April 4, 2007

Golden Flashes return to the field

After winning five straight games last fall, Kent State was positioned to win its first Mid-American Conference title since 1972. But, a 17-7 loss to Ohio started a three-game skid that ended the championship hopes of the Golden Flashes, who lost four of their last five games.

That disappointing end to the 2006 season didn't sit well with head coach Doug Martin, the coaching staff or the players. It did, however, motivate them to work hard in the off-season to prevent a similar collapse from happening in the future.

"I really had been looking forward to getting back out with this group; it's just a fun group of kids to be around," said Martin on Wednesday after the first of 15 spring practice sessions. "They are hungry and they got a taste of it last year. That spilled over to our winter conditioning; they did a great job in the weight room from the time they came back from break until now. I think they were all looking forward to getting back on the field; it was fun being out there."

The Golden Flashes have plenty to work on this spring including finding a No. 2 quarterback to play behind incumbent Julian Edelman, who is sitting out the spring to recover from an injury; improving all facets of the special teams and finding a go-to receiver to replace the graduated Najah Pruden.

Despite a strong wind and frigid temperatures inside Dix Stadium, the special teams units showed signs of life early in the spring. Kicker Nate Reed connected on all three of his field goal attempts, including a long of 42 yards. Walk-on kicker, Will Kandray was good on two of three attempts, with the lone miss a result of a bad snap.

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