The SU football team held one last preseason practice on Monday before heading to Fort Drum, where the squad will conduct practices and a scrimmage for the rest of the week. The team goes into the Fort Drum trip with one full week of practice under their belts as they continue to prepare for their first game of the season on August 31st against Penn State at MetLife Stadium.
The players and coaches say although it is not an easy trip, they have been looking forward to Fort Drum, to not only to grow as a team on the field, but learn from the 10th Mountain Division as well. They say because cell service is spotty, and because they are miles away from the SU Hill, distractions are at a minimum, something they say helps them bond as a team.
Coach Scott Shafer says he wants his players to sit with and speak with the military personnel at the post, to learn about their stories, hoping to make them better people in addition to being great athletes. Shafer says this trip is "personal" not only because it involves his team, but also because military runs in his family as well.
"When we run out of the Dome with that 10th Mountain Brigade flag," Shafer says. "I want people to be proud up north, and look down and say 'They do appreciate who we are, and what we are,' yeah, it is personal for me, my cousin was killed in Iraq...the appreciation I have for those kids..I can't even tell you the appreciation I have for those kids."