The Johnnies wrapped up an abbreviated week of practice Thursday at Clemens Stadium before players get the next three days off over the team’s bye weekend.
St. John’s played its JV intrasquad game Tuesday, so the Johnnies really practiced just Wednesday and Thursday. But the team will return to the field with a practice on Monday.
“We did a little more positional work this week,” head coach Gary Fasching said. “We tried to go back and concentrate on some of the basic fundamentals. When you get this late into the season, you don’t always have the chance to work on those things. But the bye week allows us to do that.”
A number of players sat out practice this week. Running back Sam Sura (sprained LCL), as expected, did not practice. He said the plan is to try some running Monday and see how that goes. He sat out last week’s win at Carleton, but is hoping to return against Gustavus a week from Saturday in St. Peter.
“They said two weeks for sure and that’s this Saturday,” Sura said. “It’s been getting better every day. So I’m hoping for the best.”
Meanwhile, senior QB Connor Bruns – who also sat out last Saturday with a sprained foot – tried some throwing Saturday before sitting out Thursday. He said he is planning to practice Monday and thinks he will be ready to play against the Gusties.
Defensive lineman Nate Blenker (quad) also sat out this week, but Fasching said the hope is he could return next week as well.
Offensive tackle Jack Hedlund, who has been playing through a nagging shoulder injury, also sat out the past two days.
“I think what we did this week was good as far as practice goes,” Fasching said. “Now guys have three days off and they can use that time not just to heal injuries, but just to recharge the batteries. We’ve been going pretty hard since the middle of August. So it will be good for them to get a chance to relax a little bit before we begin a stretch run of three tough games.”
Fasching, who is himself recovering from a hyperextended knee, plans to attend four high school games over the next two days – ending with the St. Cloud Cathedral/Milaca Section 5-3A semifinal – featuring his son Jeff, Cathedral’s starting QB - Saturday night at Husky Stadium.
The Section 8-5A semifinals are Saturday afternoon at Clemens Stadium. St. Cloud Apollo takes on Moorhead at 1 p.m. and St. Cloud Tech (which followed the Johnnies onto the field at Clemens Thursday for a practice under the lights) takes on Sartell at 4:30 p.m.