August ninth could not have come sooner. The day finally arrived. It’s a day we fans, teammates, parents and coaching staff have been building for during the last 9 months. Everyone arrived none the worse for wear, having traveled a combined 23,000 miles to get to this place. The upper class parents arranged a welcoming tailgate and they did not disappoint with meatballs, sandwiches, wraps, and plethora of salads and desserts. All was quickly consumed while new friends were made, old friends got reacquainted and teammates began bonding.
Coach Stone opened with some welcoming remarks and introduced the team of professionals that would be supporting their daughters. They included the coaching staff, sports medicine professionals, strength and conditioning staff, public relations staff, academic support staff, along with the Katie McKittrick the senior women’s administrator and Bruce McCutcheon the Director of Athletics who addressed the group. Tom Dubreuil who is in charge of Family Relations in the Development Office also was in attendance. I made some brief remarks and it was on to lunch.
The rest of the day was devoted to team meetings, photo sessions in uniform, equipment distribution, physicals and finally the first team dinner in the evening. They will hit the turf on Wednesday mostly with the objective to test fitness and using the infamous “beep” test.
Brad Potts, the assistant Director of Athletics for Peak Performance was the first up at a team meeting to discuss the training regime, as well as discussing NCAA regulations regarding alcohol and illegal drugs. He explained that the NCAA can demand a random drug test at any time. He also explained how his department will assist the athlete not only in the case of injury rehab, but in injury prevention.
After that meeting they were headed out to the turf for the first time for pictures and locker assignments. Tomorrow morning begins the real work.
I will be visiting practice thursday and/or friday and will take some pictures and videos. The first exhibition will be at Rutgers next wednesday at 3pm.