011 season on Thursday, Sept. 1, when they take on Kentucky at L.P. Field in Nashville. The upcoming season will also include six home game at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Season tickets information is available by calling 1-800-5 BIG RED.
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