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Pioneers excited for start of camp

By MIKE LEVIN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - They've been waiting for months, but the start of training camp finally came Sunday morning for the Utica College football team.  After reporting to campus Saturday, the Pioneers were back on the turf at Gaetano Stadium Sunday.

"Happy football  Football season is here, guys reported yesterday, administrative day, got all our paperwork and equipment out, had our first practice this morning," said head coach Blaise Faggiano during Sunday morning's practice.  "Guys came to camp in shape, we had a great shuttle run test, our conditioning test.  To say we're excited is an understatement."

Offense hasn't been much of a problem for UC the last few years, especially with Andrew Benkwitt at QB.  This year isn't expected to be much different, with leaders like Benkwitt as well as WR and RFA grad Jeremy Meier back for their senior seasons and those leaders are happy to be back on the field.

"The summer flew by," said Meier.  "You're just counting down the days to get back to camp and it's finally here.  We're ready to go, ready to make some noise this season."

Defense, however, is a concern.  The 2011 team gave up at least 40 points in each of their last three games, all losses.  But even with all the work ahead of them, the Pioneer defenders are also excited.

"It's hard to explain," said LB and Proctor Grad Genaro Scampone.  "You're working hard during the summer and you can just feel, it's getting three weeks, two weeks, couple days left.  You get here and you see all your friends, they're my friends now, they're all looking good, everyone's ready to go and it's a vibe, a feeling that everyone's ready to go.  You don't talk about it much, but you can tell everyone's ready for it."

The Pioneers open the season September 1st under the lights at Gaetano Stadium at 7 against St. Lawrence.

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