SMC football begins workouts


         Time to button up those chin-straps and lace up those cleats. It's football time.  Spring practice is well underway at Santa Monica College as the Corsair football team prepares for another season looking to improve from the previous year.

         The Corsairs finished the season 4-6 with an incumbent coaching staff but despite their record; still managed to produce several players who managed to make the All-Conference team as well as send three players to four-year universities on scholarships.

          "Even though we were 4-6, it was a good building block for next season," said Head Coach Gifford Lindheim of his team's overall performance last year. Coach Lindheim, who is going into his second year as head coach at SMC, mentioned that last year only 16 players returned from the previous season, which hindered the team'00s development; but the Coach doesn't blame that for the lack of production on the field.

         "We have to do better than 4-6, it's a building block but it's not where we want to be," said Lindheim.

         Lindheim compared his young squad to the 1989 Dallas Cowboys when they first acquired Troy Aikman, Jimmy Johnson, and Michael Irving and only won one game that season. "You knew there were good pieces, but sometimes it takes time to develop and grow," said Lindheim.

Returning are two defensive players Carl Buchannan and Brian Hawthorne, both sophomores, who will be looked upon to lead not only the defense, but also the team.

"I'm bringing a lot more intensity to my game this year," said Buchanan, who plays defensive tackle

Hawthorne on the other hand plays cornerback and lead the team with eight interceptions Hawthorne will be looked upon to carry that young secondary that they have as he is the only returning player from that squad.

"We are kind of building around him at corner," said Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator, Steven Garcia.

Garcia explained the importance of the team being on the same page if they want to compete for a state championship. As a result, Coach Lindheim and his staff are currently only teaching the fundamentals to entering recruits.

Incoming freshman Kevin Wallace, who was a walk on at Arizona State University's football team, is now eager to help out the Corsairs.  "I can bring my experience from my Division I play," said Wallace. "The Coaches have really been working with us trying to teach us the fundamentals". 

Wallace not only came to SMC for football but also because of the schools great success in transferring students.

"The word is spreading that we are building a solid program," said Coach Lindheim. 

The Corsairs will start there two-a-day practices soon but in the meantime practice for players meet in classroom format Monday through Thursday 12:45 p.m. to 2:05 p.m.

The first game of next season will see SMC play host to Compton College on September 3.