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College football: Great Danes start preparing for CAA

A new stadium comes with move to a new conference

The University at Albany football team held its first practice for the 2013 season Monday in the shadow of Bob Ford Field. The Great Danes inaugurate their new home Saturday, Sept. 14 against Rhode Island.

The University at Albany football team held its first practice for the 2013 season Monday in the shadow of Bob Ford Field. The Great Danes inaugurate their new home Saturday, Sept. 14 against Rhode Island. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— “A lot of these CAA teams go two or three deep at every position,” added Fiacchi.

Ford has been recruiting for an eventual upgrade in the Great Danes’ level of competition while not forgetting to look for local talent. This year’s UAlbany roster includes 13 former Section II players including Guilderland quarterback Ryan Smith, Bethlehem kicker Jonathan Martin and Shaker running back Ryan Griffin.

“I’m excited to be part of a new (football) family and a new energy,” said Griffin.

Some of that new energy comes from the new Bob Ford Field, the university’s 8,500-seat stadium built next to SEFCU Arena. The stadium includes amenities not found at the old University Field including a synthetic turf field, a concourse, corporate boxes and a giant video scoreboard.

“I think it’s a piece of the puzzle we need at the university,” said Ford.

The Great Danes’ first CAA contest and their first home game in their new stadium is Saturday, Sept. 14, against the University of Rhode Island. And win or lose, the players are determined to give the Rams and all the other CAA teams a run for their money.

“We expect to be competitive and be tough on the field, and make teams respect us,” said Griffin.

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