The First Full Contact Practice of the Curt Mallory Era at Indiana State

Yesterday I was at Indiana State with a couple of sports to photograph. After not photographing softball at all this year I was in town to photograph the last two of four games in two days. Before I could do that though I was at Memorial Stadium to photograph the first full contact practice for the Indiana State Sycamores. There is a buzz around this program, and it was fun to be a part of it again for a couple of hours. I am looking forward to their first couple of games next season as the Curt Mallory era gets underway.

The Beginning of Something Special

There was a buzz around the practice yesterday. That may be because of the energy of new head coach of the Sycamores Curt Mallory. He really has a fire to him that made me want to put the pads back on. Of course at my age I would get hurt trying to get my thigh pads in so I decided to just photograph the practice. It will be interesting to see just what this new team of coaches can do with the squad. I am usually a Kool Aide drinker for my teams, but I think that they can do something special at Indiana State.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

One of the fun drills to watch during the day was this reception drill that new coach Roy Roundtree had his receivers going through. I say fun to watch only because of the way that the receivers came out of the drill. It really forces you to concentrate on the ball by making sure you are in terrible pain everywhere else. If you can do this though going over the middle doesn’t seem so bad.

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

As the indoor season pretty much wraps up I have gotten the big glass back out of storage. I still use it in the winter, but not like I do during the outdoor season. It usually takes me a couple of outings before I am back to really knowing the lens again. When I just use the 400mm on my full frame bodies it is not such a big deal. When I use it on my crop sensor bodies the field of view is much different making it appear to be a 640mm lens. As close as I was yesterday I had no room for error so it was a good practice for myself as well as the players.

Keep Your Head Down

Walking around a practice is necessary to get the shots that you want, but it also can be a dangerous thing. You have to really makes sure that you are aware of your surroundings at all times. I tired to move around a bit to makes sure that I got at least something of every coach as well as most of the groups. I love photographing the big men. When I played I was a tight end so I would practice with both the receivers and the tight ends. I used to hate the drill above. When we did it though we didn’t have the smalls holes above our heads. We had a couple of thick bars that would rattle your brains if you fired out too high. Maybe that is why I have some memory loss from that time period.

Where Do We Go From Here?

At the time I left the football stadium to hustle over to softball for two games. Tomorrow on the blog I will talk about those two games with some photos from them. The first game was a great one with a lot of emotion at the end of it. As far as football goes I am not sure what the future holds for me. I know that for sure I am photographing the first two games on the Indiana State schedule next season. The first is under the lights on a Thursday night, and the second game is one that I have been looking forward to since we talked about it last fall. A trip to Knoxville to see the Sycamores take on the Tennessee Volunteers. In the short term I think that I am booked during most of the scrimmages the Sycamores have for the rest of the spring. I have an access there that I just don’t have in my hometown so that would be my chance to shoot more football this spring. For some reason I have been pigeonholed as a baseball photographer. I think I actually do many of them well, and football is one of them. I don’t get to photograph it nearly enough so getting out even for a practice is fun. Last year I did not get out to photograph nearly enough football. I need to change that in 2017.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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