Training Camp Report May 16th, 2021
Training camp is finally starting to ramp up for the Columbus Lions with today being the team’s second practice. The Lions are having practice at Garrett Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, home of the Central Phenix City Red Devils. Coach Gibson and the Lions would prefer to practice inside the Columbus Civic Center but the arena remains booked until May 27. The field is set up with cones and markers lining the field to create the smaller arena-style field that the team will play on in the regular season.
Today’s practice was the second with quarterbacks, defensive backs and wide receivers reporting and the first day in pads. The position groups began practice and workouts on opposite sides of the field, with defensive coordinator Brandon Reed leading the defensive backs through drills and coach Gibson working with the quarterbacks and wide receivers. The two quarterbacks for the Lions were Mason Espinosa and Chase Fourcade.
Each group worked through individual drills for almost an hour before some one-on-one matchups between receivers and defensive backs which was a highlight of the day as the matchups were very competitive.
Practice ended with team drills which included three-on-three drills which were just as competitive as the one-on-one drills from earlier. The defensive backs were evenly matched with the wide receivers and got their fair share of stops and pass breakups.
Marvin Ross, former first-team All-NAL selection, was one of the standouts on defense. Lonnie Outlaw had some great catches on the offensive side but his vocal leadership and support of his fellow receivers was a big part of today’s practice. Outlaw discussed his hopes of being a veteran leader during his Q&A earlier this offseason and today’s practice showed that.
As for the quarterbacks, Fourcade and Espinosa split a lot of the reps throughout the day with Espinosa showing his experience and leadership throughout the day while Fourcade made some mistakes early on but the young quarterback is on his first professional team and is new to the arena game.
The Lions will continue practicing from Garrett Harrison Stadium and offensive linemen, defensive lineman and linebackers will report to camp on May 23. The 2021 season kicks off for the Lions on June 4 against the Orlando Predators.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS LIONS
The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 15th season in 2021. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 13 playoff appearances in their rich history. The Lions play their home games at Hughston Field in the Columbus Civic Center. Lions Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (706) 322-3336 or visit columbuslions.com. Follow the Lions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lionsfootball/, twitter @columbuslions and instagram.com/Columbuslions.
ABOUT NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE
The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its fifth season in 2021. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.