After a long summer of silence in Johnny Unitas Stadium®, the crunch at the line of scrimmage and shrill whistles have finally returned to Minnegan Field.
This past Sunday afternoon, the Towson University football team put on shoulder pads for the first time this season. To say Tigers’ head coach Rob Ambrose was happy to get the helmets and shoulder pads on is an understatement.
“It is one of the sweetest sounds ever,” Ambrose said. “It’s not like we are out here killing each other, but football is a tough person’s game. That is why they give us pads to protect us a little bit.
“You can’t win this game without hitting and we hit a little bit today, enough to make some noise,” Ambrose added. “And that is sweeter than any song you will hear on the radio. That is not just a coach’s perspective, that is every guy who ever wore the pads’ perspective.”
The Tigers got right after it during Sunday’s practice, as they followed a special teams period with board drills. The offense lined up against the defense at all positions, looking to push their opponents straight back without turning them. The offense got off to a quick start during the drill and defeated the defense, 17-10. There were also a handful of no-decisions.
Preseason workouts actually began last Friday with an unusual but emotional visit to Arlington National Ceremony, where the Tigers honored one of their own, Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner. Turner, a 1989 Towson alum and a former TU football player, was interred with full honors last January in Section 60 at the military cemetery. He was killed by a roadside bomb in November 2014 while serving in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Turner was a four-year letter winner for the Tiger football team. He played primarily on special teams in his first three seasons before becoming the team’s starting strong safety as a senior.
The 2015 Tigers will continue practice through the month of August before opening the regular season on the road against East Carolina on Sept. 5. The Tigers’ first home game will be Saturday, Sept. 12 as they host St. Francis University at Unitas Stadium at 6 p.m.