The National Champion Florida State soccer team started its preseason camp this week, adding eight freshmen to the 2015 roster.
The Seminoles will open their season on August 21 in the Lobo Invitational, taking on New Mexico and Southern Cal in Albuquerque, N.M.
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced the Seminoles’ as the No. 1 ranked team in the country, the highest preseason ranking in school history.
After having productive spring and summer programs, the Florida A&M football training camp will be about working on how to compete in a complete manor, according to first-year head coach Alex Wood.
With about a month of practices between now and the season kickoff against the University of South Florida on Sept. 5, one of the main focuses will be making sure players know how to finish games, Wood said.
“We obviously want to play physical and play hard, but we also want to make sure we know how to play a complete contest from play one to play last,” Wood said. “That’s what we are really working on and also making sure we are fundamentally sound.”
The fall camp will also be the time when Wood and his staff will be able to implement their systems on offense, defense and special teams.
“It’s our ability to create a rarefied atmosphere that’s really about training, comparing and building chemistry up for the football season,” Wood said.
First day of full contact drills will be on Monday August 10, with two work sessions.
Florida A&M head baseball coach Jamey Shouppe believes experience will continue to be a valuable tool for getting his team back to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament for a second straight title, and hungry to play better in the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Two seasons ago, Shouppe and his team played in their first MEAC tournament. They didn’t win it, but the experience the players gained was what sparked the Rattlers to coming back this season to win their first MEAC Conference title in 21 years.
“The experience we gained will make our guys not satisfied with just going there showing up,” Shouppe said. “We are going to be hunger this year, and coach to win. And play to win every game we play.”
The FAMU baseball team has won 49 games over the last two seasons, while tallying their most conference wins in a two-year stretch. The Rattlers will be returning over a dozen seniors, who will go into next year’s season ready to be more competitive.
“We have to continue doing what we have done,” Shouppe said. “We have to refine the process. As we continue to set our own bar higher. We have to continue working harder and smarter.”
Shouppe will enter his third season as the Rattlers’ head coach in the upcoming season. He is working on recruiting talent that will be better, and overall improving his baseball program. He will be looking for players that can do the job in the classroom, but also be competitive on the baseball field.
“Pitching. You always have to recruit for pitching,” Shouppe said. “You are not going to win if you do not have pitching. We saw that in the post season. We will continue to look to bring in better arms.”
“We just have to recruit well to continue to build,” he added.
Shoupe was also able to gain experience this past season, which will help moving into next season.
“Obviously, when you play good teams, you see good players,” Shoupe said. “We saw the type player it takes to make it, and win the regional tournament. And, to move on in the NCAA tournament. We saw our strengths, and the guys who get exposed.”
A goal line stand at the end of the first half helped preserve a scoreless game at intermission and give a team time to catch its stride.
The Capital City Cobras (10-1) took control in the second half and defeated the Pensacola Bay Spartans (6-5) 22-8 in the first round of the Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League playoffs.
The game’s first score came just 2:30 into the second half on 64-yard touchdown reception by Kearsten Edwards. Quarterback Dion Graham audibled to a quick slant when he noticed the Spartan’s defense setting up for an all-out blitz.
“We just made adjustments to what the defense was doing. They were giving us passing plays so that’s what we took,” Graham said. “With our top running back going down, I know things will be more on my shoulders. But if we continue to work as a team nobody will be able to stop us from going to Atlanta.”