Aug. 4, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Under mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures, the Army football team opened its 2014 preseason camp with an afternoon workout in helmets and shorts.
First-year head coach Jeff Monken welcomed 155 players to camp and after two days of meetings and briefings, the team finally took the field, utilizing Howze Field and Michie Stadium.
The team gathered Saturday at Kimsey Center for equipment and sports medicine briefings on Saturday. Sunday, the team met with the compliance office.
Monday, the focus was on preparing for the 2014 season. The team lifted inside the massive O'Meara, Malek, Dawkins Class of '59 Strength Development Center, held team and position meetings and then hit the field promptly at 2:30 p.m. The session lasted until 5:10 p.m.
Army began the workout with a team stretch before breaking down into special teams groups with an emphasis on the punt team.
While special teams drills were underway, the quarterbacks and centers were working on the exchange and the offensive linemen were focused on drills.
The team then went over kickoff before getting into its first team situation. Senior Angel Santiago, despite wearing a limited contact blue jersey, took the bulk of the first team snaps. A.J. Schurr did not dress for practice and Matt Kauffman, Blake Goddard, Kado Brown, Seth Gonzales and Ahmad Bradshaw all took turns under center.
The first team offensive line features mostly tackle Drew Hennessy and Justin Gilbert, guards Stephen Shumaker and Chris Smythe and center Matt Hugenberg. The second unit was comprised of tackles Niko Schillaci and Brett Toth, guards O.J. Hall and Colby Enegren and center Todd McDonald.
The team broke into position-specific workouts before another team session.
Army took a brief five-minute break before ending practice with skeleton, position work and finally team drills.
Army will hold its second practice Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
Quarterback Angel Santiago connecting with Xavier Moss on a long pass along the sidelines ... Santiago finding running back Raymond Maples over the middle ... quarterback Matthew Kauffman utilizing Maples again later in practice ... tight end Kelvin White, a quarterback last year, running with the first team offense ... running backs Maples, Terry Baggett, Trenton Turrentine, Tony Giovanelli, Larry Dixon, Aaron Kemper, Elijah St. Hilaire and Matt Giachinta getting plenty of work.
Senior RB Raymond Maples
(Ref.: being back on field)
"It was wonderful to get back on the field again. It was great to be around my teammates and being part of the team again."
Senior DL Joe Drummond
(Ref.: practice thoughts)
"For the first practice, I thought we did a good job, both the veterans and the newcomers. The freshmen have only had a couple of days to learn as much as they could and they worked hard."
Head Coach Jeff Monken
(Ref.: how practice went)
"It looked like we need to practice 28 more times which we have 28 more practices until we play Buffalo. It wasn't great. It was probably a lot like the first day of spring practice. A lot of review from the spring for the older guys and all new stuff for the newcomers. I really hoped we did a little better job retaining the information we learned in the spring. We have to do a better job of coaching that so we don't have to keep going over it."
"We're going to get better. We're going to improve each day. I think our guys will work. The advantage of having camp is you get several meetings between each practice. We will meet tonight and meet tomorrow before we take the field. That will give us a chance to correct mistakes before we install the new stuff."
The 2014 roster features 65 returning letterwinners among the group of 155. Included are 29 seniors, 31 juniors, 36 sophomores and 59 freshmen. The freshmen completed an accelerated Cadet Basic Training to arrive for the start of camp.