01/31/2006 8:45 PM
- On a cold, crisp Spokane morning over 30 men throughout the Inland area woke up early Monday hoping to realize their dream. For many, this is a dream that they have harbored since their childhood out in the back yard playing. Their dream is to become a professional football player.
The Spokane Shock, one of the newest members of the arenafootball2 family, held an open tryout yesterday to help many of these dreams become a reality for these potential players.
With training camp beginning on March 11th, the Shock has 35 roster spots that they can hold until their roster is trimmed to 22 for the regular season with the first game at the Spokane Arena on March 30th..
We have recruited players from across the country, Head Coach Chris Siegfried explained. And we wanted to hold this try-out just to try to find that diamond in the rough, that special someone, Siegfried added.
The workout started shortly after 9 AM, as players stretched and prepared themselves for a full workout. Several local media members were also present and some even participated in the workout, but as Siegfried explained many of them should keep their day jobs.
Siegfried ran the workout in the same fashion as a NFL-style combine. The first hour or so tested players speed and agility as they were timed in the 40 yard dash, shuttle run, and vertical jump, among others.
As the morning wore on, players broke into groups, based on positions, and worked on drills with Siegfried and his Assistant Coaches Travis Crusenberry and Doug Biddle. These drills allowed for some individual tutelage and gave the Coaches time to carefully evaluate the talent of the hopefuls.
Invitations were sent to several local schools for their graduating seniors to attend, including Eastern Washington and the University of Washington.
One player who accepted this invitation was former Eastern Eagle Raul Vijil. In his senior season, 2005, Vijil was second on the team in receptions (72) and touchdowns (8).
His highlight tape from college was very impressive, Siegfried said. And yesterday he came in here and backed up what we had seen on tape.
The next few weeks Siegfried and his staff will have some difficult decisions to make as they trim their roster from 35 to 22. In the meantime, many of the hopeful players will anxiously wait by their phone, hoping their dream will soon become a reality.