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Austin Peay State University Football begins Practice, Saturday


APSU FootballClarksville, TN – The Marquase Lovings era begins Saturday morning when the Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team takes the field at Fortera Stadium for its first organized practice in preparation for the upcoming 2020 season.

Austin Peay State University head coach Marquase Lovings prepared for Govs opening practice, Saturday. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University head coach Marquase Lovings prepared for Govs opening practice, Saturday. (APSU Sports Information)

While Lovings is now calling the shots this season, many of the faces that helped Austin Peay State University capture the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference championship – its first since 1977 – will return as evidenced by several Governors earning recognition from the OVC and nationally.

APSU returns 65 letterwinners from last season’s championship squad, with seven recognized as tops in the league by the OVC’s coaches and athletics communications directors. Leading the way were senior nickel back Kordell Jackson and senior wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson, the league’s defensive and offensive player of the year, respectively.

Sitting at his desk the day before his first practice as head coach, Lovings appears as the calm amidst a whirlwind of energy and excitement. His eyes light up once he begins talking about getting on the field and his expectations for the Governors in the 28 days before the season opener.

“I’m really excited, and I’m looking forward to [the first practice], and I believe our staff is, and athletes are looking forward to it as well,” said Lovings. “This is a time for our team to come together, build camaraderie and brotherhood, and that’s what we’ll try to establish here. We won’t be coming into Day 1 in playing shape, but we will get them into conditioning and get their bodies stronger and bring them together.”

As the APSU Governors begin practice Saturday, they do so in an uncertain environment with the specter of COVID-19 Coronavirus looming large. But Lovings is prepared to lead the Governors through those uncertainties by reminding them to focus between the lines.

“We’ve got to control what we can control, and that’s our effort,” Lovings said. “Our effort has to be outstanding from a coaching standpoint and an athlete standpoint. Our effort has to be through the roof; whoever steps on the field has to give great effort. That’s what’s expected.”

Asked what his expectations are for the first week of practice, Lovings has simple expectations but ones that loom large for a team incorporating 46 newcomers onto its roster. While many of the headliners from 2019 return, Lovings understands that it will again take a complete effort to establish the sort of football he expects will bring yet another championship.

“I’m looking for cohesion: freshmen talking to seniors. People bonding and caring about one another,” said Lovings. “On the field, we want to develop a physical brand of football. The first couple of days will be just short, shirt, and helmet, so many of the concepts we will be looking for are effort-based things. When we do put pads on, it’s time to play a physical brand that we want to display.”



Austin Peay State University practices will be closed to the public to ensure student-athletes’ and coaching staff’s health.

Ranked No. 13 in HERO Sports FCS Top 25 Preseason Poll, Austin Peay State University is scheduled to open its 2020 campaign with the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff against preseason Central Arkansas, August 29th in Montgomery, Alabama. The APSU Governors’ first appearance at Fortera Stadium is its September 12th OVC opener against UT Martin, which received votes in the HERO Sports Preseason Poll.

With the APSU Govs’ season opener 30 days away, the quickest way for fans to renew or purchase season tickets is to visit and click on the Football Season Tickets link. Fans may also call the Austin Peay State University ticket office at 931.221.PEAY (7329) to complete the purchasing process.




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