Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team will officially start preparations for the 2012 campaign next Friday, March 23, as the Bulldogs begin their spring practice drills.
First-year head coach Tony Annese and his Bulldog staff will have the NCAA-allotted total of 15 practices, which will include the annual Crimson and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 14, at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Opening kickoff is slated for 12 p.m. (EDT).
The Bulldogs' first practice of the spring will take place under the lights at Top Taggart Field next Friday starting at 9 p.m. (ET). It will be part of a full slate of team activities that evening, which begins with the 30th annual Lift-A-Thon fundraising event at 5 p.m. (ET) and also includes a talent show.
"We're excited to get underway this spring and have a lot to accomplish in these 15 workouts," Annese said. "It will be an important opportunity for us to evaluate our guys and build momentum heading into the summer."
FSU will conduct a varied spring practice schedule that runs over the course of four weeks from March 23 to April 21. The spring schedule is subject to change depending on the weather and most practices are slated to take place at Top Taggart Field.
Practices times will also vary with sessions both during the day along with evening workouts. Three practices are also scheduled the week following the spring game with a second spring scrimmage slated for Friday, April 20, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
This year's Crimson & Gold Spring game will follow the annual "Big Event", which is an important citywide cleanup initiative that involves student organizations. All workers will be invited to "The Big Event After Party" hosted by the Sports Communication program of the Humanities Department in the College of Arts & Sciences.
The post-event celebration will run in conjunction with the spring game and include games, Turtle Tug hosted by Delta Zeta, tshirts and more in addition to a meet and greet with the Bulldog Nation as FSU embarks on a new era of Bulldog Football.
2012 Spring Practice Schedule:
Practice #1 - Friday, March 23, 9-11 p.m. (Helmets only)
Practice #2 - Sunday, March 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Helmets Only)
Practice #3 - Tuesday, March 27, 9-11 p.m.
Practice #4 - Friday, March 30, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Practice #5 - Saturday, March 31, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Practice #6 - Sunday, April 1, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Practice #7 - Tuesday, April 3, 9-11 p.m.
Practice #8 - Thursday, April 5, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Practice #9 - Friday, April 6, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Practice #10 - Tuesday, April 10, 9-11 p.m.
Practice #11 - Friday, April 13, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Practice #12 - Saturday, April 14, 12 p.m. (Crimson & Gold Spring Game)
Practice #13 - Tuesday, April 17, 9-11 p.m.
Practice #14 - Friday, April 20, 3:30-5:30 p.m. (Spring Scrimmage)
Practice #15 - Saturday, April 21, 1:30-3 p.m.
NOTE -- All Eastern (ET) start times and locations are subject to change.