The instructions were easy; show up at 0500 hours and wear clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.
That was all head coach of the Georgia Southern University men’s soccer team Kevin Kennedy told his team the day before the team’s most bizarre spring training session in recent memory.
That practice was a little different and a crash course in what it takes to be a member of GSU’s ROTC Ranger Challenge Team.
“We got in touch with Master Sergeant Tim Parks of the Eagle Battalion, and they were more than happy to show our student-athletes the kind of workout that the Ranger team went through,” Kennedy said in a news release.
The Ranger Challenge Team is the best of the best within the Eagle Battalion’s Corps of Cadets. The team recently won the sixth Brigade Ranger Challenge at Camp Blanding, Fla. and earned a spot in the International Sandhurst Competition, which will be held at the United States Military Academy in West Point this April.
The men’s soccer team is well accustomed to early morning training sessions, but nothing could have prepared the team for their session with the ROTC.
“We thought it would be a great opportunity for our team to learn a little bit about leadership,” Kennedy said in a news release.
The Eagles trekked through a course that took them from the southwest corner of campus at the Recreation Activity Center to the northern tip of campus at the Iron Works building. They then continued to Hanner Fieldhouse, the rotunda at the Russell Union, Paulson Stadium before finishing back at the RAC.
“It was a great learning experience for our team,” team Ccptain junior midfielder Hunter Norton said in a news release. “They are a group filled with leaders. When they get a task to complete, they work together and combine abilities to achieve the goal. It’s something that we can learn from as a sports team.”
The group encountered several challenges such as the forced tire carry, stairs to climb inside of Hanner Fieldhouse, a wall to cross as a team, running whild wearing gas masks, bear crawls up the hill at Paulson Stadium and a swim through the pond at the RAC.
“I don’t think the guys are begging to go back anytime soon, but I think the guys liked the variety in the training,” Kennedy said in a news release. “It was very interesting to see how efficient the ROTC guys were with their communication within a group, which was beneficial for our team.”