Dec. 27, 2003
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Washington State's fifth day in Southern California was marked by lunch aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis and a morning practice session on the campus of San Diego State University.
The Cougars hit the field at 9:15 a.m. and worked out for nearly two hours under clear skies. Another large group of onlookers and media were on hand for WSU's final open practice.
Lunch was served beneath the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Stennis. It was WSU's first event scheduled in conjunction with the University of Texas football team. Cougar Head Coach Bill Doba spoke along with university president V. Lane Rawlins. Doba presented a Stennis seaman from Federal Way, Wash. with a Cougar jersey, while Longhorn Head Coach Mack Brown extended a Texas jersey to a seaman from the Lone Star State.
During the luncheon Rob Oviatt, who guides WSU's strength and conditioning program, was awarded the Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp Trophy for the Cougars. The trophy recognizes a member of the football program for each team who shows "unselfish commitment, motivation and teamwork that resulted in little acclaim for him, but helped contribute to the team's overall success." The recipient for each team is chosen by a secret ballot by the players.
After lunch, players, coaches, and guests were invited to visit the flight deck, which was roughly four times longer than a football field. Perched on the flight deck was a pair of Cobra helicopters. The aircraft's crew was fresh off a tour of duty in Iraq and greeted visitors from both Washington State and Texas.
The Cougars will practice again Sunday morning and finish the day with a trip to the San Diego Zoo.
INJURY REPORT: Washington State's defensive depth could take a hit in the Holiday Bowl with injuries to senior defensive tackle Josh Shavies and freshman cornerback Don Turner. Shavies fractured the third metacarpal on his hand while Turner refractured a finger that had been previously injured last week during a practice session in Pullman. Both are listed as doubtful for WSU's game with Texas Dec. 30.
EIGHT CELEBRATES 21: Sophomore punter Kyle Basler celebrated his 21st birthday in San Diego Saturday. Basler, a native of Elma, Wash., is not the only Cougar to blow out the candles with teammates over the holiday break. Will Derting turned 21 on the 21st and Norvell Holmes and Jeremey Williams aged a year on the 18th and 20th, respectively.
COUGARS TAKE IN TRUFANT, SEAHAWKS: After practice and lunch aboard the U.S.S. Stennis Saturday, several Cougars, including free safety Erik Coleman and defensive tackle Jeremey Williams, were tuned in to the Seattle Seahawks' crucial 24-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks received a big lift from WSU rookie Marcus Trufant, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2003 draft. Trufant intercepted a pass much to the delight of his former teammates.