FOOTBALL: Several starters still undecided

Amber North

Two weeks ago when football players reported to training camp, coach David Elson welcomed them hoping someone would emerge as the starter for at least three positions.

Tonight is the night, especially for those who play wide receiver, fullback and kicker.

The men will lace up their cleats, strap on their shoulder pads and helmets and put on their game jerseys for the first time this season at 7 p.m. for the Red and White scrimmage.

“We want to make sure students come out to see what we’re all about,” Elson said.

Elson said it’s definite that senior transfer Rob Shirley and freshman Eric Williams will be competing at fullback.

At wide receiver, junior Earl Clayton is one of the leading candidates for the starting lineup. But senior Montaze Trumbo has stepped up lately and is battling strong for a starting spot, Elson said.

Another candidate, junior Maurice Perkins, led all receivers with 42 receiving yards in Saturday’s scrimmage.

Sophomore running back Brian Porter has been making some noise as well, Elson said.

“He is the best guy behind Lerron Moore,” Elson said. “He’s never missed a practice and that says a lot about him.”

Also auditioning are freshmen Tanner Siewart and Chris James at the place-kicker position.

“Tanner is putting some pressure on Chris James,” Elson said.

The team had its first day off since Aug. 9 on Monday. And despite weather delays Tuesday, Elson was happy.

“The guys came up fired up,” Elson said. “We had a real good, physical practice and we responded well.”

Physicality has been a major factor for the team.

“Our biggest strength is that (both defense and offense) are physical and we know what we need to do,” senior offensive lineman Buster Ashley said.

The team will try to bring all those hard practices together when it plays in front of Hilltopper fans for the first time this season.

This is the last scrimmage of the pre-season before the Toppers play Kansas State Sept. 4.

Ice cream will be part of scrimmage

Parking woes, homework overload, high book prices. All that was the frustrating part of the first week of school.

Part of the Red-White game will be “I Scream for WKU Football,” where free ice cream snacks and Pepsi products will be given.

Signups for the spirit contest will be at the lower level junction from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. Winners will receive a gift certificate to Lemox or Lemox II.

Players and coaches will be available for an autograph session after the scrimmage. Fans will also get to celebrate with the team with comments from Elson and team captains.

Ashley, senior punter Brian Claybourn and senior linebacker Charles Thompson were named team captains Wednesday.

The band Exit 4 will perform live in the end zone afterward.

Reach Amber North at [email protected]