While the Washington Husky Football team is in full gear with the season, something else has started to monopolize their time this week.
Autumn quarter began yesterday at the University of Washington and along with that comes excitement and challenges for the players.
For the first four games of the season, the Husky Football team has been dialed in to football for a majority of their daily schedule.
With school starting, the Huskies are embracing it and making sure that they are putting their academics at the forefront of their priorities.
Washington head coach Chris Petersen is one of the biggest sticklers on staying focused on your academics as a player on his team.
It is a main staple of his foundation and “Built For Life” program that he and his staff teach and instill on a regular basis.
The biggest obstacle that the players have to tackle is balancing their academic responsibilities and their obligations to the team.
Time management is a crucial component to solving this formula, and it’s not always the same for each player on the team.
“Yah..it definitely, now that we have class, we have to find different times to watch film, get treatment,” senior center Nick Harris told DubLife. “I’ve been here awhile, I know the deal, but the freshman it’s kind of tough on them just because there is so much stuff they have to do now. It’s mostly just trying to figure out..you have to be smart, you have to figure out when to throw stuff at certain spots of your day and stuff like that.”
For a seasoned veteran like Harris who is in his final career on Montlake, he had definitely learned the ropes with how to manage his workload.
As he mentioned, this is all new territory for the true freshman on the team and often times the “juggle” can be harder to grasp and tackle.
In speaking with three seniors about this topic over the past week, they don’t seem to think their days will be too overwhelming.
“It shouldn’t really change..our schedules don’t really change. We just push meetings back in the afternoon a little bit, but other than that we should fit the time in to come in and watch the extra film and get treatment so we should be set,” senior inside linebacker Brandon Wellington told DubLife this week.
Two common themes between Harris and Wellington are that the players are making extra time in their schedules to watch game film, and also take care of their bodies by getting treatment.
What seems to be firmly cemented is that the players are not eliminating things out of their schedules with school present, but rather reshuffling the hours in their days.
The players feel complete support with handling both of their major responsibilities, and that all starts with the message that Petersen preaches with his players.
“I think we will be just fine. Coach Pete preaches on it a lot! I look around and everyone is pretty good at time management and know what we have to get done, so I don’t think it’s going to be a burden,” Senior wide receiver Andre Baccellia told DubLife.
Clearly the elder statesmen on the team have it figured and rest assured, they will be schooling the newbies on how to make this transition seamless for themselves too.
When speaking with the players this week, there was a grand excitement not only for their matchup with USC, but for another reason!
The players are welcoming back a full “Dawg Pack” student section for the first this season, and it just so happens to come against the Trojans.
You could see their eyes light up when asked about how excited they were to have that kind of support back from the “Dawg Pack”.
It’s no secret that Husky Stadium is way more “electric” when the student body section is at full capacity, and as loud as ever.
The iconic “GO HUSKIES” chant that has forever made the experience at Husky Stadium historical, is on a different wave length and decibel when orchestrated by the “Dawg Pack”.
Generally speaking, the players are extremely appreciative of the support and the extra boost that fuels the team from a boisterous “Dawg Pack” section.
“We’re definitely excited. It’s going to be big. We’re going to need them. Shout out to our fans and students – come out there, yell, and turn up.” Wellington told DubLife.
“Turn up” as Wellington put it is exactly what the Huskies are going to need from the student body this week, with the marquee matchup that awaits the Huskies.
“Yah..that’s going to be awesome! More energy in the crowd is always good,” Baccellia told DubLife.
Husky Stadium through the years has provided the team with much needed emotion and spirit, making it hard on opposing teams.
“It should be pretty good! (he smiles). I’m excited for this week, the fans and the stadium should be rocking so I’m pretty excited,” Harris told DubLife.
Earlier today, Petersen touched on what kind of an atmosphere he expects this Saturday, because of Autumn quarter starting yesterday.
“Yeah, I hope. I played in a handful of games where when you walk into that stadium and you’re like whoa. This is good. This is different.” And I’m really hoping this is one of those games. It should be. It’s the kickoff time we want. The weather seems to be cooperating. We got a really good opponent, evenly matched teams. This is what college football is all about,” Petersen said.
When asked his thoughts on whether this game could match the 2016 matchup against the Trojans, when College Gameday was present, Petersen responded…
“Like I said, there’s been a couple of times. When you get good opponents that people are excited about, the energy level changes a little bit. I think everybody wants to compete in those arenas.”
While some teams would see the start of school a stressful moment, these Huskies are actually viewing it quite the opposite..They are fully embracing it!
A chance to further themselves academically and work towards getting their degree. They also gain the full support of one of their long and trusted allies..the “Dawg Pack”.
With welcoming the challenge of school starting, a little “time management” education for everyone involved is never a bad thing, but an acquired skill to cherish.
Petersen and his players appreciate the support of the “Dawg Pack” and it couldn’t be more evidenced by the video message he sent them just yesterday…..
— Coach Petersen (@CoachPeteUW) September 24, 2019
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