The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

December 28, 2012

Rains greet Cowboys

DALLAS — The Oklahoma State football team hasn’t gotten much of an escape from the weather with its trip to Texas.

On Friday, the Cowboys practiced in chilly, windy and wet conditions at Highland Park High School in north Dallas.

“It’s not very fun. I don’t like throwing in the rain,” quarterback Clint Chelf of Enid said. “But it’s just one of those things that you’ve just got to work on because the game conditions could be similar.

“I though we’d come down here and it’d be sunny and it’d be nice every day. But Oklahoma and Texas are pretty similar weather-wise, I guess. But if it’s like Oklahoma, hopefully it will be sunny tomorrow — and hot.”

While the high school has an indoor practice facility next to its football stadium, Mike Gundy and his coaching staff decided to hold practice in the elements — since there is a chance of cold and windy conditions for Tuesday’s Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue.

“I had a couple words with Coach Gundy about it, joking that they have a really nice indoor facility and we should check it out,” center Evan Epstein said. “But it’s a functional thing. It was a good opportunity to get out there in the elements.

“We haven’t had too much rain the whole year, but Clint probably hates it more than others do.”

The wet conditions played its biggest role with the OSU quarterbacks. Chelf said he has never used a glove to help grip a wet ball and just made due on Friday.

“For quarterbacks it is pretty tough because the ball gets slick when they are wet, but you’ve just got to find a way to make it happen,” Chelf said. “... I’ve thought about using a glove, but I’ve never thrown with one on so I don’t know how I’d do.”

While the temperature — which barely reached into the 40s, but was accompanied by gusts more than 20 mph — didn’t hinder Epstein, he said he did have to adjust to the drizzle on the high school turf.

“It was a good situation. The field doesn’t have as good of drainage as our field might have, but any time you get the chance to work with a wet ball is always preparing you,” Epstein said. “You never know what the weather is going to be like. But if I can snap a wet ball, I can snap a dry ball with no problems.”

The players having to deal with the cold conditions the most was the receiving corps — the leather footballs feeling like bricks being thrown at them.

“It takes a few catches to get warmed up,” said receiver Charlie Moore, who also took some time fielding punts during practice. “They definitely sting your hands in this weather. But after a couple of catches, and you get your body warm, it gets better.”

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