Orangemen kick off season

Some lay stretched across the Carrier Dome carpet reading media guides, while others studied play books. Some joked, some took a cat nap, while others spoke to reporters and had their pictures taken. Welcome to the first day of practice-Syracuse Orangemen.

The 2003 Syracuse University Orangemen took a break after morning practice and got ready for the afternoon session on Monday. But in between, they took part in the team's annual media day.

"It feels good to be back," head coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "August 10 is the latest start I can remember, but we got a late finish in December so..."

The upperclassmen practiced in the morning, while the incoming players were to take part in the afternoon practice.

"The next three weeks we will pick up where we left off in spring and go back and work on the fundamentals."

The Orangemen will have 29 practice sessions to prepare for their season opener at North Carolina on September 6. Due to a new NCAA legislation, practice sessions and times are limited this preseason.

"I don't know whether I like it or not because I've never been through it," Pasqualoni said. "We always had a Sunday off, now we can't have a Sunday off. I'm not sure how it will be in the end."

Senior Johnnie Morant had already been through the team's practice earlier in the morning.

"It feels great to be back," Morant said. "I was getting bored. I couldn't wait to get started."

Morant feels that the Orange will be a much improved team and the enthusiasm has been apparent throughout the spring and summer.

"Everyone is up. We had a great summer and a great spring. We are all excited. Everyone knows what we can do and we want to prove ourselves."

Senior captain Rich Scanlon wants to put last year in the past. The Orangemen finished 4-8 and many of the preseason rankings have Syracuse listed in the bottom half of the standings.

"We got what we deserved," Scanlon said. "We need to forget about it and stop rehashing it and start fresh."

Freshman Vincenzo Giruzzi is looking forward to his first practice as an Orangeman.

"I was up here all summer, working out with the team, lifting, running, watching a lot of film. Now it's time for the real thing. Can't wait to get out on the field."

According to Strength and Conditioning coach Will Hicks, Giruzzi and the rest of the freshman all completed the conditioning run on Sunday.

"The kids reported back in great shape," Pasqualoni said.

"I sense a sense of urgency on the part of the kids. They appear to be a focused group. Their level of concentration is good."

Cuse Nation Top Stories