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      Cortland ready for the Jets

      One of the many signs welcoming the Jets

      It's crunch time in Cortland as workers put the finishing touches on the practice fields at SUNY Cortland.

      The fields are in immaculate condition, ready for a national audience. ESPN will be covering Jets' training camp and HBO will feature the team on their annual football reality show, "Hard Knocks."

      For the dozens of student volunteers helping with the preparation, being a part of something this big is a thrill.

      "I can go home after the three weeks are up and tell my family, 'Hey, I helped put up those fences or helped prepare the field or put up the tents, organize the merchandise,'" SUNY Cortland graduate student Matt Troll says. "It feels good to be a part of it."

      In downtown Cortland, just about everywhere you look is green, and that's exactly what businesses hope to see more of with thousands of potential customers coming to Cortland.

      "We're hoping this year will be a lot better than last year," says Donald Beardsley, an employee at The Surf Shack. "There's a lot of excitement and hopefully it will generate some business downtown for all the merchants."

      SUNY Cortland officials say they anticipate double the amount of people from last year. One resident hopes all of this national exposure will help put Cortland more on the map.

      "Most people say, 'Where you live?' and you have to say, 'Well, we're about a half hour below Syracuse.' Now I think some more people will actually know where Cortland is besides Syracuse."

      The festivities will officially kick-off Sunday when Jets' players will parade down Main Street at about 3:30 P.M. to greet the fans.

      The first practice open to the public is Monday at 4:20 P.M. at SUNY Cortland.

      Click on the link below for a complete traning camp schedule on the New York Jets website.