UWA takes on landscaping role in practice

Published 9:05 am Friday, August 16, 2013

LIVINGSTON – The West Alabama football team ended day four of fall camp in an unorthodox fashion Thursday at Tiger Stadium, assuming the role of landscapers to cap off the two-hour practice.

Immediately after practice 118 Tigers, led by head coach Will Hall and his staff, lined up shoulder to shoulder across the back of the North end zone and began a slow march to the South, picking up sticks, mulch and other assorted debris left from a torrential rain storm that flooded the playing surface on Wednesday.

“That’s the kind of program we are. We are not too good to do anything,” Hall said. “We have a ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude. That’s what AIE is all about and that’s the kind of team we are. This is our field and we are proud of it.”

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An acronym for ‘Attitude is Everything’, AIE is the motto and catch phrase of the West Alabama football program, appearing on team gear and shouted in unison as team huddles and meetings break up.

Prior to fulfilling landscaping duties, the Tigers completed day two in shells with cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Rashaad Greed, defensive end Mario Gainer and quarterbacks Kyle Caldwell and Gary Johnston drawing praise from Hall.

“We had Malcolm Butler back on the field today and that makes a huge difference to have a great player like that back in practice,” Hall said. A preseason first-team All-American, Butler had missed the first three days allowing an infected insect bite to heal.

The senior from Vicksburg, Miss., made himself useful while being held out, serving as a short-term coach for young members of the UWA defensive backfield, a role he gladly relinquished to return to the lineup.

“I couldn’t do this,” Butler said about his role as a part-time coach. “I know now why the coaches go so crazy trying to coach me up.”

UWA puts on fill gear for the first time Friday afternoon. The Tigers will practice twice on Saturday, with the young players getting an opportunity to scrimmage in the morning practice.

According to Hall, “the big guys” will scrimmage Sunday afternoon after the Tigers attend church as a team.