Courtesy: Todd Goldbeck, Xcel Sports Training
Day 2 of the U.P. Football All-Star week has concluded. The second day for both teams saw them settling in to their practice routines. Practice was held once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Both teams solidified their personnel and began to implement their game plans. The offenses worked on different packages that would fit best with their individual talent. The defenses began developing plans for stopping the different offensive sets. Each practice saw the teams creating better chemistry and improved execution of their plays. Overall, at the end of day 2, these 76 players from throughout the U.P. looked like two teams who are practicing for a game on Saturday, not a group of individuals that happened to be wearing the same uniform.Tuesday evening was Media Day at the Dome and there was much excitement in the air. Players were interviewed and team and individual pictures were taken. Media on hand included TV, radio and newspapers, all eager to get the players?? perspectives on the game. While they waited to get their pictures taken, the players also got a chance to be the interviewer, instead of the interviewee. They paired up and asked each other questions about a variety of topics, which gave them a chance to let their guard down and have some fun with each other. All of the footage and outtakes will be on the All-Star DVD, which is available after the game. Wednesday afternoon will see the players performing the Skills Challenges. Players will compete in the Fastest Man, Strongest Man, Quarterback and Receiver Challenge, as well as Punting and Kicking. This friendly competition will again lighten the mood for the players, who have been intently focused on their preparation for the game. The players can relax for a while and enjoy the atmosphere. The Skills Challenge is open to the public and begins at 2 p.m. in the Dome. While the players are testing their physical skills, the coaches have the afternoon off. Spending some time away from the players will allow them to clear their minds and get refocused on the remainder of the week. They, too, have been working hard to come up with the proper game plan that will utilize all the strengths of their players and give them the best advantage on Saturday, so some down time is exactly what they need. Upcoming Events: Thursday afternoon will be the trip to Bay Cliff and Friday is the All-Star Banquet.