Laurier football training camp opens with ‘energy and excitement’
Michael Faulds doesn’t sleep well as head coach of Wilfrid Laurier University’s football team.
So at 6 a.m., Thursday morning, Faulds assembled his coaching staff for an early meeting and then headed over to the fourth floor of Waterloo College Hall where all of his freshman players were deep in sleep after a long night of meetings.
At 6:30 a.m., Faulds and his coaching staff set off a megaphone siren, banging on the doors and waking up every member of the team. It’s training camp time.
“Everyone got the message, and the great thing was that at 6:45, all 96 players were at breakfast,” Faulds said. “Not a single player missed breakfast.”
Reporting to camp, the 96 players of Laurier’s new installment of the football team went through high-paced drills, no-huddle offences, enthusiastic assistant coaches and a very vocal head coach.
“It feels phenomenal,” Faulds said at the end of the first practice Thursday morning, before lunch with the team and their afternoon practice. “Just the energy and excitement. I knew there would be energy, but day one there’s usually a lot of mental mistakes. I think we were able to grasp what the coaches were putting in the night before, and came out here and went full speed.”
Thursday was the first day of the football training camp, which will run until Aug. 21, when the mentality will switch toward preparation for the Aug. 25 season opener against the Guelph Gryphons.
“The wait is over. We’ve been at it since January and yesterday was kind of a tease. Players were just reporting, getting medicals, doing headshots, and we never really got to football,” Faulds added.
While the team will be in training camp twice a day for five straight days, Faulds said that the practices will focus on different parts of the full playbook to make ten full components. In short, Faulds hopes to cut up the playbook to go over everything by the time preparation for the game against Guelph begins.
“We’ve scripted the schedule the same, but it’s different concepts in place,” he said. “It’s all new to the players.”
Faulds mentioned that there are a few freshmen that are “on their radar,” and made a “good first impression,” but did not touch on which freshmen have stood out after the first two practices.
“We just need to continue to watch them and continue to really coach them up because they only know a tiny bit of what we’re going to eventually get to.”
Practices will continue for the rest of the weekend, leading up to a friendly scrimmage against cross-town rivals, the Waterloo Warriors, on Sunday at 9 a.m.