Geldbach prepares for poor conditions

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Southeast sophomore has practiced kicking in the snow

Drew Geldbach wanted to be ready to perform at his best if ever called upon in the snow.

Southeast Missouri State's sophomore kicker will test the effectiveness of that practice when the Redhawks play in the program's first playoff game in its 104-year history Saturday.

"I would go out, in fact, and just practice in the snow, even if we were out of season," he said. "Just for that reason, just in case I ever needed to."

The Redhawks open the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division I-AA, playoffs Saturday at Eastern Washington in Cheney, Wash. There's significant snowfall in Washington and the forecast for Saturday called for a high of 27 with a 20 percent chance of snow, according to weather.com.

"I really don't think it affects me too much," Geldbach said about the cold and snow. "It definitely makes the ball a little harder. I try not to think about it. Kicking is mostly mental anyways, and if you let something like that get in your mind, it's just going to affect you even more."

Southeast nose tackle J.J. Sanchez, a native of Glendale, Ariz., hasn't played in the snow before but doesn't anticipate it will be a problem.

"It's definitely cold," he said. "You just don't think about it. Any time you go out there, you just have to focus on your keys and doing your thing out there. Just ignore it, I guess."

Southeast defensive tackle Maurice Lyles said the key to dealing with the cold is to take a little extra time getting ready.

"You've got to stretch better," said Lyles, who grew up in Jersey City, N.J. "There's more to it. You've got to do extra stretching, run around a little bit more."

The added stretching helps, but he stressed he'll add a couple extra layers too.

"If it's cold like it's been, I wear long-sleeve Under Armor with a T-shirt and probably a thermal," he said.

Southeast quarterback Matt Schieble also will add an extra layer.

"I don't think it's gotten cold enough where I wore long sleeves, but I wore long sleeves last year," he said. "I think we got those jogging tights ordered for everybody, so I'm going to wear those. I think that's about it. I got a hand warmer, too."

The cold isn't the only new variable for the Redhawks. They'll also get their first taste of Eastern Washington's bright red field.

"I never played on nothing but the green," Lyles said. "It's tight, but it ain't nothing super special. It ain't like the red field's going to give them strength or anything. It looks good from up top, but it's the same field."

The novelty of the red turf already has worn off for Southeast offensive lineman Bryan Curry.

"I guess I got a kick out of it on the first day," he said. "Then it was, OK, it's red turf. It's not like it's red grass. That would be something."

Scheible doesn't care about the color as much as its age. The turf was installed before this season.

"I think once we get on it, it's a brand new surface," Scheible said. "It should be fast. I'm looking forward to feeling what it feels like."

Sanchez took a diplomatic stance on the blazing turf while making it clear he wasn't impressed.

"I've never played on anything like that," he said. "To be honest, I don't like that. I've always played on green. This is definitely going to be new. It's going to be interesting. We can't let it affect us."

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