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Aug. 26, 2010
8:21 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The storm clouds passed and the sun reappeared above Scott Stadium on Thursday afternoon. UVa’s new football coach couldn’t have asked for a much nicer day to introduce his team to many of the young men and women he hopes to see pack the stadium’s student section this fall.

“We’re starting a new era here,” Mike London told the students who accepted his invitation to watch part of a preseason practice. “I want you to be so loud that you’re almost obnoxiously loud.”

Classes started Tuesday at the University. About 750 students showed up two days later at Scott Stadium, lured in part by the Raising Cane’s chicken and Domino’s pizza that were given away.

For an hour, the students watched the Cavaliers practice. The team worked mainly on special teams, but the afternoon concluded with an offense vs. defense period.

When that ended, London led his players to the edge of the student section, and the Wahoos’ captains — defensive tackles John-Kevin Dolce and Nick Jenkins, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, tight end Joe Torchia, quarterback Marc Verica — climbed into the stands, where a microphone awaited them.

Several of the captains briefly addressed their fellow students.

“We can’t emphasize enough, we love y’all,” Dolce said, “and thanks for coming out.”

London was the last to speak, and he kept his remarks short, too. He encouraged the students to wear orange to games, told them a little about a new pre-game video in which they’d be featured, mentioned that they’d be notified about the team’s uniform choices and, finally, thanked them again for attending the practice.

“The Cavaliers play for you,” London said.

UVa opens the season Sept. 4. Virginia hosts Richmond at 6 p.m. at Scott Stadium.

Jeff White

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