LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Temperatures were in the mid-30's. There was a constant driving rain. And there was no place Joel Dettwiler would rather be than outside on the football field.

The third-year head coach opened up spring practices on Wednesday night to less than ideal weather conditions. But exactly five months to the day since UW-La Crosse's season ending loss to UW-Whitewater, his team couldn't wait another day to step foot onto Roger Harring Stadium once again.

"Even though it's not great weather, these guys have the winter blues. They want to get out and do something."

Over these next four weeks, the Eagles have twelve practices planned.

"The big thing is setting the tempo for the fall. It's a time to showcase what you've been working on in the offseason. And a chance for us as coaches to get around them more."

With one practice in the books, coach Dettwiler feels good with where his team is starting out at.

"The kids did a great job. They fought through. We talked about being persistent and fighting the weather and everything else. For our first practice it was good tempo, high energy, it was awesome."

Senior quarterback Andy Sires hopes this isn't the only time this season the team has to deal with practicing in cold temperatures. Just instead of early April, it would be late November.

"I sure hope so. It's definitely a goal for us."