FAU/ED Waters papers
FAU/ED Waters papers
Schnellenberger appeals for support
By Marcus Nelson
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 28, 2004
FORT LAUDERDALE ? Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger took the unusual step of addressing the crowd after the Owls' final game at Lockhart Stadium.
His motive was an attempt to boost next week's attendance for FAU's final home game of the season against Florida International at Pro Player Stadium.
"You are the heart, soul and core of our support group and the coaches and players thank you very much," Schnellenberger told the crowd of 5,178 ? FAU's smallest home crowd this season. "I have to call on you to come down to Pro Player Stadium next Saturday and each of you have to bring two people that have never come before."
Actually, every fan in attendance Saturday would have to bring at least six friends for the Owls to have a shot at reaching the NCAA Division I-A attendance requirement of 15,000 fans per home game.
FAU needs a crowd of 37,341 at this Saturday's "Shula Bowl" to average 15,000 fans for the season.
"I think it's doable, but it's going to take a lot of effort from a lot of people," FAU athletic director Craig Angelos said. "We've got a week to find something that has a possibility to get the students from FAU, FIU and 11 other universities in the area."
However, it will take FAU drawing its largest crowd in program history to reach that mark.
The Owls' crowd against Edward Waters was hurt by a lack of students, who made up more than 6,000 of FAU's crowd for a game earlier this season, because of the holiday weekend.
"I've been pleased with the attendance of all of our games with the exception of this one," Angelos said. "Students have been the No. 1 attendance gain for us."
Next year preview: With FAU's seniors benched for skipping practice this week, several players who will carry the team next year saw significant playing time against Edward Waters.
Fullback Aaron Sanchez may have given the Owls the biggest reason to be optimistic for next season.
Sanchez, a junior from Miami had his best day in an FAU uniform, rushing for two touchdowns and scoring another on an 14-yard pass from junior quarterback Danny Embick, another player who should see an increased role next season.
"We had to go through a full practice Wednesday without the seniors and then had to make it up on Thursday in full pads on day where we usually take it light," said Sanchez, who rushed for 39 yards on eight carries and caught three passes for 49 yards. "I took advantage of those extra reps in practice."
Embick saw his most significant action in two seasons at FAU and was 8 of 12 passing for 110 yards and a touchdown.
"I think it was good for all the young guys to get out there and show what we can do together and it will help the coaches, too," Embick said.
With seniors losing their starting positions, there were many new faces in the Owls' starting lineup.
On offense, sophomore wide receiver Tito Pollice, freshman running back B.J. Manley, sophomore offensive lineman Stetson Wilson made the first start of their careers.
On defense, sophomore defensive back Troy Pindell, sophomore defensive end Josh Jenkins, junior linebacker Erik Benson, junior defensive lineman Bob Edwards and freshman linebacker Cergile Sincere started for the first time.
Noteworthy: Senior wide receiver Larry Taylor has been suspended from the team for conduct detrimental to the team, Schnellenberger said. Taylor missed Saturday's game and won't play this week against FIU.
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