Full contact begins Wednesday --
Cumberland football continued preseason practice this week with nearly 140 players in uniform, ramping up for Wednesday's first day in full pads and the team's first scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Nokes-Lasater Field.
Fifth-year head coach Donnie Suber began workouts on Friday with 137 players, including 20 seniors.
College football teams are adjusting to new rules this season that limit practices to once per day with equipment, including helmets and shoulder pads. Cumberland usually has a walk-through practice in the morning and then its workout with equipment in the afternoon on the practice fields at the Nokes-Lasater complex.
"I think it will take some time for coaches and players to adapt to the new rules," Suber said.
"In the past the second practice for our team was usually in just shorts and helmets, but there was some tempo and intensity to the workouts.
"Now you really have to make sure guys are focused during the walk-through so your team doesn't fall behind in its preparation for the season opener, which is only a couple of weeks away.
Cumberland will practice in full pads for the first time on Wednesday afternoon and the team will scrimmage this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Nokes-Lasater Field.
The preseason schedule continues through the end of next week, with possibly another scrimmage on August 18 or 19, but Suber is cognizant of keeping his team fresh and trying to avoid injuries with only 18 days remaining until the season opener at home against Bluefield College.
"Preseason practice is always a bit of a juggling act, trying to be physical or instill a physical mindset on both sides of the ball, but the amount of contact is limited at times due to the risk of injury.
"The younger guys do more of the physical work to get them ready for game days."