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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

MU Freshmen getting first look

Two-day training session giving first-year Hawks crash course

WEST LONG BRANCH - Freshman quarterback Thomas D'Ambrisi took a few practice steps back and cocked his arm.
""That's good; very good job,'' Monmouth University offensive coordinator Mark Fabish said, complimenting the quarterback's technique.
At Kessler Field on Wednesday, 30 members of Monmouth's 2007 freshman class began the first of two days of freshman-only practices. The full squad reports on Friday.
""We were working on my footstep, better mechanics,'' D'Ambrisi said. ""Little things. Everything has got to be perfect at this level.
""He (Fabish) was just touching a lot of stuff up, the way it's supposed to be run here. Just teaching me my drops, how to get my feet (set), the proper way my stance should be aligned.''
In 2006, D'Ambrisi led Monmouth Regional High School to its first NJSIAA playoff game and playoff victory, first outright Shore Conference Division championship and a school-record eight victories.
That being said, the odds are long that few freshmen will see much if any playing time this fall. Only five true freshmen last season saw, action which at most was very limited.
D'Ambrisi, one of five quarterbacks on the roster, said his goal is to ""compete.''
""No one says, "Count me out,'‚'' D'Ambrisi said. ""You always have to keep in the back of you're mind you're not here just to practice. I'm here to play and make the older guys work harder and hopefully make them better which makes for a better team.''
Chris Lewnes, a swift freshman wideout out of St. John Vianney, said he is determined to gain playing time.
""Everybody tells me, like, "No freshman starts, every freshman gets redshirted,'‚'' he said. ""If you look at it that way, then there's no point in even coming out.''
Lewnes, who said he considered attempting to walk on at Rutgers, reeled in 33 passes for 617 yards and five TD last fall during the Lancers' regular season.
""I'm going to go out and try and get a starting spot,'' Lewnes said. ""I don't care who's in front of me on the depth charts, I'm going to try my best.''
Among 12 potential wideouts Lewnes is one of a handful of freshmen, which include Terry Paul of Long Branch and Troy Yudin of California.
""I really don't want to redshirt,'' Lewnes said. ""If I don't redshirt. I want to get some playing time.''
Center Jim Sullivan, a graduate of Manasquan High School, also is hoping to make an impact, said he's looking forward to the first day of contact, which head coach Kevin Callahan said won't be until next week.
""Football without hitting is all right,'' Sullivan said. ""But we've got to get this learning experience so we know all our plays.''
Callahan said the two days are important for the freshmen, ""to get them into the practice routine, the camp routine,'' he said.
""It also gives them a two-day head start in terms of catching up.''


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