richmond roughriders training camp
Roughriders owner Gregg Fornario on the importance of play atendence at training camp.
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Friday March 2, 2018: BRVA Professional Soccer Academy
Roughriders practice began at 5 pm and was supposed to run until 7 pm. Unfortunately, with wind gusts above 45 mph, the power was off in many places around the Richmond Metro Region, including the facility. Guys began showing up around 4:30 pm and warm-ups began. Among the returning Riders was 2017 APF Defensive Player of the Year Keontae Hollis and outstanding DB Rece Thorne. The newcomers in attendance included DB Ellis Lankster and QB Rakeem Cato. The facility is equipped with skylights, but as the early March sun began setting the field grew darker and darker. One of the coaches said it was like playing ball as a kid out in the street until it became too dark to see and you had to go home for dinner. Early on owner Gregg Fornario huddled with Head Coach Mookie Zimmerman about who was in attendance and who wasn't. High profile signee Greg Hardy was excused by the staff from attending today's practice. No reason was given. Another player had apparently called the team and said he'd be unable to participate in camp for the entire week. The owner and staff were unhappy and while no final decision had been reached, it appears the player will be cut. On the field, the team was enthusiastic and relatively sharp. Cato has a strong arm, and the short passes were zipping in with authority. The scrimmage was non-contact so it isn't fair to judge any of the players on either side of the ball by their performance today. Around 6 pm without electricity, the room became too dark to see and the staff thought it best to call it a day.
I suggested to Keontae Hollis that with Greg Hardy lining up on the other end of the D-line from him that he ought to put up 20 sacks. He said, "They can't double us both, so I ought to get 30!"
Head Coach Mookie Zimmerman said, "We're happy with the guys we've got and everyone is playing hard and having fun."
While talking about former teammates who are unwilling to play with teams outside of the area, Rece Thorn said, "It's hard on the local guys. They've got jobs and families and they can't just go somewhere and play. If you can't practice you can't play and you can't drive long distances every day and also be with your family and work."
Look what the Richmond Roughriders left laying around!
During the 2017 season the Richmond Roughriders realized their playing field needed upgrading. With a new season, in new league, quickly approaching, they decided to see what was available on the used market and learned the LA KISS field was available. The KISS folded after the the 2016 AFL season and the Roughriders decided to bring in their old field and rebrand it with their logo and sponsors. The KISS logo on the 25 yard line as well as in the endzones will be covered with the Roughriders logo and there's a rumor the goal lines might be Riders Neon Green!