Argos Hold Football Tryouts For Current Students
The University of West Florida’s new football program on Monday held its first tryout for students seeking to join the squad as walk-ons.
About 75 UWF students, most of them having played football at high schools in Florida and Alabama, turned out at the UWF Intramural Fields. They’re hoping to make a team that doesn’t begin play until September of next year. The 2015 season will be spent at practice, with players being red-shirted – that is, not losing any eligibility in the run up to West Florida’s inaugural season.
On a sunny “Chamber of Commerce” morning, Argonauts Head Coach Pete Shinnick welcomed and then addressed the troops.
“We’re going to warm you up, then we’re going to break off into position groups,” Shinnick told the players. “As guys stand out, they’re going to get a little more work. “And at the end of the day, we’ll have an idea as to those we are looking to add. “
Shinnick said that those who make the squad would be notified within the next 14 days, adding that they are not guaranteed a scholarship. Players not making this cut won’t be notified, but would be able to meet with the coaches at a later time, who would explain why. They’re also welcome to try again this fall.
The players went through a supervised, 20-minute warmup, then broke up into the various position groups -- on offense, defense and special teams. They were told to concentrate on what they considered to be their best one position. No “60-minute men” need apply.
Prior to Monday’s workout, all players were required to have undergone a physical in the last six months. They also must be full-time students at UWF, and be eligible for intercollegiate athletics. Shinnick said after the session, they would begin the evaluation process.
“We will do a background check on them, check their grades and see where they are, and then we’ll probably talk to their high school coach” Shinnick said. “We’re looking to see who can compete at a Division-II institution. You know, Gulf South Conference football, the best in Division-II. We’re looking to see who meets those standards.”
Subsequent tryouts will be held at the start of the fall and spring semesters each year. Besides on-field ability, Coach Pete Shinnick and his staff and also putting a high priority on performance in the classroom. Their goal is a combined team grade point average of 3.0.