It was announced back in September that semi-pro football would return to the Mohawk Valley and we're getting our first look at the squad.
There was a buzz in the air as the Utica Yard Dogs held their first rookie camp at Accelerate Sports Complex Thursday evening.
This was a chance for the coaches to see what they're working with for the 2018 season.
The roster already features some local talent, including Proctor stars, Nick Woodman and Lawrence Elliot, and New Hartford standout, Anthony Acevedo.
Head coach Frank Palmisano says the community support has been great and hopes to see it grow as the season approaches.
"You know, it's funny," said Palmisano. "I've interviewed almost every player and all of them have said the same thing. We really wanna win for the community. They've all said that and we're hoping that the community responds to us."
"A lot of it is excitement," added DE Nick Woodman. "A lot of people are anxious for what's gonna happen. Not many people know, we're brand new. New revamped group of individuals, new president and everything like that taking over. But there's a lot of excitement like when we were at Friendly's, I felt a really good vibe from everybody that was coming in."
Coach Palmisano also said he was surprisingly impressed from what he saw at Thursday's tryouts.
Coming up, the Yard Dogs will hold training camp and media day on Thursday, February 15 at 5 p.m. and that's open to the public.