Fever relishes bye week with two to play

May 30, 2013 

Adam Shackleford got to take his family out to dinner this week in Spokane instead of think about football.

That’s what happens when your team is on a bye.

After beating the Colorado Ice 41-37 last Saturday night, Shackleford gave the team this week off.

The group won’t get together again until Sunday for practice as it prepares for its final home game of the season, set for June 8 against the Wyoming Cavalry.

As for the win over the Ice, Shackleford was pleased, especially as the players knew they were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs before kickoff.

“It was a good win,” said Shackleford. “We got down in the game but just kept fighting back. There was some adversity with Colorado, I think. When Dante Warren went out (with a concussion) and Andre Broadous came in at quarterback, I think the Ice thought we’d given up.”

But Broadous led the Fever to the win.

“He was much better than the reps I’m giving him in practice,” said Shackleford. “Most of his reps were with the scout team in practice. I’m not shocked how calm he was, though.”

The fact that Broadous had to play at all irritated Shackleford.

“Dante, he took, in my opinion, a cheap shot that wasn’t called,” he said. “I thought there were some hits in that game that were questionably cheap. That’s for the league to decide, and we’re gonna send those in. I feel like it’s our jobs as coaches to protect our players.”

Other than that, everything was positive for Shackleford and the Fever, now 5-7 with two games remaining in the season.

“I like how we didn’t give up,” Shackleford said. “I like how we kept plugging away. I thought defensively we played well. And I thought we were in a lot better shape than them.”

A bit surprising, one would think, since the Ice play its home games at a higher elevation.

“But I feel we condition our guys off the field better than anyone,” he said.

After the Fever’s final home game on June 8, the team will visit the Nebraska Danger on June 15. Then the pads will be put away until the 2014 season.

It’s a rare situation when a Shackleford-coached team doesn’t make the poist-season.

“It doesn’t drive me nuts because we put ourselves in this situation,” said Shackleford. “We go out and play the game as hard as we can. We’ll play these last two games as hard as we can, then look back and see where we could have done some different things. Quite frankly, though, we’ve got two good. young quarterbacks coming back.”

Notes: The attendance figure in the IFL stats package for last Saturday’s game was wrong, said Fever owner Teri Carr. It was actually 2,762. ... The Cathedral of Joy and Fever will host Fever Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Southridge Events Center in Kennewick. The purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness for the After School Matters program that Fever players Lionell Singleton and Brandon Wilson run at Eastgate Elementary and Park Middle School. Admission into the event is free and there will be script available to purchase for participation in events being held that day. Activities include face painting, clown and balloon animals, fishing booth, photo booth, performances by local dance studio and marimba band, Zumba, basketball, football, soccer and physical fitness competitions. There will be a silent auction table containing 38 items that are up for bid. The items range from sporting event tickets, watches, bikes and other items donated by local businesses.

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