Long, Productive Days in Ruidoso

Aug. 6, 2012

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RUIDOSO, N.M. --- The first full day for the players on the University of New Mexico football team during their two-week training camp at the Lodge at Sierra Blanca today began at 7:15 a.m. with a wakeup call and breakfast.

The Ruidoso Convention Center next door to the lodge is serving as the Tow Diehm Complex of the South. Team meetings, the training room, locker room, equipment room and cafeteria are in the building, with the transported weight room in a tent outside.

For some of the Lobo support staff here, that meant a late Sunday night and earlier start in the morning.

“Our job is to make sure that when coaches or players want to watch video of a practice, it’s up and running,” said Chris Crooks, Lobo football video coordinator. “Last night, we were here until 1 a.m., making sure all the laptops in each of the position group meeting rooms were up and running with the server. Our start time each day will be 7 in the morning.”

The trainers arrive at the training room in the Convention Center at 6 a.m. to treat any players with injuries. Head trainer David Binder said the players get treated before and after every meal, a luxury the team wouldn’t have back in Albuquerque.

“The more times you treat an injured athlete, the quicker they get back,” Binder said. “Here, we’re all at the same place. Back home, the team goes back to the hotel, and they’d have to take a bus back to get to the training room.”

Meanwhile, the equipment managers rolled out of bed at around 6 a.m. to start putting together the sleds and other equipment the team uses for practice. That after about 5½ hours of sleep – the equipment managers had to unload all the equipment in the move from Albuquerque before they went to bed.

“This is the first time I’ve ever gone offsite for a camp,” first-year football equipment operations specialist Chris Schieder said. “I was real hard on my guys because I didn’t know what to expect. We pretty much packed everything that we owned. But some of these guys have been here a lot longer than I have, and they know what to do. Yesterday and today were really tough, but now we’ll start getting into a routine just like we would if we were home.”

From 7:45 a.m.-8:15 a.m., the players were in the training room taped for the 10 a.m. practice. Then it’s meetings from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The team then headed out for a 2½-hour practice.

The training room was back in action after practice, and the equipment managers gathered all the players’ uniforms to wash. The team ate lunch at 1 p.m., and had free time until 4:15 p.m. The coaching staff gathered for meetings at 3 p.m.

One of the offensive linemen had trouble with a retainer for his teeth. Binder said he had to call the dentist in Albuquerque to recommend a dentist in Ruidoso to help.

The players had their second special teams meeting at 4:15 p.m., and then the teams rotated between offensive/defensive meetings and weight-lifting.

That lasted until 6:15 p.m., 45 minutes before dinner.

A third round of meetings took place from 7:30-9 p.m., and the team has a 10 p.m. curfew.

The equipment people will get done around 9 p.m., after they get the team’s workout clothes laundered.

“We’ll actually get to sleep in a little bit”, because we don’t have to drive into the (Tow Diehm) complex,” Schieder said. “The setup here is fantastic. It’s a camp for me and my students as well. It’s almost like a bonding deal for us, too, trying to build a bond we’ll need to survive each other for the next five months.”

The training staff will get done at about 10 p.m.

 “It’s long days,” Binder said. “Right now, all of our people are here from 6 until 10 o’clock. We have to make sure we have everything covered before we start determining if we can give out shifts. It’s a lot of hard work, but so far it’s been the best operation we’ve had of any year down here.”

Crooks’ crew will also get done around 10 p.m. – that is, as long as the coaches don’t want to put in any extra video time.

“We don’t check out until the coaches check out,” Crooks said.

BIRTHDAY BOYS:  A trio of players celebrated birthdays Sunday: offensive linemen Garrett Adcock and Dillon Romine, and wide receiver Marcus Bundy. Offensive lineman Josh Baggett celebrated a birthday today.