Lawrence, KS – Head football coach Jimmy Snyder at Haskell Indian Nations University welcomed back 34 returning letterwinners, including 20 starters, and a bevy of newcomers on Wednesday as the Haskell Indians football program officially opened its fall football camp. The Haskell Indian Nations University football squad is the only all Native American football team in the country competing on the college level.
Players offically checked into the football facilities and begin going through team meetings and orientation with the football staff as well as checking out equipment all in preperations for the fall season. “The first few days are about getting the players situated with all the necessary equipment and learning the expectations of the program,” Snyder said. “We have about 65 new players (including transfers) on this year’s squad so we want to make sure they get accustom to how we do things. We are just going through conditioning with them at this point and after this weekend we’ll start getting into pads and split into our offense and defense.”
All practices are open to the public but times and locations will vary depending on weather and workout scheduled for that day but most activities are taking place at the practice field and the old baseball field south of campus.
Haskell will open its season on the road on September 1st at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota and the home opener is scheduled on September 8th at Haskell Stadium against Robert Morris College.
Snyder also announced that a pair of players have been named to the USA College Football NAIA Pre-Season team for this season. Seniors Caleb Chaffin and Jesse Hammer were selected last month to the squad. Chaffin, a wide receiver from Lone Grove, Oklahoma finished the 2011 season ranked 8thin the nation in receptions per game, and 11thin total receptions. Hammer, also a First Team Selection, is from Kansas City, Kansas, and primarily takes the field as an offensive lineman.
On the newcomer side of the ball coach Snyder also talked about Van Gray, a transfer from Southwest Oklahoma State University, who is an 6-5 325 Offensive Lineman that coach expects to have an immediate impact for the Indians. “He is real athletic for such a big guy” Snyder said. “He will definately have an impact us up front, he is a big body that will help improve our size and physicality on the line”.
Also, from the newcomers list of players that could have an impact this season is incoming Freshamn Trey Harjo from Holdenville, Oklahoma. “Trey is a real explosive runner,” Snyder said “He is versitle and he can be used in different situations on the offensive side of the ball and could come in here and push for a starting job.”
Snyder said they will announce later on when the first scrimmages will be but any and all are welcome to attend when they are announced.
To to get a complete schedule for the Haskell Indian Nations University upcoming football season, visit the athletics website at http://www.haskellathletics.com/schedule/0/4.php