Camels will play spring game Monday night

Apr. 06, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Campbell will finish its first spring football practices under new head coach Mike Minter with the 2013 Campbell Football Spring Game on Monday at 7 p.m. at Barker-Lane Stadium/Ed Gore Field.

The spring slate, with Monday’s game concluding 14 practices for Minter and the Camels, is all geared toward Aug. 31 when the Camels will open their season at Charlotte. Campbell’s six-game home schedule will start versus UVa-Wise on Sept. 7.

The Camels will split into two teams for the contest, with a traditional scoring format. Monday’s game format will feature two 20-minute halves with a running clock.

The Fighting Camels went 1-10 overall and 0-8 in the Pioneer League last season under head coach Dale Steele, who led Campbell during the rebirth of its football program through its first five seasons, 2008-12. Campbell hired Minter, who was a safety for 10 years with the Carolina Panthers and came to the Camels from being an assistant coach at Liberty, in November.

In an interview published by Campbell’s athletics web site, Minter said he’s had three major focus points for the Camels during the spring season. He expects his team to be technically sound, to be more competitive and to have a “championship attitude.”

The unseasonably cold spring has made early-morning practice tough on the Camels. At the same time, it’s turned into a coaching tool, Minter said.

“Anytime you get up at 5 in the morning, get on the field at 6, and it’s rainy and cold, you have to fight through it and not let that dictate how you practice. You begin developing that tough mindedness, which is what a championship football team has to have,” Minter said.

“It’s been a blessing with these elements this spring, and guys are getting it. We’re getting better,” he said.

It’s expected practices would be different under new leadership. Minter’s changing how the Camels are practicing as well.

“When we first got here, we ran about 70 or 71 plays per practice. Now we’re at about 90 to 95 plays in the same time frame,” Minter said. “So the speed and the tempo of what I’m used to is becoming common nature to these guys and that’s the way we want to play the game.”

Following a struggling season, working toward a new mentality within the team has been a big project.

“Mindset. That’s the number one thing that I think changes a team from 1-10 to champions. Do you believe? Do you believe that when you walk on that football field that I’m going to beat you?” Minter said.

“People in general,” he said, “if you have a mission and a purpose to that mission, will give you all they have. That’s what’s going on with our players because they understand the purpose.”

While the spring game is a scrimmage, Minter wants improvements on display for the coaches, as well as fans, to see.

“What I hope they will notice is a football team that is disciplined, and a football team that’s playing hard, aggressive, physical football on offense and defense, and a sharp football team,” he said.

“I want everyone leaving the stadium saying, ‘now that’s good football.’”