By Bryan Davis
By the time this article reaches the stands, the West Point Green Wave football team, along with all of their luggage and amenities, will be on the first leg of their day-long trip to Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Wave will hit the beach sometime this evening, leaving them 24 hours to rest before week twoâ€™s kickoff with the Mainland High School Buccaneers.
West Point head coach Chris Chambless knew that it was going to be a short and tough week for the Wave, practicing for the upcoming game and preparing for a long ride in the team bus.
After two days of afternoon practice, Chambless told his players to be at the field house shortly before 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
The Florida bound group suited up, and they did a rare pre-sunup practice, giving them the rest of the day to make preparations for todayâ€™s trip.
â€śI thought it was the best practice weâ€™ve had all year,â€ť Chambless said on Wednesday afternoon. â€śIt was a very good practice, and it was a very focused practice.â€ť
Chambless said that the elements were just right for the session. He said that the team practiced under a well-lit field, coupled with cooler temperatures in the early morning hours.
â€śIt happened to be a good morning,â€ť Chambless said, adding that he had previously touted the idea of a 5 a.m. Wednesday practice before. â€śEverybody was here.â€ť
Chambless said that the team had a lot to do on Wednesday to prepare for the trip, so the early practice worked out great.
During the afternoon preparations, the team was focused and excited about the upcoming adventure.
â€śTheyâ€™re naturally very excited,â€ť Chambless said. â€śTheyâ€™re looking forward to going on the road trip and staying overnight. Weâ€™re going to do our best to treat them well.â€ť
Just before the bell rang, which excused the team for the evening, Chambless stressed the importance of each playerâ€™s responsibility on the trip, behavior wise and on the field.
â€śWeâ€™ve stressed to them that this is not a vacation,â€ť Chambless said. â€śThis is a business trip, and our number one goal is to go down there and play football. They donâ€™t want to go down there and get shamed. They want to play the best football West Point has to offer.