New season, new look: Gaels Football hits the field

The Gaels take the field at Richardson Stadium for Day 1 of the 2019-2020 season’s training camp on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. Photo by Tim Cunningham.

When new Queen’s Gaels football Head Coach Steve Snyder was asked if he was happy that Day 1 of training camp had finally arrived, he let out an audible deep breath and an emphatic “Yes.”

“This is Richardson Stadium and this is where we belong,” he said. “We’ve been walking the halls, watching tape, planning and planning, so, yes, it’s great to get started.”

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The Gaels hit the field for day one of training camp under hot and sunny conditions on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. To the outside observer, it was quickly obvious that the initial focus of Snyder and his staff is to have the team practice and play with high tempo and ultra-high intensity.

“Our goal is to get better every session. We’re going to be better after this afternoon [team meetings], and this evening when we’re on the field again.”

Perhaps the biggest question for Coach Snyder and his staff is who will be the starting quarterback come Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 when they open their season at home against the Carleton Ravens. With the graduation of Nate Hobbs, who took most of the snaps over the past five seasons, the competition is wide open amongst the five quarterbacks in camp.

“Right now James Keenan will be taking first team reps and that is based in the assessment of the coaches who have been here, and from the returning vets,” Snyder said.

Also competing for the starter role in Frontenac Flacons graduate Brendan Steele, who had a strong showing in last season’s preseason game against Waterloo.

This year’s training camp schedule is a departure from previous seasons that had most on field sessions held in the morning. This year the team is on the field from 10:30 a.m. until noon, and again at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Every third day they will only be on the field from 5 p.m. through 8 p.m.

The Gaels open their season at home on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 at 6 p.m. vs. the Carleton Ravens. Tickets are on sale at www.gogaelsgo.com, or at Queen’s ARC.

Tim “The Coach” Cunningham has played every sport ever. His inside knowledge can be heard and seen on radio, television and in print across Canada. Follow him on twitter at @TheCoachTC.

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