Preseason practice is full underway for the 2012 version of the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
It's the time when players show off all the good work they did in the offseason.
But most importantly, it's when good teams become better teams - and that requires a grueling football schedule of two-a-days, film study, and weight training.
Lehigh Media Day provided a break from all of that - a positive time for the players to cut loose and get a well-deserved break.
"It is always a great experience for the freshmen, as they get to wear game day uniforms for the first time," senior RB Keith Sherman told me. "Also, it gives players and coaches an environment to be more relaxed and it allows fans to see what this years Mountain Hawks look like."
With the most important parts of the day involving taking the team picture and getting some one-on-one interviews with local media members, it's a big break from the routine, and players take advantage to feel more like, well, a team.
"It was a great experience, a nice break from practice and just a fun day overall for the whole team," senior DT Sajjad Chagani told me.
"It's a great opportunity for the team to hang out and bond in a much less serious setting," senior RB Zach Barket said.
"It's a great way to spend our first off day together and just have fun," senior OL Matt Lippincott said.
It seems like every year there's the one or two cut-ups on media day, and this year, it's no exception.
This years "Cribbs Award" has to go to senior FS Billy O'Brien, whose interview of senior WR Ryan Spadola, and his, er, um, knowledge of tanning places in South Bethlehem seems rather extensive:
My award for media day cut-up is named after former CB Jarard "Main Man" Cribbs, whose interviews of coach Coen and his fellow players two years ago were legendary. Cribbs actually has returned to the Lehigh coaching staff as well - a fantastic addition who bleeds Brown and White and seems poised to be another great coach for the Mountain Hawks.
“We’ve had great success in the past with CB Ernest (Moore ’08) and LB Justin (Weaver ’08),” Coen mentioned in the release about former Lehigh student-athletes-turned-coaches. “Jarard understands that tradition. It’s only been a couple days and he’s just starting to get his feet wet but we’re really excited to have him.”
Cribbs, as animated a player as I've seen at Lehigh, showed some of his energy in that media day two years ago - which, in retrospect, was an interesting glimpse at the team that would take the field that year.
The energy of this 2012 team, in our first, real, look at the team, seems similar to that 2010 group in that it appears to have the same high level of confidence - not drifting to the level of cockiness, but a quiet confidence.
It's a small look at the team, and the uniforms didn't even get dirty, but already it seems like there's plenty to get excited about for the 2012 Mountain Hawk season.