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
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
"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.