Cats come prowling, train on Fort Huachuca
August 18, 2011
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. " With less than three weeks remaining before the 2011 college football season, the University of Arizona Wildcats held a portion of their annual preseason training camp Aug. 10" Sunday at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
Returning here for the fourth straight summer, the Wildcats kicked off their first day of training with two-a-day workouts, followed by a scrimmage open to the public Saturday on Bujalski Field.
"This was another very successful trip down here," University of Arizona head coach Mike Stoops said after the scrimmage. "This is a great place to work out. Our players enjoy coming down here and getting to interact with the Soldiers.
"It's a great setting and very beneficial to our development as a team. Certainly we get a chance to learn from the best team in the world " the U.S. Army."
Receiver David Douglas explained although his team welcomes a change of scenery and cooler temperatures, having the opportunity to interact with Soldiers benefits the team.
"I have a whole lot of respect for these Soldiers that are fighting for our country," Douglas said. "Although this is a fun and great environment to train in, we learn so much from them. The overall structure and discipline to be successful is what we get out of coming here. Learning from Soldiers puts things into perspective."
During the four-day camp, the Wildcats were given the opportunity to have face time with Soldiers during a briefing on unmanned aircraft systems by Company B, 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment personnel.
Junior enlisted Soldiers joined team members during a dinner held at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre where Col. Timothy Faulkner, Fort Huachuca's garrison commander, provided the motivational speech.
Faulkner reminded team members that everyone loves heroes, and Wildcats should look to Soldiers for inspiration.
"Being an American and fighting for something above and beyond self is important," he said. "The Soldiers that you've met and eaten with tonight should remind you that heroes come from all walks of life " but they represent a common theme of fighting for something bigger than one's self."
Faulkner then offered the Wildcats their own personal phrase; "DO IT," which stands for discipline, opportunity, integrity, and trust.
Keeping with tradition, the team participated in the Leadership Reaction Course and got a taste of real Army training during the final day of camp.
The LRC is an outdoor adventure-based learning facility with eight structured leadership challenges that encourages participants to think, react, work as a team and solve problems in a determined period of time.
Grouped into teams of six, the football players tackled the challenges head-on and worked as a team to accomplish the mission.
"I think this course [LRC] is perfect because it defines leaders," said defensive end C.J. Parish. "Going through these challenges, you learn so much about one another. You learn who will follow along, who wants to be a leader, and who wants to do whatever they can to help the team out."
Parish's team defensive linemen came in first place with bragging rights for accomplishing the mission in the shortest period of time.
After the LRC, each team member was presented a certificate of appreciation by Faulkner for their participation during training on the fort.
After saying their goodbyes to Soldiers, the Wildcats boarded team busses and returned to Tucson to resume five consecutive days of two-a-day practices. Their preseason training camp concludes Saturday.
The Wildcats open their season Sept. 3 at home against Northern Arizona and play their first game against a Division I opponent the following week at Oklahoma State, the team that defeated them 36-10 in the Alamo Bowl to end last season.
The Wildcats finished the season with a record of 7-6 for the second straight year and come into this season picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 Southern Division.