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Hurricanes Finalizing Preparation For Virginia

Hurricanes Finalizing Preparation For Virginia

Nov. 16, 2006

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Hours after attending a memorial service for fallen teammate Bryan Pata at Gusman Hall on the University of Miami campus, the Hurricanes football team went through its normal Wednesday afternoon workout at the Greentree Practice Fields.

It has been more than a week since Pata’s death and the senior defensive lineman is still on the minds of his teammates and coaches. In the time since, football has been more therapy than preparation.

“It was a nice day, but a rough day,” Coker said. “It was nice to get back out on the practice field. Obviously, the service was today. Hopefully we can get some closure from what we’ve been through the last couple weeks. The guys have worked through it, they’ve tried to handle it. It’s another day and we have to get ready to go play Virginia on Saturday.”

Coker expressed the extent of concentration and focus surrounding the recent events around the program and how it relates to football.

“There are a lot of distractions, but that’s really an understatement,” Coker said. “Anytime you have a tragedy like that, it’s more than a distraction. There is something permanent. You have the families, and all the arrangements you have to deal with, and you have to go play the game. You still have to practice. It’s been tough on me, but it’s been especially tough on the players.”

The Hurricanes will practice again at 3:20 p.m. Thursday at the Greentree Practice Fields