After Busy Preseason, Yeomen Ready for Fall

Kevin Sloan

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After a rigorous preseason training camp, the Oberlin football team is ready for the upcoming season. The team has developed various new plays and formations under Head Coach Jeff Ramsey, who is enthusiastic about the team’s growth thus far this year. The Yeomen have the first official week of their season off, which allows them extra time to prepare for their first game against Case Western Reserve University on Sept. 15.

The workload during training can be extremely strenuous, and that hasn’t been lost on the team’s players. “Generally, your schedule [during training camp] is from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.,” said junior offensive lineman Rory Kaip. “It’s intermittent with meals and meetings.”

Coach Ramsey commented on the busy schedule as well. “We actually gave them an extra day off,” he said. “By NCAA rules we lose a practice day if we do that, but with a bye the first week of the season, they deserved it.”

Since the start of classes, the Yeomen have continued training at a high level. “We’re working extremely hard,” said Ramsey. “We’re focused, and we have our ups and downs like everyone does.”

One obstacle the Yeomen will have to overcome this season is their small team size. The team is comprised of far fewer players than the 100-player squads against which they compete. The Yeomen have only 36 players, 10 fewer than last season.

Though their small team size can sometimes limit the effectiveness of their practices, the Yeomen are directing their attention elsewhere. “We try not to dwell on the numbers,” said senior tight end Gideon Reiz, one of the team’s much ballyhooed walk-ons. To compensate, players are being conditioned to play full games, since some do not have backups. As a result, practices are tougher than ever.

When asked about preparation for games, Reiz said, “We take it a week at a time with opponents. We play in the present, and we prepare each week for that team based on film we watch on them from previous games.”

In addition to enthusiasm for playing, the Yeomen are hopeful that students will support the team more than they typically have in the past. Many players are concerned that Oberlin students have unfair misconceptions about athletes in general.

“I think we have a bunch of really good guys who are just like any other Oberlin College student. You know, maybe they’re bigger,” said Coach Ramsey.

“We’re nice guys. A lot of us are a lot shyer than typical Oberlin students,” said Kaip, adding, “we’re not just dumb meatheads.”

This year, the team will actively support various College and Conservatory events such as concerts and dance recitals.

The Yeomen await their home opener against Case Western on Sept. 15.

 

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