Friends today, foes tomorrow–Hamilton reworks schedule to accommodate traveling Golden Eagles
The College at Brockport football team arrived on two charter buses outside Lions Stadium today at 5:42pm, planning to hold a roughly 45-minute walk through before tomorrow’s game, scheduled for 12:00pm.
News of the arrangement was casually mentioned earlier this afternoon, during an unrelated player interview.
Both coaches said they made the arrangements earlier in the week, participating in what the two parties each called a “courtesy” among all of the conference’s competitors. Now in his 13th year at the head of the Golden Eagles’ football program, head coach Rocco Salomone spoke gratefully in response to what he described as a colleague’s consideration–sparked by his fair share of walks down the same path.
“Coach Hamilton is always very gracious to let us use the facility when we come down,” he said outside TCNJ’s facilities Friday. “We extend it to anybody that visits us, whether they use it or not. It’s just a courtesy.”
Earlier at 5:00pm, the Lions conducted their pregame walk through on the turf inside TCNJ’s soccer complex, a similar surface to the FieldTurf that blankets Lions Stadium.
TCNJ head coach Eric Hamilton explained that with all of the coordination necessary to transport an entire college football program, he’s willing to offer whatever he can to smooth an often tumultuous trip for one of his colleagues today–though an adversary tomorrow.
“It’s just a courtesy you extend to them because they’d do the same for us–they always have.” he said. ” This isn’t about one-ups-manship. It’s making sure you give everyone what they need because you’d expect the same in return.”
Golden Eagles’ players seemed soothed by the opportunity to absorb the surroundings.
“It’s great to get a feel for the field here, besides the stadium,” Brockport linebacker Nathan Bull said inside the stadium. “It makes us feel more comfortable when we can practice before.”
Bull, honored twice as the conference’s top defensive player for his consistent tenacity as a run stopper, said that common exhibition of gamesmanship undoubtedly helps his team’s pregame preparations, allowing for an opportunity to loosen up the night before.
The conference’s leading tackler (avg. 16.0 tckl/gm) said that while he isn’t as personally affected by the road trips, looking forward to a “pretty good sleep” that’s “probably better than what [he]’d get at home,” Bull recognized how others might be.
Hamilton said he’s already making preparations for his team’s lengthy road trip in two weeks, when the Lions travel to upstate New York to face Cortland State University.
“Coaches talk,” he said. “Starting this week we’re already looking into organizing things now for when we go up [to Cortland], even though it’s a couple of weeks away.”