The 2010 Ferris State University football team will start preparations for this upcoming season Tuesday, March 30, as the Bulldogs begin their spring practice drills.
Head coach Jeff Pierce and his staff will have the NCAA-allotted total of 15 practices, which will be capped by the annual Crimson and Gold Spring Game on Friday, April 23, at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Opening kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. (EDT).
"Spring ball gives us a great opportunity to measure the progress we've made in our offseason strength and conditioning program," said Pierce, who embarks on his 16th year at Ferris State this fall and is the program's all-time winningest coach. "It will also enable us to evaluate the talent we have in our program and help us develop younger players.
"We've excited about this spring and the potential to improve our squad in all phases of the game," Pierce added.
The Bulldogs are expected to return nearly 50 letterwinners for the 2010 campaign, including 13 full-time starters with seven on the offensive side of the ball and four coming back defensively along with both kicking specialists.
FSU will generally conduct spring practices on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week in April on the South Campus practice grass fields and will move to Top Taggart Field if wet field conditions exist. The spring schedule is subject to change depending on the weather.
Tuesday and Thursday practices are tentatively set to be held from 9 a.m. (EDT) to 11:15 a.m. (EDT) with Friday practices running at the program's normal time of 3:15 p.m. (EDT). Official practice times for Thursday and Friday, April 1-2, will vary due to the Easter weekend holiday break (see schedule below).
A returning NCAA Division II playoff qualifer in the Hillsdale Chargers will be the Bulldogs' season-opening opponent as FSU kicks off its 102nd season of varsity competition this fall by venturing to HC's Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium for a non-conference tilt in week one on Friday, Sept. 3, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (EST). FSU and Hillsdale are not scheduled to play each other as part of the GLIAC schedule this season.
The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule,
open GLIAC action the following week against Saginaw Valley State
in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Top Taggart
Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (EST).
The Bulldogs' 2010 schedule features alternating home and away games throughout the year as FSU will not play consecutive contests either at home or on the road at any point during the campaign.
Ferris State has registered five winning seasons in the last seven years along with nine winning campaigns overall in 15 years under Pierce and 14 times in the last 21 years.
2010 Spring Practice Schedule (REVISED):
Practice #1 - Tuesday, March 30, 9 a.m.
Practice #2 - Thursday, April 1, 9 a.m.
Practice #3 - Thursday, April 1, 3:15 p.m.
Practice #4 - Friday, April 2, 9 a.m.
Practice #5 - Tuesday, April 6, 9 a.m.
Practice #6 - Thursday, April 8, 9 a.m.
Practice #7 - Friday, April 9, 3:15 p.m.
Practice #8 - Saturday, April 10, 8 a.m. (Scrimmage at Top Taggart Field)
Practice #9 - Tuesday, April 13, 9 a.m.
Practice #10 - Thursday, April 15, 9 a.m.
Practice #11 - Friday, April 16, 3:15 p.m.
Practice #12 - Saturday, April 17, 11 a.m. (Scrimmage at Top Taggart Field)
Practice #13 - Tuesday, April 20, 9 a.m.
Practice #14 - Thursday, April 22, 9 a.m.
Practice #15 - Friday, April 23, 6 p.m. (Annual Crimson and Gold Spring Game)
NOTE -- All Eastern (ET) start times and locations are subject to change.