By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Penn is coming off a second-straight Ivy League title in 2010 and the Quakers should be a force to be reckoned with again in 2011. This spring the Quakers are about 2/3 of the way through their scheduled workouts and Head Coach Al Bagnoli is pleased with what he has seen.

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“We’re happy where we are,” Bagnoli said. “We’re playing an awful lot of young guys, we’re giving them an opportunity to learn and grow and get a little bit more accustomed to the pace of play.  And so far so good.  Nothing catastrophic medically has happen to us, so we are right on schedule.”

Quakers only have nine starters returning from last season, but Bagnoli said that number is a bit deceiving, ” If you just look at numbers you’ll say, ‘We graduated 33 seniors and we only have x number of starters back’.  But what I think people don’t realize is consistently we play 25 kids on offense, we play 25 kids on defense, we play all kinds of kids on special teams.  And I think that bodes well for the kids development. They know what it takes to play in a varsity game.  They know how to prepare.  They know what is expected of them.  And I think if we can just keep getting our young guys to grow up, then that kind of perpetuates itself and I think we develop depth.”

Quakers haven’t lost an Ivy League game since 2008, en route to winning the last two Ancient Eight titles. But Bagnoli said resting on laurels is not an option, “We take great pains to make sure that our kids, and our coaches, are working as hard as they have in the past.  I think we do a pretty good job of bringing in some outside people to look at things, whether they be consultants, whether they be some motivational people to kind of approach it a little bit differently than we would.  But I think we are always weary that we’re taking things for granted or we’re not taking things for granted and that our kids are working every bit as hard this year as they have in past years.”

The Penn spring game is set for April 9th at Franklin Field.  The Quakers open the 2011 season on September 17th, at home, against Lafayette.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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