Camp Tontozona – Scenic views, cool weather and tall pines set a pleasant stage every day at Camp Tontozona.
But when the team hits the field and practice begins, the peaceful scene quickly turns into loud echos of coaches yelling and pads popping.
Alden Darby led the way for the defense today with two picks, both against QB Taylor Kelly. Maybe Kelly’s head is still a bit woosy from the elbow and stitches he got earlier in the week.
The offensive star of the day was Deantre Lewis. It seemed like every time he got an opportunity, he was catching a pass or breaking a run for a big gain. One of Deantre’s biggest fans of the day was fellow running back DJ Foster, who yelled words of encouragement on all of Lewis’s big plays.
Sun Devil brotherhood and a strong family vibe were in the air, and seniors like Chris Coyle are savoring every last moment in the mountains.
“We’re working hard, but also getting closer as a team,” Coyle added. “This year is going to be really special and this team is closer than it’s ever been in the past. I know we’ve had our ups and downs in past years, but this year we have so much depth, we have so much potential, and everyone is coming around to become that team that we’ve been wanting to be.”
Coyle also pointed out that the Pac-12 networks came by this week and said this was one of the most physical practices they’ve seen of all the camps they have been to.
For the guys getting their first taste of Camp T, the focus on getting to know each other better has been a top priority.
Freshman Marcus Ball shared his camp experience. “I’ve talked with guys that I haven’t talked to much in Tempe. I bunked with four offensive linemen and DJ Foster, so it’s been good to get to know those guys.” Ball added confidently, “Team building is really important when it comes to winning the national championship.” It is apparent that he knows how to Speak Victory.
When asked about what he learned about Foster this week, Ball added, “DJ Foster is real. He’s a tremendous athlete and tremendous asset to our team. I know he works real hard.”
Second year player Carlos Mendoza is looking to improve every single day.
“We’re working hard as a team, but the coaches are always pushing us to work harder. So we will be prepared tomorrow to have a great scrimmage.” Mendoza added, “This year, they’re trying to bring us closer together as a family, and that’s what we’ve been doing all week.”
There is no question that the 2013 Sun Devils have bonded on their family road trip to the mountains.