Football Opens First Preseason Camp Under Fox
The Drake University football team began preparations for the 2014 season in earnest on Wednesday evening with its first practice under the lights at Drake Stadium.
Despite a steady drizzle, the Bulldogs took the field eager lay the foundation for the upcoming season. The entire roster reported to campus on Tuesday for the team’s annual ‘Reunion Day.’ After a full day of meetings, physicals, equipment fittings and announcements, the Bulldogs began positional meetings on Wednesday prior to taking the field at 6:50 p.m.
The squad has 17 more practices before classes start, a precious amount of time head that coach Rick Fox is looking forward to using to create his team’s identity and character.
“For the preseason camp, you have more time to focus on specific situations and get more detailed in your teaching,” Fox said. “One of the things that we do, year-round is focus on team building. We can go into greater depths during preseason camp because we have them all day. They’re living together, eating together and we’re a team 24 hours a day. It’s a great opportunity to do that.”
With 40 returning players that lettered a season ago, Fox has plenty of on-field help to create that chemistry between the team’s veterans and its newcomers. However, the captains and fifth-year seniors will be counted on heavily to lead the program during the next three weeks.
“We rely so much on those guys,” Fox said of the captains and fifth-year seniors. “I added up the experience of the group and there’s 43 years of Drake football experience. All of that experience, they’re going to draw on to help lead this team. They didn’t just become leaders, they’ve been developing that and becoming that over the last four years. They are absolutely critical and they’ve created our theme of ‘Never Enough.’”
That cry of ‘Never Enough’ will echo through every practice and meeting during the 2014 season as the team’s unified motto and theme.
“They [team leaders] felt like we lost something last year,” Fox said. “That we got complacent after our two conference championships. They want to instill a never-ending hunger to get better every day. That’s drawing off their experience and desire to never be complacent again.”
Following Wednesday’s damp practice, the team will have another full day on Thursday starting with a 7 a.m. wake-up call, conditioning and meetings leading up to a 3 p.m. practice at Drake Stadium. The team will stage its first ‘two-a-day’ practice on Tuesday, Aug. 12.