Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Falcons go through final practice before Wednesday's Military Bowl

FRANK SCHWAB Updated: December 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the final practice of the 2011 season, Air Force’s football players swapped jerseys.

Quarterback Tim Jefferson wore a number in the 80s, receiver Jonathan Warzeka wore No. 68, and big linemen wore numbers usually seen on running backs – that’s an annual tradition for Air Force’s last practice. The goofiness was well deserved after a good few days of practice at St. John’s College High School, in preparation for the Military Bowl against Toledo on Wednesday.

“It’s like a normal game week,” senior receiver Zack Kauth said. “On the field, we’ve been focused, pretty in tune with what we’re trying to do this week. It feels normal out here.”

The Falcons will go into the game against Toledo in good shape. Senior defensive lineman Zach Payne (knee), center Michael Hester (foot), linebacker Jordan Waiwaiole (shoulder) and receiver Drew Coleman (shoulder) have been ruled out of the game, but otherwise Air Force should be at full strength.

Air Force has won two straight bowl games, the Armed Forces Bowl two seasons ago and the Independence Bowl last year, and players and coaches know that they can’t be too distracted by the bowl festivities and have it take away from preparation.  

“We’ve been through this,” coach Troy Calhoun said. “This isn’t the first time we’ve been a part of this. Especially for our juniors and seniors, they’re aware of what it takes in order to win a bowl game.”

Contact Frank Schwab: 476-4891

Twitter @GazetteAirForce

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