Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- The Syracuse University football team is learning about leadership and stamina off the gridiron this week. The team is practicing on the base at Fort Drum and training with Soldiers.
Always ready, always alert: The Army slogan has become the football players’ mantra as they march across the field at Fort Drum.
Soldiers recently back from Kandahar, Afghanistan coached defensive players in communication skills during timed strength and critical thinking challenges.
“It's something special we don't do every day and obviously it's really special to deal with motivated young guys. We're a little bit beat down from the deployment, so seeing smiles and seeing the motivation that you get from the football team is actually something we look forward to,” said 1st Lieutenant and Platoon Leader Alejandro Villanueva.
Meanwhile, offensive players got some training in the simulation combat training room, practicing teamwork.
The players yelled back and forth to each other, calling out targets on a video screen.
When asked what skills he plans to take from training, freshman Travon Burke said, “Just work as a team, work harder and think while we’re tired.”
It was an overall lesson on vigilance, an Army requirement, and a value SU players will honor off the base and on the field this season.