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    Pigskin Pals

    Pigskin Pals

    Photo By Sgt. James Griffin | Specialist Eric Mitiguy, (right), infantryman with Headquarters and Headquarters...... read more read more

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.- Two major players in the community brought their partnership together Wednesday at Fryar Stadium.

    The stadium was relatively empty as four school buses pulled up and the Austin Peay State University Governors football team trickled out onto the field. The quiet changed to laughter as the athletes began their conversations.

    A whistle blew and the athletes got quiet to listen to the instructions of the upcoming practice drill. Practice began with bear crawls where they got to see the football field up close.

    “I feel like it’s almost better than ours. Great turf, great lights out here, great little setting, pretty cool view,” said Jaison Williams, a defensive lineman and junior at APSU.

    After stretches the team broke down into offense and defense to begin drills. At this point three Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, joined in alongside the APSU football players.

    “I didn’t realize how big they are – from far away a few of them look smaller. When you get closer you realize they are some pretty big boys out here,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Tyndall, infantryman, HHC, 1-327th Inf. Regt.

    The Soldiers and APSU football players alike impressed each other. “I actually was shocked [by] how fast they were, how good they ran their routes, it actually did shock me,” said DJ Montgomery, a wide receiver and senior at APSU.

    Kyle Sperling, offensive coordinator for the Fort Campbell Falcons football team, brought a few of his players out to watch practice.

    “We wanted to see Austin Peay practice because we have a bunch of guys on the team that want to play college football,” Sperling said. “We wanted them to get a first-hand look at what it looks like to practice as a college football player.”

    As the practice moved along some players showed their lighter side and their dance moves.

    Kentel Williams, a running back and junior, and Deangelo Wilson, a wide receiver and sophomore, danced as Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” played from the stadium sound system.

    Williams said dancing keeps him loose, while Wilson said it keeps his blood flowing.

    “[Williams is] the dancer of the team, I just follow his lead,” Wilson said.
    As the one-on-one drills continued and the Soldiers watched from the sidelines, a few of the Governors would ask them questions.

    “It feels great to have Division One athletes come out here, ask me a few questions. One of the questions they were asking about was [physical training] in the morning – they were wondering if we get used to waking up early and coming in for PT,” Tyndall said.

    The Governors football players asked the Soldiers if they wanted a rep, saying everyone gets a rep.

    “It felt good. It showed they cared, and we care about them too,” Tyndall said.

    The team continued its drills and finished off with a huddle during which Will Healy, APSU head football coach, discussed his personal pride in having APSU’s military adviser, retired Brig. Gen. Scott Brower, as part of the team. He then gave Brower a chance to talk to the team.

    Brower told the team how the football team and the Soldiers at Fort Campbell are more alike than they realized.

    “What we expect of you on the field, in the classroom, in life, it’s not supposed to be easy,” said Brower. “There is a bond there.”

    The bond and respect was felt by the Governors and Soldiers during practice.

    “It was cool having the Soldiers come out here, I’m glad they get to interact with us and we get to interact with them,” Williams said.

    The APSU football players will get to interact with Screaming Eagles once more at the Nov. 17 APSU Military Appreciation game at Fortera Stadium when the Governors take on the Murray State University Racers.



    Date Taken: 10.19.2018
    Date Posted: 11.13.2018 12:27
    Story ID: 297110
    Location: FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US 

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