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Wildcats set for Spring Game

EVAN CARAVELLI/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA Wide receivers coach Charlie Willams, far left, talks to his players during a practice earlier this month. The Wildcats will conclude spring drills with its annual Spring Game tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Arizona Stadium.
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, April 16, 2004
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Training culminates with final scrimmage

The Arizona football program will provide UA fans with free entertainment for UA fans when it closes its spring practice session tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Arizona Stadium in the team's annual Spring Game.

"It's the same game situation that we play on a Saturday night," said sophomore safety Darrell Brooks. "We want to impress our fans to give them something to look forward to."

Head coach Mike Stoops said the game will be an offense versus defense style of scrimmage, with a point system in place for various achievements.

The game will be the first public display of the Stoops-led Wildcats after the new head coach took the reins in November.

With the mere addition of a new coach, season ticket sales are already hot, and plenty more are expected to sell before the Wildcats' season-opener Sept. 4 against Northern Arizona.

"Everything has been building up since coach Stoops was announced as our head coach, and now we've got things working," Brooks said.

The Wildcats have been through 13 spring practices so far and will participate in a walkthrough tonight before tomorrow's spring season finale.

Stoops announced Tuesday that sophomore-to-be quarterback Kris Heavner would get the majority of the snaps with the first team offense.

Heavner was the starting QB for the Wildcats' final eight games of 2003 and has won the starting job for now.

The three other scholarship quarterbacks will also see time behind center. Sophomore Nic Costa, redshirt freshman Ryan O'Hara and freshman Richard Kovalcheck will all get some snaps.

The game will be Arizona's final official workout until fall camp opens in August, but that doesn't mean the Wildcats are packing it in for the summer.

Brooks said he expects most of the players to stick around over the summer and participate in voluntary summer workouts.

"We know we need to be here and develop and come closer as a team. That's what we are going to do," Brooks said. "Summer is when you make the biggest advances."

Summer was a problem last year, when less than half of the roster showed up for the player-led sessions.

"They understand you get what you put in," Stoops said. "If you don't put a lot in, you won't get a lot out. They understand the work it takes to be successful at this level, and hopefully our kids will put forth the effort that is needed to be successful next fall."

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