“If this ponding basin fills up will probably have to practice in the parking lot tomorrow,” said Fresno State head coach Pat Hill after Tuesday’s practice.
Unlike most schools in the WAC, Fresno State doesn’t have field turf inside its stadium or on the practice field. It’s something Hill was thinking about aloud as the status for Wednesday’s practice location is in limbo.
“That’s why we need field turf that’s why everyone in our league has it,” said Hill.
Players had Sunday off; in essence, the practice week got pushed up as Monday – the usual day off – was like a Sunday practice, which is a relatively light practice consistent mostly of running. However, the younger players scrimmage Sunday nights. Hill said during Monday morning’s press conference that he might have the youngsters scrimmage on Wednesday. Right now, that doesn’t look possible with the wet weather, and Hill’s focus is getting the team ready for San Jose State.
“We got to be prepared that is my biggest concern, making sure we have practice time to prepare and get ready for this game,” said Hill. “We got work today on sloppy fields but that’s just the way it is.
“We don’t have an indoor facility or field turf or any of that. So, I’m a little worried about our field getting flooded but we don’t have any control over that, just another one of our challenges.”
The team has already faced enough adversity to fill an entire season from flying just a day earlier for 9 a.m. PT kickoffs at Wisconsin and at Cincinnati to busing to San Francisco to fly commercial to Hawaii last week.
Now with the rain threatening the team’s practice facility, this team cannot seem to catch a break. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem to faze the players.
“It’s not so bad, the field is a little flooded but we got to work through the elements,” said junior defensive end Chris Carter. “It really doesn’t bother any of us.”
Hill said the rain didn’t cut short Tuesday’s practice as the ‘Dogs completed a full day of reps and meetings. However, the weather could make things difficult on the team continues to prepare for Saturday’s homecoming contest with the Spartans.
“We got a full practice in,” said Hill. “I don’t know about tomorrow, I don’t where we’ll practice if the field gets flooded. We’re going to have to find a place to practice.”
And Hill maybe a bit “tongue-in-cheek” about practicing in the parking lot but there is not other spot on campus the ‘Dogs can use that has not been affected by the unusual amount of precipitation. But on the flipside, it’s an added benefit as it gives the team a different aspect to prepare for.
“It helped both sides of the ball,” said Carter. “This is the first time it’s really rain like this. We want to practice in these types of elements, there’s a chance we could play some games like this. We got to suck it up and just get through it.”
The stormy weather is expected to last through Wednesday with 80-degree temperatures predicted for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, according to Weather.com. The team has to stay focused as a move or change of Wednesday’s practice schedule is inevitable.
But Carter believes the team is hardened and is prepared for anything. “We stay mentally focused at all times,” he says. “We’re going to be able to implement all of things we learned this week, regardless [of where or when we practice].”
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