KENOSHA, Wis. -- The Big Ten Network fall practice tour bus was on hand Thursday for Northwestern's fourth day of action at Camp Kenosha with the Network taping its NU football show which will air tonight (Thursday, Aug. 20) at 9 p.m. CT. Here is the Official Practice Report from Thursday:
THE WEATHER: A cold front brought healthy precipitation and storm action to the area overnight Wednesday into Thursday, with a final shower dumping another dose of rain about an hour prior to NU's 11 a.m. start. While the Big Ten Network scrambled to dry its gear and deal with strong winds, the sun broke free of the clouds just as practiced started.
THE PRACTICE: Northwestern went 18 periods Thursday, again running the final few sessions at "CHUD" tempo. In addition to the Big Ten Network team of Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith, multiple family and friends of the program attended the workout. Former defensive end Kevin Mims and his family also were present, hosting one of their famous tailgates for the revelers.
Thursday's practice highlights included:
Early on during simple route drills, true freshman running back Arby Fields (Alta Loma, Calif./Los Osos) laid out to make a great catch on the sideline, keeping both feet in bounds.
The great passing and catching continued into the TEAM periods and officially ended practice when senior Mike Kafka (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) lofted a 35-yard pass to senior Zeke Markshausen (Capron, Ill./North Boone), who beat Brian Peters (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) to make the catch and score a touchdown.
During team drills, coach Pat Fitzgerald called several "penalties" and also iced freshman kicker Steve Flaherty (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita), but Flaherty still nailed a 38-yard field goal into a stiff breeze.
Fitzgerald announced today that sophomore David Arnold (Copley, Ohio/Copley) has changed positions from safety to linebacker.
Following practice, Fitz announced it was time a time-honored Camp Kenosha tradition: the watermelon eating contest. One member from each of NU's 10 teams from the off-season Wildcat Games were selected to participate. The contestants were: Marshall Thomas, Bo Cisek, Doug Bartels, defending champion Charles Brown, Mike Boyle, Caleb Harper, Martin Bayless, Chuck Porcelli, Keegan Grant and Corey Wootton. In a tight contest in which several competitors claimed victory (including Bartels, who basically was eating the rinds at the end), Wootton was declared the winner.
All members of the freshman class then squared off against the newest member of the coaching staff, superbacks coach Bob Heffner. The remaining watermelon was doled out (with both Davon Custis and Patrick Ward receiving what had to be close to an entire watermelon each), and Heffner claimed victory to defend the coaches' winning streak versus the freshmen, continued last year by defensive line coach Marty Long.
Tune into the Big Ten Network special tonight at 9 p.m. for further coverage of the contest.
QUOTABLE: For all the Quotable you could want, be sure to tune into the Northwestern practice special tonight at 9 p.m. CT on the Big Ten Network.
NEXT UP: Northwestern has a two-a-day scheduled for Friday, with the first session starting at 8:50 a.m. CT. On Saturday, the Camp Kenosha scrimmage will begin at 3 p.m. at Tremper High School.