Aug 2, 2014 1:11 AM by Travis Clark
SAN LOUIS OBISPO, Calif.- The Cal Poly football team welcomed 25 new players Friday at their first day of fall camp, marking the earliest practice starting date in the program's history.
The five transfers join 19 freshman and 61 returners as their effort begins to rebound from the fourth-place finish in the Big Sky Conference last year, when the team ended the season with six wins and six losses.
"I'm happy with where we are," head coach Tim Walsh said. "We had a good summer and I think we progressed well through the first practice, but there are very few college coaches that are not pleased with the first day of practice."
Runningback Kristaan Ivory is one of the 16 starters who took the field Friday, looking to bring the Mustangs back to the top of the Big Sky this season. The senior ran for a team-high 1,113 yards in 2013.
"We're excited for a new season," Ivory said. "We didn't have the season we wanted last year so everyone is real hungry. We have been working real hard to erase that out of our minds and get ready for New Mexico State."
As the team prepares for New Mexico State on Aug. 28 in Las Cruces, senior linebacker Nick Dzubnar says the Mustangs are coming out strong.
"Everyone is going to come out with energy on the first day," Dzubnar said. "I think the bigger question is seeing the team moral when you are in the middle of camp. If we continue to have energy the way we did today, we will have a pretty good camp."
And eagerness was the highlight of Friday's practice.
"First off, everyone is super happy to be here so enthusiasm is through the roof," senior safety Dave Douglas said. "As far as technique goes, everyone is a bit rusty but we're all happy to be out here but everything is all fast and rusty."
"It is 2014, it's a new season. Probably out of those 16 starters, there are five or six guys that are going to have to earn the right to keep that spot and that's going to make it a competitive camp. That stuff won't be decided until we put the pads on," Walsh added.
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