OPENING DAY OF TRAINING CAMP SIGNALS START OF NEW YEAR FOR FOOTBALL
Matt Lawrence (62) is one of several seniors providing veteran leadership to a large group of newcomers.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Much like the first day of school, the start of football training camp brings a wide array of emotions. The excitement of starting a new season and reuniting with teammates is also met with realizing that summer has come to an end and a lot of hard work is ahead.
Those feelings were felt by the Sacramento State football team as they reported to camp on Sunday, Aug. 5, to start the 2012 season. The day began with the 40-plus new players moving into Sutter Hall at 8:30 a.m. Orientation included presentations by the training, strength & conditioning, academic compliance, and equipment room staffs.
After filling out stacks of paperwork and eating their first meal, the team was set loose on the practice field at 5:30 p.m. Despite spring ball and summer conditioning, the start of camp is never easy.
"There's a difference between conditioning in the weight room and conditioning out here. Football shape is a whole different story," fifth-year senior Clay DePauw said.
The fact that DePauw, who is slated to start at center for the Hornets, is around for his senior year is hard for the Crows Landing, Calif., native to imagine.
"(The first practice of his freshman season) was the worst day of my life," he said. "I called my mom and told her I was coming home. However, once you know what to expect and start learning the plays, it gets easier."
Fellow fifth-year senior Matt Lawrence has also adjusted to the pace of camp and now finds himself in a leadership position on the defensive line.
"You just have to have a positive attitude, you're playing football," Lawrence said of the long first day. "I find myself teaching a lot more and helping the freshmen."
Last season, one of those freshmen was receiver Blake Robertson. After a redshirt year in the program, Robertson returned for his second training camp
"This year was a lot easier because I knew what to expect and knew what was going on," Robertson said. "Last year, the practice pace was a lot faster (than high school) and everyone was moving around at full speed.
"Now I'm trying to help the freshman and make them feel welcome."
The team will have just over 12 hours to recover from the opening day before meeting on Monday morning and walk-through at 9 a.m. The second practice will take place at 4:45 p.m.