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Defending champion Xplorers open training camp

March 13, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

MEMPHIS, TN --- The Memphis Xplorers opened their 2006 training camp Monday morning at the Pyramid in Memphis. Thirty one players took to the turf at 9 a.m. as the team started a week of two-a-day practices in preparation for the season opener on April 1 at Tennessee Valley.

"It was a typical first day," Head Coach Danton Barto said. "There were the expected mental mistakes and guys are trying to figure out what the wall is all about. But, the effort and athleticism was probably the best we've had in a first day workout."

Players from last year's team that were on the field Monday were OL/DL Phillip Perry, OL/DL Joseph Crear, K Steven Azar, OL/DL Treveco Lewis and WR/DB Terrance Quattlebaum.

"Our expectations are very high coming off an ArenaCup Championship season," Barto said. "We have a lot of new faces but there's an awful lot of talent in those new faces."

Barto said it is hard to compare the first day of camp this year with the first day last year.

"Things seemed to go smoother last year, but we had more veteran players at the skill positions and a little less on the line last season," he said. "This season, it's the opposite. We have more experience in the line positions and less at the skill positions."

There is still the possibility that more players may be added to the training camp roster this week. Regardless, Barto and his staff need to be down to 30 players by this Thursday with the final cut-down to 19 on Monday, March 27.

"Based on what we saw today, there will probably be a very good football player that will be cut because of the talent we have," Barto said. "There will be some tough decisions on those cut-down days, but that is what we get paid to do."

Along with Barto, the coaching staff is unchanged from last season. Chuck Boler is back coaching the offensive and defensive lines. Former Xplorers players Deumaine Reeder and Jesse Allen return for their second seasons as the defensive backs and fullbacks/linebackers coaches, respectively. Carlos Locklyn, who played for the Xplorers the two previous seasons, joins the staff as a volunteer defensive backs coach.

The Xplorers will continue with two-a-day practices through Sunday (schedule included below). Practices at the Pyramid are open and free to fans who want to catch a peak at this year's squad. Fans who want to attend a practice session should park in the south parking lot and use the security door entrance on the west side of the Pyramid.

2006 Memphis Xplorers Training Camp Schedule

Monday, 3/13 Morning Session 8:50-11

Evening Session 5:30-7

Tuesday, 3/14 Morning Session 8:50-11

Evening Session 5:30-7

Wednesday, 3/15 Morning Session 8:50-11

Scrimmage 5:30-7

(cut down to 30 players)

Thursday, 3/16 Film Session (closed) 10:45

Evening Session 5:30-7

Friday, 3/17 Morning Session 10am-noon

Evening Session 5:30-7

Saturday, 3/18 Morning Session 8:50-11

Evening Session 5:30-7

Sunday, 3/19 Morning Session 8:50-11

Evening Session 5:30-7

Monday, 3/20-Wednesday, 3/22 5:30-7

Thursday, 3/23 Position work 7:15-11

Evening Practice 5:30-7

Friday, 3/24 Possible Scrimmage ???

Sunday, 3/26 Morning Session 9-11

(last day at Pyramid)

Monday, 3/27 Regular season practice schedule begins

Players arrive 5pm

Meetings 6:15

Practice at DCC 7pm

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