Wake Forest Hits The Field For First Football Practice

8:46 PM, Aug 2, 2013   |    comments
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Written By Wake Forest Sports Information Dept.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Excitement was in the air Friday evening at the Doc Martin Practice Complex. From young kids on the wall to the 13-year head man Jim Grobe, everyone was ready for the start of Demon Deacon football.

A good spring helped ease the pain of a rough end to the 2012 season but the team has been itching to get back to games that matter.

"It's really exciting for us coaches and players to get back going again," Grobe said. "We finished so poorly last season that it's kind of a relief to get back out on the field again. There is a lot of good momentum with this team right now and I'm excited to get back going."

Senior safety A.J. Marshall is starting his fifth fall practice and knows the first day brings a mixed bag of emotions.

"There is a lot of energy floating around, you can feel it in the locker room," said Marshall. "There are a few butterflies and a few freshmen walking around with bug-eyes but they'll get over it quickly."

Like Grobe, Marshall and the rest of his senior-laden team was ready to hit the reset button at the end of last season and start new this fall.

"You could really feel a change in the atmosphere when everyone got back this summer," Marshall said. "We have an experienced team that's working hard and we're shooting for the top."

In addition to a number of fifth-year players that have been around the block a couple of times, there are 34 players starting camp for the first time. Freshman outside linebacker Lance Virgile is one of those freshmen with nervous energy and high hopes for the year.

"I'm loving this right now," Virgile said. "I've been waiting for this for about seven months, so I'm happy I'm here. The upperclassmen have really taught me a lot in getting ready for camp so I'm prepared."

The Deacons will practice in just helmets for the first three days before donning full pads for the first time next week. Grobe knows this is a key couple of days as it will setup the rest of camp.

"The big thing we're trying to do starting out is getting everyone lined up right and working on fundamentals," Grobe said. "Basically we're getting organized and trying to steal a peek at as many of the young guys as we can."

Wake Forest Sports Information Dept.

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