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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona football looks to bond over Fort Huachuca practices

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Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat

As customary for the Arizona football program, the Wildcats will head to the Fort Huachuca, an Army installation in Cochise County, in an effort to build some camaraderie with each other and mold together as a team.

This is Arizona’s fifth year making the 74.8-mile journey from campus to Fort Huachuca and the twentieth to Cochise County. Before holding some portion of camp at the Army base, the Wildcats would camp at Cochise College.

With practice times at 6 p.m. thus far and temperatures reaching 104 degrees at Sancet Stadium, the break from Tucson is welcome, says senior quarterback Matt Scott.

“It’s a lot cooler up there,” Scott said. “It’s a nice area; it’s nice being around the soldiers. At the end of the day, we’re up there to play football, prepare for camp and take care of business.”

Arizona football players will be treated to their first dose of head coach Rich Rodriguez’s two-a-day practices, starting Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m.

Rodriguez has never taken a team away from their normal practice facility as a head coach, but as the offensive coordinator at Tulane in 1997, the Green Waves went an hour away to a private school to get a sense of a real camp atmosphere.

“It was hot and humid, and double days almost every day,” Rodriguez said. “It was tough, and it really molded our team. Ours won’t be that tough, but I think our players are looking forward to it.“

If not for some Arizona players in summer school, which ended Wednesday, Rodriguez would have liked to hold the camp portion of preseason practice to the forefront of the schedule for longer than four days.

“Normally, I would go in the beginning of camp and stay longer than four days, but this works out pretty good enough to do some bonding and get some good work in,” Rodriguez said.

Sunday, the Wildcats will take part in a Leadership Reaction Course designed by the military for soldiers.

Junior linebacker Jake Fischer, who did not participate in the course last season while recovering from a season ending torn ACL in last year’s spring game, is looking forward to forming a “complete team,” he said.

“People aren’t going their separate ways and going home and hanging out,” Fischer said. “We’re going to be in one area and that’s going to allow us to bond more as a team. Everyone comes together when we go over there.”

The Wildcats have 24 days before the season opener against Toledo and 12 days until the start of fall practices on the first day of school.

“I’m looking forward to it,” associate head coach Calvin Magee said. “I haven’t done much research, but I know we’re going to work and get ready for camp. Camp is the time to get ready for the games. When we come back here we want to be polished, ready to continue with practice.”

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