KSU football stays focused, preparing for first season

By CHRIS RAIMONDI

With the Kennesaw State football team’s first game still over 10 months away, the team faces its biggest challenge this winter.

KSU’s football team had its public scrimmage at the beginning of October. The next showing for the players to look forward to isn’t until March for the first spring game. But head coach Brian Bohannon won’t let his players fall into a lull.

“We have music, we swapped the jerseys and we flipped the practice schedule Monday and Wednesday,” he said. “What we’re doing is creating energy.”

Bohannon and his coaching staff are taking every measure to prevent the 85 freshmen on roster from falling into a monotonous routine. The Owls never know what to expect when they come to practice.

Owl Time is usually a variation of Oklahoma drills where two linemen line up and push each other back. The coaches turned it into a game of tug-of-war between the offense and defense during Friday’s practice.

Even special teams are part of the new look practice. A special game was created to put kickers and punters in pressure and game-like situations.

“I want to get them involved.  It’s a way they can get out of conditioning,” said Bohannon.

The entire team lines up to watch the kickers and punters. The punter is allowed two punts and must down the ball inside the 10 yard line to knock off part of the team’s conditioning time. The kicker must also make a pair of field goals from a certain distance to eliminate more sprinting.

According to the coaches, being the first football team ever at Kennesaw State is reason enough for players to keep working

“Our guys know what we’re playing for,” said Jim Kiritsy, strength and condition coach for the Owls. “Obviously it’s difficult to bring it every single day on the field and in the weight room, but they know that they are laying the foundation for something special.”

At the end of the day, the coaching staff believes the players will have to ultimately dig deep to endure the colder months.

“We’ll do some things along the way, but ultimately you just have to dig down sometimes and grind through it,” said Bohannon.

The next time fans will be able to see the Owls is March at the spring game.

Season tickets are also now on sale for the Owls’ inaugural season that begins next fall on Sept. 3, 2015.

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