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Instant Peay Play: APSU Govs enter Spring Football ready for the chance to get better


Legends Bank, Clarksville TNClarksville, TN – Since the final horn sounded to end Austin Peay State University’s 0-12 football season in 2013, head coach Kirby Cannon and his Governors have gone through the off season counting the days until they could get back on the field to get better and put last season behind them.

The wait is all but over, as spring football practice opens for the Governors April 2nd, with Cannon ready to begin his second season and looking to continue building the program and improving on the foundation that was begun a year ago.

APSU Football Practice

APSU Football Practice.

“There’s and urgency to do something about it (last season),” Cannon said. “When you have that type of season and you’re in that type of hole as a program just getting the chance to get out and actually practice football and get better at football is exciting and you have great anticipation for it.”

The Governors will still be able to hold practice in Governors Stadium – despite the facility being under construction – with just a little modification.

“We will be practicing at the stadium,” Cannon said. “They have had to reconfigure a little bit so we can use a majority of the field. We will have to make some adjustments in the direction we run some drills and just be real careful with player safety in mind and some of the things that we do.

“But what a great problem to have is how we’re going to look at it. We’re not going to moan and groan because they’re building a new stadium. For the players we kind of laugh at it and we do have some adjustments to do, but generally speaking it’s a great problem to have.”

One thing Cannon and his coaching staff and players have this season heading into spring practice is time to prepare, whereas last year he was hired just a couple of days before the start of last year’s spring practice with him still learning about the players and the players him and what he expected from them.

“The second year of any program you should show some progress and I think we will do that,” he said. “We would like to increase the speed of that progress as much as we can. The goal is not to go out and win one game, which would be progress, but the idea is to go out and win them all.

“Last year reminded me of a scenario where you just sit down at the table, the cards are already dealt and you play that hand and you do the best you can.

“We did, but we also said no matter what our performance on the field may be there are some things that we wanted to make sure that we were instituting in the program … great effort and desire to be a good program and discipline. I think we accomplished that.”

One thing Cannon and his staff are also looking forward to as spring practice as a stronger football team, as the Governors have hit the weight room hard in the off season.

“We come into the spring in great physical condition and we’re a much stronger football team than we were a year ago at this time and I think we just have a better focus on what it’s going to take to win football games,” Cannon said. “I also think with the recruiting group that we have coming in we’re a stronger group there too. Part of strength development is with what you recruit and we needed to start recruiting guys that where at a higher level of strength before they ever get here.

“I think you kids have bought into the idea that there are two things about strength and conditioning and that is it keeps you healthy and then there’s a confidence level and an execution component. You can’t block anybody for very long it there stronger than you and the kids saw that on tape.”

So with the Govs having a year under their belts under coach Cannon and a stronger and deeper squad as spring practice starts the hopes of putting last year and the losses suffered behind them.

“We can’t let last year’s losses beat us again this year,” Cannon said. “Football is just naturally that way. Seniors leave and the new guts step up and take those jobs and that’s exciting and it is somewhat of a rebirth every year.

“Our kids didn’t enjoy any of last year from a wins and losses standpoint, but they also know there were games to be had out there last season. That tells them they’re not that far away from shown significant progress in wins and losses and we’ll be pointing that out as we go through spring workouts.”

About Chris Austin

    Chris Austin

    Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University.

    Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS.

    Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA.

    Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.

    Web Site:




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