SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the Sacramento State football team nears the midway point of training camp, the team received good news on Tuesday when head coach Marshall Sperbeck let them know that Wednesday would be an unexpected off day. With the break in the action, here's a quick look at what's been happening (and what's ahead) around camp.
BEE A HORNET
The annual event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 17, following the team's first scrimmage which begins at 9 a.m. Sacramento State players and coaches will take children 12 years old and younger through different drills on the field. Players and staff will also be signing autographs. There will also be a free photo booth available to all fans.
GRAB YOUR TICKETS
Living Social and Amazon Local are both running promos for discounted season tickets. For just $99 fans can purchase seats in selected sections on the west side of the stadium for all six games. To purchase season tickets, click HERE.
Single game tickets are also now on sale and can be purchased online HERE or at the Sacramento State ticket office. This season, fans who purchase prior to game day will receive a discount.
The two major Football Championship Subdivision polls both debuted during the week and each featured the Hornets among the vote getters. Sacramento State received 44 votes in The Sports Network poll which placed it 37th overall. The team was 50th in the FCS coaches poll. Two-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State earned the top spot in both polls.
The Hornets are scheduled to face Cal Poly (14th), Northern Arizona (18th) and Montana (20th) during the year but will avoid Montana State (2nd) and Eastern Washington (4th) during the regular season. The preseason slate features San Jose State and Arizona State, who are both receiving votes in the USA Today preseason poll as well as Southern Oregon who's ranked 14th in the preseason NAIA poll.
Tyrone Duckett showed off his best Bo Jackson impersonation over the weekend. Duckett, who is in his first season with the team after transferring from Washington State, has seen time at defensive back throughout the first week of camp. On Sunday night, he crushed the rest of the team in the annual bowling night at Country Club Lanes with a score of 225. Included in that total was seven consecutive strikes.
JUST KICKIN' IT
A couple of the more interest position battles in the early part of camp have come on special teams where Brad Cornish and Jesse Aguillar are fighting for the kicking job and Justin Weldon and Smith Heath are vying for the start at punter. The left-footed Cornish saw action last season on kickoffs but did not attempt a field goal or extra point. Aguillar was a first team JC All-American at Fullerton College where he made 13 field goals and was 52-of-52 on extra point attempts.
Weldon and Heath split time last season and have had equal reps in training camp. Weldon, who's a lefty, averaged 42.8 yards per punt while Heath averaged 36.7 in 2012.
New offensive line coach Bill Laveroni has spent his professional career working with large humans. With stops at Cal, Vanderbilt, the Seattle Seahawks and the UFL, Laveroni has coached some of the game's best including future Hall of Famers Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson.
While the hall of fame status of his current unit has yet to be determined there is no doubting its size. The projected starting line of Lars Hanson, Tyler Worthley, John Wallace, Derek Nielsen and Aleksandar Milanovic as well as backups Adam Murray and Derek Stickney averages 6-foot-5 and 298.6 pounds.
The freshmen aren't much smaller with Casey Dakin (6-3, 275), Pailake Aiono (6-2, 310), Andrew Admire (6-5, 255), Jonathan Bade (6-5, 240), Rajaee Jordan (6-5, 260) and Pu'e Togia (6-2, 275).
IN THE NEWS
During the first week of camp, the Hornets have had visits from the Sacramento Bee as well as the State Hornet. KCRA 3 and KTXL 40 have also sent crews out to capture the action.
One of the questions that has been posed the most to Coach Sperbeck has been about the play of several of the local freshmen. Among those who've received rave reviews so far has been cornerback Marcus Green (Franklin HS), linebackers Cole Hannum (Nevada Union HS) and Russell Smith (Del Oro HS) and tight end Stone Sander (Placer HS).
Another activity that has kept the team entertained during camp was a trip to see "Fruitvale Station" on Tuesday night. The film was written and directed by former Hornet receive Ryan Coogler.
Last week also marked the start of the NFL exhibition season. Zack Nash was credited with three tackles in a 14-0 win over the Green Bay Packers. McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed 4-of-9 passes for 26 yards in Minnesota's loss to Houston.
PUTTING NAMES TO THE FACES
One of the new features of the redesigned hornetsports.com is the ability to see all the faces on the team in one spot. Just click the roster link at the top of the page and select "Headshot View" to take a look at the 2013 team.
Along with hornetsports.com, fans can like Sacramento State football on Facebook as well as on Twitter (@sachornetsfb) for thorough updates throughout the season. Both pages feature photos and behind-the-scenes video of the team. Hornet fans are also encouraged to use #StingersUp and #BigSkyFB with their posts.
