Stevens: Lobos Trip To Ruidoso Means Big Travel Plans

Aug. 3, 2012

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

The Lobos' football trek to Ruidoso and a stay at the plush Lodge at Sierra Blanca isn't a matter of just packing a suitcase and jumping onto the team bus with an iPod.

There is much to do - much to pack.

Fall camp is always a busy time of the season. It's all day long, almost every day, football. When you go on the road, it takes the preparation to a whole other level. There is a lot of thinking and planning.

Basically, you are taking your whole football program to another location - equipment and personnel.

The check list is a long one for Brian DeSpain, director of football operations, and other Lobos involved in the trek.

"There are some challenges, but it's kind of a fun thing, too," said DeSpain. "We really look forward to going to Ruidoso. It's an exciting deal to get away and just focus on football."

But first comes the list. It's a long one. Here's a condensed version; some highlights:

1. A weight room. That includes free weights, weight racks, elliptical machines - all the way down to the little stuff like jump ropes or weight belts.

2. A training room. Dave Binder, UNM's head trainer, takes care of this list. It includes a variety of machines used for treatment and diagnosis all the way down to a couple of thousands yards of tape. Oh, yeah, it also includes a bunch of trainers and student trainers.

3. An equipment room. The Lobos will not go to Ruidoso without the apparel of football war: Helmets, shoulder pads, hip pads, jerseys, pants, shoes, socks, etc. There is a plan for washing all this stuff, too.

4. On the field stuff: More equipment - tackling dummies, blocking sleds, goalpost pads, cones. Oh, yeah, footballs!

There is a lot more, but you probably get the picture. The Lobos are taking everything but the kitchen sink and that's only because there are available sinks at the Lodge at Sierra Blanca.

The Lobos will travel a party of approximately 140, which includes about 104 players, the coaching staff, the football office staff, sports information folks, LoboTV, trainers, videographers, a team doctor and nurse - even radio guys working to learn the ins and outs of the 2012 Lobos. The Lobos will book around 80 rooms.

It's not a casual trip. "We'll have a full functioning football program down there," said DeSpain.

"We'll use a couple of flatbed trailers and we have our big Lobo equipment trucks," said DeSpain. "We'll start moving things and maybe make two or three trips with two or three trucks."

One thing the Lobos don't move is food. The players are well fed. They eat a buffet-style meal three times a day and are provided a solid snack in the evening after meetings.

"We need to keep their weight up, so they are fed well," said DeSpain.

The good thing about Ruidoso is the high-altitude training makes for cooler practices. That's a good thing, especially during two-a-days. The challenge at Ruidoso is the air. It's thinner. There is a lot of huffing and puffing in the early days at Ruidoso.

The Lobos opened practice this week in Albuquerque for UNM's 114th season and will leave for Ruidoso on Sunday. The first practice in Ruidoso will be Monday - also the first day in full uniform. The team opens Sept. 1 in University Stadium against Southern University.