SPOKANE -- Whitworth University football officially opened the 2010 season on Monday afternoon when 95 players put on a Pirate helmet for the first practice of the season.
The players checked in Sunday, picking up equipment and going through physicals.
Whitworth returns six offensive and nine defensive starters this season from a team that finished 5-5 overall and 3-3 (third place tie) in the Northwest Conference in 2009. The Pirates are picked fourth in the 2010 NWC preseason coaches poll.
Many questions surround this year's Pirate team. They start with All-American running back Adam Anderson, who missed nearly all of 2009 with a severe ankle sprain and was granted a medical hardship season by the NCAA.
Jeff Erlenmeyer, Layton Brown, and Cailen Thomason, all Second Team All-NWC honorees in 2009, will lead the Whitworth defense.
The Bucs open the season in the Pine Bowl on September 4th against 15th-ranked Hardin-Simmons University. Kick off is scheduled for 1pm.