April 29, 2014 WILLIAMS, ESKEW NAMED TO HAMPSHIRE HONOR SOCIETY
April 25, 2014 SPERBECK RESIGNS AS HEAD COACH; SEARS NAMED INTERIM
April 12, 2014 OFFENSE ERUPTS IN SPRING GAME
April 5, 2014 SHORT-HANDED FOOTBALL HOLDS SECOND SPRING SCRIMMAGE
February 24, 2014 FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2014 SCHEDULE
February 10, 2014 FOOTBALL NAMES SOLOMONA TAPASA DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
February 4, 2014 FOOTBALL UNVEILS 2014 SIGNING CLASS
January 27, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE EARNS 22 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
January 24, 2014 JODY SEARS HIRED AS FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
January 2, 2014 FOOTBALL ADDS MORGAN NEVIN TO MIDYEAR SIGNING CLASS
December 19, 2013 FOOTBALL INKS THREE IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
December 19, 2013 ROBERTS RANKED 18th AMONG BIG SKY'S GREATEST ATHLETES
December 18, 2013 TODD DAVIS AND JUSTIN WELDON HONORED AS FCS ALL-AMERICANS
November 26, 2013 FOOTBALL PLACES NINE ON ALL-BIG SKY CONFERENCE TEAMS
November 25, 2013 FOOTBALL HANDS OUT END OF SEASON AWARDS
November 23, 2013 FOOTBALL SUFFERS 34-7 LOSS TO UC DAVIS IN CAUSEWAY CLASSIC
November 22, 2013 A LOOK BACK AT MAGICAL 1988 SEASON ON 25TH ANNIVERSARY
November 21, 2013 ROBERTS' RECORD-BREAKING EFFORT RANKS 26th ON BIG SKY COUNTDOWN
November 19, 2013 60th CAUSEWAY CLASSIC TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY AT HORNET STADIUM
November 18, 2013 SAFRON NAMED ROOT SPORTS BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR THIRD TIME
November 16, 2013 SAFRON SHATTERS RECORDS, LEADS COMEBACK IN 43-42 WIN OVER PSU
November 13, 2013 FOOTBALL PLAYS FINAL ROAD GAME AT PORTLAND STATE ON SATURDAY
November 9, 2013 CAL POLY RELIES ON RUSHING ATTACK IN WIN OVER FOOTBALL
November 7, 2013 FOOTBALL TRAVELS TO CAL POLY FOR IN-STATE SHOWDOWN
November 7, 2013 FORMER HORNET RICKY RAY NAMED TO CFL ALL-STAR TEAM
November 4, 2013 SAFRON NAMED ROOT SPORTS BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 2, 2013 FOOTBALL FALLS IN OVERTIME TO No. 12 MONTANA
October 30, 2013 FOOTBALL WELCOMES MONTANA ON MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY
October 19, 2013 FOOTBALL DOMINANT IN 31-7 WIN AT NORTH DAKOTA
October 15, 2013 FOOTBALL MAKES FIRST TRIP TO NORTH DAKOTA IN 34 YEARS
October 7, 2013 SAFRON NAMED ROOT SPORTS BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
October 5, 2013 FOOTBALL CRUISES TO 37-21 WIN OVER NORTHERN COLORADO
October 2, 2013 WILLIAMS NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY
October 1, 2013 FOOTBALL HOSTS NORTHERN COLORADO FOR HOMECOMING ON SATURDAY
September 30, 2013 SANKEY NAMED NATIONAL AND BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 28, 2013 FOOTBALL BEGINS BIG SKY PLAY AT WEBER STATE ON SATURDAY
September 28, 2013 FOOTBALL RECORDS FIRST WIN AT WEBER STATE
September 21, 2013 FOOTBALL EDGED IN OVERTIME BY SOUTHERN UTAH
September 18, 2013 FOOTBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND AGAINST SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY
September 16, 2013 CARTER NAMED CO-FCS OFFENSIVE NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 14, 2013 FOOTBALL PREVAILS IN OVERTIME SHOOTOUT, 63-56
September 11, 2013 FOOTBALL HOSTS SOUTHERN OREGON IN HOME OPENER ON SATURDAY
September 5, 2013 FOOTBALL STUMBLES IN LOSS AT ARIZONA STATE
September 3, 2013 FOOTBALL HEADS TO ARIZONA STATE FOR ANOTHER PAC-12 SHOWDOWN
August 29, 2013 FOOTBALL OPENS YEAR WITH LOSS AT SAN JOSE STATE
August 25, 2013 FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON AT SAN JOSE STATE ON THURSDAY NIGHT
August 21, 2013 FOOTBALL CONCLUDES CAMP WITH SECOND SCRIMMAGE
August 17, 2013 FOOTBALL MAKES FIRST SCRIMMAGE A FULL TEAM EFFORT
August 14, 2013 NEWS & NOTES FROM AROUND FOOTBALL CAMP
August 7, 2013 TRAVEL WITH HORNET FOOTBALL IN 2013
August 2, 2013 NEWCOMERS ARRIVAL MARKS START OF FOOTBALL SEASON
July 29, 2013 MAKE PLANS TO WATCH FOOTBALL OPENER AT SAN JOSE STATE
July 25, 2013 McMAHON SIGNS WITH GREEN BAY ON EVE OF TRAINING CAMP
July 15, 2013 FOOTBALL PICKED SIXTH BY BIG SKY MEDIA AND COACHES
July 15, 2013 WORTHLEY, NORRISE NAMED TO BIG SKY PRESEASON TEAM