Freshman defensive back Dalton Baker makes a move to get around freshman defensive back Tim Hough at a UNLV football practice at Broadbent Park. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Freshman defensive back Dalton Baker makes a move to get around freshman defensive back Tim Hough at a UNLV football practice at Broadbent Park. (Garrett Estrada photo)

A little over 100 University of Nevada, Las Vegas football players and coaches took over Broadbent Park on Aug. 10 for the college program’s yearly preseason practices. The goal, according to the team’s Head Coach Bobby Hauck, is to escape the Las Vegas summer heat and give the players a distraction free place to focus on football. By the time the team got on the bus to head home Thursday, the park had been transformed into a bootcamp.

“We aren’t too much into the guitar playing and s’mores stuff,” Hauck joked about his team’s stay in Ely. “In terms of setting an attitude, we have really turned this into a training camp type atmosphere. There isn’t any R and R to it.”

The coach has brought the team up to Ely every year since he began, continuing the trend from prior head coach Mark Sanford. The team’s visit, which filled up multiple motels throughout town, consists of renting space at White Pine High School to watch film and lift weights as well as hold practices once, sometimes twice, a day at the park. It’s a trip that is meant to challenge the players, something Hauck said was a success after a team practice on Aug. 16.

“I think that we are getting the work that we need in. We are fatigued right now. We look tired as we should. We are just going to keep grinding for the next few days before letting up,” Hauck said.

But the trip can act as more than just a training camp. According to Wide Receiver Coach Cedric Cormier, coming to Ely provides a chance to build team chemistry.

“I think it is a huge benefit coming up here. This is the one time of year that we all get to spend so much time together, focused 24/7 on football,” Cormier said.

It also marks the last time one of UNLV’s biggest playmakers will get to visit Ely with his teammates. Senior star wide receiver Devante Davis said he “loves” coming to Ely to practice and that he will miss it after the trip ends on Thursday.

“It means a lot to me. I definitely am trying to cherish it because this is my last time coming out here,” Davis said. “You can’t pay for weather better than this.”

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