Kennesaw State Football team working hard to prepare for the Fall 2017 season

By: ARTHUR GRAY

KENNESAW, Ga. — The Kennesaw State Football team is preparing for its season opener by working hard in the summer in the gym, and on the field.

Darnell Holland Jr., a junior returning running back, has been a part of the football program since its started in 2015. Holland is ready to jump back on the field and said his goal was to win the conference title, That is what the players are working toward.

“Trusting in the plan the coaches have provided,” Holland said. “Trust our teammates. Play every game like it is your last one.”

In the gym

The Kennesaw State Football team has been working hard in all areas, including inside the weight room. Brandon Lee, a redshirt sophomore, said the players have had to wake up for 5 a.m. workouts during the summer, and later on that day will have a practice on the field.

“It was hard to do two workouts in one day, but everyone willing to get better (has) got used to it, and we push each other to get better every day in the weight room,” Lee said.

Some of the workouts that were being done were bench pressing, squats, hang cleans, and treadmill sprints. As a group, the athletes said that the treadmill sprints hurt the most, but it is a great way to build your lower body.

Their hard work in the weight room will help them to one of their goals of becoming stronger, he said.

On the field

Field practice is where the actual hitting and action takes place. Lee and Holland agreed that one of the biggest challenges of practice on the field in the summer is the heat. Their trainers keep them well hydrated, though.

If they must play every game like it was their last, Holland also says that about practice,  which means everyone needs to go as hard as they can for as long as they can so they have an opportunity to get better as a whole.

Holland also said that the reason everyone must go hard is because when you are out there on the field going hard it makes other people around you better.

“No plays off,” Lee said.

Some of the field workouts for their conditioning included 100-yard sprints, plate pushes, and tire flips. Some practice things done on the field would included one on ones, receiver catching drills, linemen blocking drills, and play-by-play scrimmages. The players said they enjoyed the scrimmaging the most because it helps them understand where they stand on the field without getting to the game, and they also said it is fun.

The players also will be going off to camp in the next couple weeks where they all stay in a hotel and the practice nearly every day to end the summer workouts. It gets very intense, but for the players who  love football, they will love it. Camp is one of their best opportunities to get better, Holland said.

Sidebar:

Redshirt freshman works hard for his college football debut

KENNESAW, Ga. – Redshirt freshman running back Shaquil Terry is attempting to earn his stripes and trust on the field during preseason workouts with the Kennesaw State University football team.

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Redshirt freshman running back, Shaquil Terry, poses on his off day from summer practice. Photo by Arthur Gray.

Terry attended and was recruited out of McAdory High School, in McCalla, Alabama, where he helped his team to a 6-0 record in the region.

Terry said he sat out last season because he felt he needed to earn trust in the coaches and did not want to waste a year of eligibility sitting on the bench.

By redshirting, he could participate in practices and workouts, but could not travel with the team or participate in games. This has made Terry work even harder on the field and in the weight room, because he is trying to prove he will put the time in to get better and show the coaches he is ready to play.

“So, dealing with sitting out a whole year was a good opportunity to learn the system better, get stronger, and just become an all-round athlete,” Terry said.

During summer workouts, Terry also has been showing he is a team player by helping anyone who falls behind, trying to motivate them.  Terry said he does this to show he is all about this team and cares about everybody’s success, because at the end of the day they all have the same record at the end of the season.

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