April 17 Spring Practice - Quick Hitters

Friday was the ninth session in the 2009 edition of San Jose State Spring Practice. Here are some quick-hitters, including updates on the new Field Turf, visitors, and more...

It was another picture-perfect day and the new Field Turf being installed in Spartan Stadium is picturesque. "It makes the Stadium look brand new," San Jose State Athletic Director Tom Bowen said during practice.

Inside Sparta will have the entire conversation with Bowen on Monday, but he is correct in his assessment - the new field is simply fabulous. Some other quick-hitters:

Spartan Stadium:
  • The installation of the Field Turf is still scheduled for completion during the first part of May.
  • Football and soccer will be the only sports using the Stadium
  • The installation of Field Turf in Spartan Stadium is underway and is scheduled for completion the first part of May
  • The football markings, including the WAC logo, will be the only permanent ones on the field. Soccer markings will be of a water-soluble paint that can be removed.
  • The endzones are the diamond design, and they are beautiful. They pop out, especially in sunlight. Very much unlike the dull, painted diamond design of the past.
  • There are many other capital improvements scheduled for Spartan Stadium, including the replacement of the wooden bench seats in the east stands, and new speakers, a permanent Jumbotron, and more. Painting and other improvements are in the plans but are dependent on funding.

Visitors:

  • Former SJSU wide receiver David Richmond stopped by practice today.
  • Several high school coaches were in attendance, including Valley Christian head coach Mike Machado and Serra head coach Patrick Walsh. Walsh is a former San Jose State running back.
  • Defensive end Travis Johnson took advantage of Spring Break to take in today's workout. He said he will be reporting to school sometime around the first week of July.

Practice:

  • The offense is focusing on areas that suggest that the scheme's will significantly differ from last year.
  • A lot of time was spent today on the kick-off and kick-return teams. Sophomore Tyler Cope made all the kicks. He had good hangtime and landed everything around the 10-yard-line with no wind.
  • Patrick Perry and Michael Avila were the primary return men.
  • Ryan Otten is going to be a force.
  • Terry Malley is a presence. It would not surprise us if he took on a more significant role at some point in his SJSU career.
  • Coach Tomey is not the kind of head coach that stands around and lets his assistants do the work. He is right there coaching and teaching. He works on several different position-groups during a practice both on offense and defense.
  • DeVonte Thomas, the former SJSU basketball player, is practicing with the team but is a bit dinged up. He's with the tight-ends. Will he play in the fall? There are some questions to be answered before that will be known.


Other tidbits:

  • While "Canoe Man" is still the predominant official logo of San Jose State Athletics, the current marketing regime wishes to reintroduce and expand the usage of the "Spartan Head" image. When Don Kassing was President of the University he was reported to have decreed that the Spartan Head be discontinued due to local gang usage. Apparently that concern has subsided.
  • Inside Sparta has been told the emphasis of the entire Athletic Department is to get fans to the Stadium and Events Center, and more interested in SJSU sports. Bowen spoke of some major efforts to achieve this goal, which we will have on Monday.


  • Inside Sparta will have more from practice, including photos and interviews with quarterbacks coach Terry Malley, and defensive coordinator Keith Burns.




    Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at publisher@insidesparta.com

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