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Instant Peay Play: APSU Coach Kirby Cannon sees Youthful Football Govs showing progress


Legends Bank, Clarksville TNClarksville, TN – Coming off a 0-12 season in 2013, second-year head coach Kirby Cannon sees improvement in his youthful Governors football squad, as 40-plus returners are joined by 40 freshmen in what could be thought of as a rebirth of the program.

Practicing in pads for the first time in the shadow of the new Governors Stadium, Cannon sees the effort of his players to put last year behind them and the excitement of the influx of new players, in what is his first true recruiting class.

Austin Peay State University Governors Football. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Governors Football. (APSU Sports Information)

“Coming off the type of year we had last year we’re looking to make significant improvement as a team,” Cannon said. “It’s been a great camp, with the kids reporting in great shape, and they’ve been working hard in practice.

“With the majority of our team being newcomers that puts us in the position to have to coach the hold show with the idea that the simplest thing may not be the simplest thing.”

But it’s that newness that Cannon and his staff have seen as a good thing, as they’ve gone into pads and hitting and being physical.

“We’ve been teaching them new things and the coaches have been really receptive to the fact that the kids are really responding to their coaching,” Cannon said. “We’re going to continue on our learning curve and these guys are coming around.

“There are some very good athletes out there that can play the game; we just need to teach them how.”

It also helps that this is the second year under Cannon and the returners are more versed in what the coaching staff needs and expects from them as a team and as individuals.

“It’s a world of difference out here from last year,” Cannon said. “Each year the team is going to be a little bit different and having the returnees we do and as many freshmen the challenges are different (from last year’s team) and we’re working to find the formula for success with this team and reaching the goals that we’ve set for this team.

“We’ve come out and know how to practice this year, our kids understand practice a lot better that a year ago, the tempo that is required to do things that will ultimately make you a better football player.”

It has also helped streamline what they are able to do in practice, getting more out of each minute and each play run.

“We’re more efficient this year,” Cannon said. “A year ago we may have in a 10-minute period scripted eight plays, now we’re getting 16 (plays) in that period. That just has to pay off in getting more repetitions and this game has always been about repetition.

“We’re always going to be a program that stresses developmental people and try to make good players great and take players that are average and make them good and that’s kind of the form of our practices. I think we’re recruited some talent that give us a chance to take that significant step this year.”

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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