THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The first three days of training camp are in the books, and the new-look Cal Lutheran football team was hard at work preparing for the 2018 season.
The Kingsmen got underway Wednesday with their first practice at 7 p.m. They picked it back up the following morning and had a busy Thursday and Friday.
"The big focus right now is championship effort, championship decision-making and a championship belief system," said head football coach Ben McEnroe.
"We don't get to spend a lot of time with our student-athletes prior to their arrival on campus, so this is an important time in our growth and development. Not just for this team, but for our program. We're developing relationships, setting expectations and holding each other accountable."
Championship action has been brought up a lot in the first part of training camp. The Kingsmen are beginning to build a culture, and that championship mindset is what they're striving for.
The Violet and Gold started training camp by working in different position groups and then coming together as a whole, mixing in individual workouts with mini scrimmages. The intensity can be seen everywhere on the field.
"We're just laying the foundation right now and working on fundamentals," said McEnroe. "Coaches have great teaching progression. It's very basic, but there are elements that we're seeing that are very exciting. This is a very athletic football team."
The athletic part was in full-affect when the offense and defense played 7-on-7. Both sides of the ball came up with great plays that showcased that athleticism.
"The first night was all offense," said McEnroe. "Hayden Smith came out at quarterback and had a great 7-on-7 period. Tyler Riley was really impressive at wide receiver. A couple of the newcomers also did some good things on the offensive side."
"Then we came out Thursday, and the defense was all over the offense. Tyler Lozano sort of set the stage with a pass break-up. Then the ball started getting knocked down and pulled out. Ethan Pulley made a very athletic play with a pick-six. It was cool to see the defense respond."
With the first few days complete, McEnroe was really optimistic and positive about the team.
"I like this team. I think from an athletic stand point, we are as good as we've been in a long time. We just have to fine-tune that championship expectation and bring the team's expectations up to a higher level, and we'll get there.
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director