Summer break is a misnomer for many of our student-athletes. When they aren’t studying abroad, conducting research on campus, or completing internships, many have been busy training and preparing to compete in the coming academic year.

That sort of Spider determination means grueling practices in the withering summer heat of Richmond. Last week, the football team wrapped up its morning summer workouts, but there’s little rest for the players. They’ll take a few days off before the start of 2017 training camp, which begins July 27.

For the first time in program history, the entire football team was on campus this summer strengthening themselves as both students and athletes. Coach Huesman wanted all of the players together, and thanks to increased support from friends and alumni, the University made it possible for the full team to come back to campus for additional training. They also completed internships, conducted research, worked summer jobs, and took classes.

“I’m really proud of the way this group pushed themselves this summer,” Head Coach Russ Huesman said. “We asked them to show up every day, be ready to work hard and get better and that's exactly what they've done. We're excited to get camp started.” 

The players got some critical time together to train and grow as a group as Huesman leads the Spiders in his first season as head coach.

“The summer is really a crucial time for our guys to prepare physically for the grind of the season,” Huesman said. “To have our administration get behind us and allow us to have pretty much our entire team here all summer, working together and getting stronger, we believe it's going to pay big dividends this fall.”

The work is paying off. A CAA pre-season poll predicts the Spiders will be competing for the Colonial Athletic Association’s conference championship, ranking second overall in the poll. Plus, three of our players earned pre-season all-league honors from the CAA.

Let’s go, Spiders! We can’t wait for the season to start next month as we take on Sam Houston State in Texas.