by Adam Gonzales
Tucson, Ariz. – Traveling down to Fort Huachuca for a couple days of fall camp has become a staple for the University of Arizona football team since the 2008 season.
Normally, the team would stay in the barracks on post and have about three practices there. Plans changed this season as the Wildcats rode down last night for the traditional dinner with the soldiers where Commanding General MG Robert P. Ashley spoke to the team, spent the night in the barracks, had brunch on post this this morning and headed back up to Tucson.
“I love going down to the fort,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “I think it is a great experience for the guys to see everything that goes on down there and have dinner with the soldiers.”
The decision was made to only stay one night on post and not practice because of the new facilities here on campus. With the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility in full swing, everything that the players and staff need is always at their disposal.
Senior cornerback Brendan Murphy has a lot of military experiences his life and appreciates the visit, along with his teammates. He grew up with a father who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, and recently retired after over 20 years of active duty service. Murphy also started his college career at the Air Force Academy.
Going down to Fort Huachuca is a reminder of previous experiences that Murphy has gone through.
“Going back to Fort Huachuca brings back memories of basic training for me,” Murphy said. “I think that it’s cool we get to experience this because all of us could have been a few life-changing events from being in their place. Seeing everything that they do is humbling to me because they chose this life.”
The senior feels that going to Fort Huachuca does wonders for the team, especially because of the team bonding that comes with it.
“It brings the team together,” Murphy said. “It puts you in the stressful situation that the soldiers are in all the time. You’re forced to share your personal space all the time, and when you’re in that situation, you open up. It’s beautiful in the sense that it smoothes out any issues that are there.”
The Wildcats will head back to Tucson this morning for media day. For continued coverage of Arizona football, follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaFootball and on Twitter @ArizonaFBall.