ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Valley State University’s football team held its first practice for the fall season Monday morning at the Kelly Family Sports Center.
Head coach Matt Mitchell will be busy getting some new faces acclimated to the Lakers over the course of the next few weeks.
“Excited to get going,” Mitchell said. “Between transfers and freshmen, we are going to have approximately 55 new faces in our program.”
He will count on the veterans to help set the tone. Leading the way is fourth-year quarterback Bart Williams.
“Unbelievable. He checks every single box and I think he’ll be in an NFL camp,” Mitchell said. “Excellent student. Great leader and he’s done a lot in the community. There’s no chinks the armor.”
“I wasn’t here in the spring,” Williams said. “It’s been a long time since I padded up and played football. Hopefully I’m not too rusty, but I’m just trying to get back into the mode of competitive football.”
Williams will be counted on to help a talented but inexperienced backfield grow through the early stages of camp.
On the other side of the ball, Mitchell expects the defense to be strong this season. GVSU doesn’t have a lot of experience at the linebacker position, but the head coach believes the talent is there, too.
“You hope you have good enough players that the competition on ones versus ones is as good as it will be during the season,” Mitchell said.
GVSU finished with an 8-3 mark in 2017, just missing a playoff berth. The Lakers went unbeaten at Lubbers Stadium in 2017.
Their home opener is Aug. 30 against the Indianapolis Greyhounds. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.