It was an early morning for the University of Saint Francis football team, but the early bird gets the worm – or in this case, the championship trophy.
The Cougars took the field at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium Tuesday as they opened spring practice at 6 a.m.
Tuesday’s practice comes just days after the team held a banquet Sunday to celebrate its most recent championship and pass out the rings to go with it.
USF is coming off of back-to-back NAIA national championships. Now they’re hoping to keep that momentum going.
It’s been an impressive couple of years for the Cougars. They have gone 27-1 in the last two seasons, including an undefeated run last year.
This season could bring some challenges though, as head coach Kevin Donley will have to replace the best player in NAIA football. Former quarterback Nick Ferrer will graduate this year after winning National Player of the Year last season, leaving a crucial vacancy on the team.
Although the absence could prove tricky, the team’s legendary coach will be there to see it through.
Donley has been with the program since it began in 1997, adding two National Coach of the Year awards in back-to-back seasons.
He watched closely as his most recent team shook off the cold Tuesday morning, giving him a glimpse of what is to come.
USF will wrap up the spring season with its annual “Black and Blue” spring game on Saturday, April 21 at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium.