By Sgt. Javier S. Amador, 3/10th Mountain Division August 14, 2012
Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division will host the Syracuse University "Orange" football team, Aug. 12-19, at the post's Sleigh Field, after being contacted by the university looking to accomplish its preseason training with a military feel. The Syracuse "Orange" will conduct football practices as well as engaging in military-specific training during their weeklong stay that will end with a public scrimmage open to Soldiers and their families.
Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, have coordinated and planned the camp with the intention of mutually developing the team-building skills of both the Syracuse "Orange" and the 2-87 "Catamounts," and will be utilizing facilities provided by the 10th Sustainment Brigade, including barracks, dining facilities, and even motor pool garages for use as a team locker room and athletic training facility.
The players will participate in Army training events, such as physical fitness drills and small unit leader seminars as part of their experience on an active duty military installation.
"We appreciate the opportunity to incorporate the unique (Army) leadership and team building exercises into our program," said Syracuse head coach, Doug Marrone, in a previous interview. "Our philosophy is to develop the person and then the athlete. This environment will greatly aid in the growth of our young men and further our valuable relationship with Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division."
He also stressed the need to give his team a different perspective on training.
"We have to become a tougher football team and a better football team," said Marrone. "I wanted to change the environment."
The weeklong event serves as an example of the close, ongoing relationship with the local communities that Fort Drum strives to maintain.
"The Syracuse Orange Football Team coming to Fort Drum is another great example of the strong relationship between the New York communities and the 10th Mountain Division," said Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum. "This preseason camp will serve to strengthen the bond between us and the members of this great area."
The gratitude that Syracuse University has for the unique relationship it shares with the Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division was summed up by Coach Marrone during his interview with a national television news station last week.
"We have a great appreciation for what the military does," said Marrone. "There's a mentality about them and a work ethic about them (I admire)."
The university also demonstrated its appreciation last year when the school's Athletics Department sent a basketball and a football to 3BCT troops deployed to Afghanistan. The Soldiers then traveled with them and had them autographed by the men and women serving there. The balls were then returned to the Syracuse University football and basketball teams for display.
A scrimmage between members of the Syracuse Orange football team is scheduled to occur at Sleigh Field, August 18, at 1 p.m. The scrimmage will be open to Soldiers and their Families.