LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — It was a spring unlike any other for the VMI Keydets football team. VMI won their first Southern Conference football title since 1977, the Keydets also earned their first NCAA FCS playoff berth. With a quick turnaround, VMI is back after it looking to build on a successful spring season. The VMI Keydets are back on the practice field for a normal fall season. They played their last football game nearly 4 months ago. Head coach Scott Wachenheim shares his perspective on the quick turnaround for his team.
“It is really a normal turnaround for us. With the exception of having a spring game against ourselves we had a game against JMU. So the time table was similar for us. We do have to be smart coming off an 8 game season in the spring of keeping our kids healthy. So we have to limit our scrimmaging. We teach tackling and blocking in drill work more than we do in a live scrimmage,” said Wachenheim.
One area leading to the transformation to the positive change of the Keydets could be connected to players holding themselves accountable. “We have 110 guys on our team, you know not that many coaches. There are times where there will not be a coach there. So it is easy to be caught lacking. I think our upperclassmen do a great job, keeping the guys accountable. It is beneficial. The seniors are on my butt, making sure I am doing the right thing. Everybody keeping each other accountable. It is crucial for us,” said redshirt sophomore quarterback Seth Morgan. “Sometimes as the coaches it looks like they are bickering at us. When the players are like yeah you have to do it better. Even if it is between wide receiver and defensive back. You walkup to the DB to says you are doing this is wrong. You have to focus on playing like you used too. Just little things to help you do better,” said junior wide receiver Leroy Thomas.
When you look at the Keydets, they have earned the respect of all of FCS. They now have their eye on a successful fall season. “Normally when I came here in my freshman year, teams would look over VMI. It is an easy win on the schedule. Now it is the team you have to worry about. We are putting in a lot of work. It is paying off. So we are trying to keep improving,” said junior linebacker Stone Snyder. “We have to do everything in love. We have to love each other, like last year pick each other up and be our best each and every play,” said Wachenheim.
VMI opens up the season at home on September 4th against Davidson.