CALGARY, AB — The first weekend of training camp is always a hectic one.
First, the players report to medical and fitness testing and media interviews on Friday.
And it’s not easy.
With lots of running on treadmill, sprints, a shuttle, and other exercises, the athletes were put through the ringer.
They follow that up with a two practices on Saturday and another on Sunday morning before the guys went their separate ways for the week.
“Everyone looks really good, it’s high pace, it’s a typical Roughnecks camp,” said Scott Carnegie on the first weekend of training camp. “Lots of running, a lot of high-flow drills. Scrimmage was good, hoping to carry that into the weekend and the exhibition games going forward.”
With a large number of rookies, free agents, and players brought in via trade, the camp had a very competitive vibe.
“Lots of new faces, which makes it a lot more competitive,” said transition player Karsen Leung. “Everyone is trying out for a spot, so it ups the intensity at training camp a little bit.”
“It was a good practice, good to see some young guys out there doing well and a lot of new faces,” sophomore Wesley Berg said. “You see some guys back there who have always done well, but they are picking up the intensity. It’s good.”
Of the new faces at camp, one of them was new defensive coach Rob Williams.
Getting his first look at his defensive unit, he was very impressed by the players he hadn’t seen or coached before.
“It felt real good,” noted Williams. “This is a highly skilled team, so being out there on the floor and watching them felt good.”
“I hadn’t seen Cummings yet and he was very impressive. Tall, rangy, fast guy, good hands. He stood out to me today and he was a good communicator,” admitted Williams. “Karsen Leung I hadn’t coached before and didn’t realize how much he communicates himself. He’s a good leader out there today. Bobby Snider stood out for me, communicating and taking draws.”
He also mentioned the Harnett’s and the Carnegie’s as players who had a strong showing at the first weekend of training camp.
Second-year defenceman Tyson Bell was also pleased with the look of the defence after the practices.
“The defence is good, a lot of big bodies out there,” stated Bell. “It’s a new squad so everything has got to fall into place. The more we are with each other, the better we’ll be and everything will fall into place.”
On the other side of the ball, the Roughnecks had a lot of new players looking to make a mark at camp.
The Roughnecks early round draft selections impressed last year’s first round pick, Wesley Berg.
“Lots of young guys. Brody Eastwood looks really good out there,” said Berg. “[Holden] Cattoni and Matt Symes have filled in well. They shoot the ball well and they’ve got good lacrosse IQ.”
Overall, the first weekend of training camp saw a lot of hard work, lots of players showing out, and a great first learning experience.
Also, and maybe more importantly, this was the first chance for the team to get together, start the journey, and get excited for the start of the season.
“It was good,” noted Leung. “It was nice to get back out here, see the guys and start getting ready for the season again.
“I think everyone is excited.”