Fort Drum, N.Y. — From the end of the firing line made up of Syracuse football players, Captain Zach Johnson of the 10th Mountain Division shouted at them to keep talking to each other to maintain the communication needed to take out the enemy.
As the Orange shot their fake weapons into the virtual screen in front of them, aiming at the enemy soldiers appearing from behind hills in a vast desert, the main purpose of the activity translates to the football field.
“They were telling us communication is key, and I believe we’re doing the same thing out here,” running back Prince-Tyson Gulley said. “Learning how to communicate with each other and stuff like this. This is working out for us.”
The Orange are spending the week at U.S. Army post Form Drum. Aside from the daily routine of practicing football, Syracuse’s players are training with members of the military and participating in team-building activities.
Coming off a 5-7 season, the Orange are trying everything they can to improve and take a step forward. The team is hoping a week away to focus solely on football and teamwork makes that happen.
The players live in barracks and every night eat dinner with the soldiers on base to connect with them and learn about their lives in the military.
(Copyright 2012 by Associated Press)