One Town. One Team. One Dream.
That’s the motto that the CSU football team came up with over the summer as an affirmation, said head coach Jim McElwain during Thursday’s pre-camp press conference. The slogan is one in which the players came up with “independent of anybody else,” McElwain said.
“That really hit me that, you know what, we’re headed in the right direction,” McElwain said of his players creating the slogan on their own. “I like the way they’re thinking.”
As for what it means, defensive back Shaq Bell offered an explanation:
“The one town part is for the whole community to get in to it, it’s for the community and not just for ourselves,” Bell said. “One team is like all the players—we’re all in, all the coaches, we’re all bought in.”
As for the dream? Players and coaches are keeping tight lipped, for now.
“We’re keeping the dream part in house because it’s our dream and when it’s realized the community will see it,” said tight end Kivon Cartwright. “The most important part is just getting the community behind us and building that camaraderie with the community.
“It takes everybody to win so we just want everybody—everybody to be one unit to win.”
The slogan and the desire to create camaraderie with the Fort Collins community could be a result of the player’s buying what McElwain is selling. The head coach talks a lot about his team having the closeness of a family.
“Coach Mac, he’s big on family. He’s been preaching that a lot since day one,” Cartwright said. “This summer, the whole team, we’re making huge strides in getting to know one another and just hanging out with one another on weekends (and) during the week.
“You know guys that you never would have known if you didn’t take that step, guys from totally different backgrounds. That’s one thing that’s great about football you can get a guy from Miami, Fla. and a guy from North Dakota and they can become great friends over football so just getting to know each other that’s something that’s big.”
McElwain said one of the differences from last season’s fall camp and this one will be the added competition to positions where it was lacking last year. Wide receiver and defensive line will be among the biggest position battles, he said.
Asked how players can build relationships while also competing with one another Cartwright said it is not about an individual but more about what is best for the team.
“You respect the guy who you’re competing with and you’re not going to see it just as a competition you’re seen as a family,” Cartwright said. ““We’re thinking about who is going to be the best player to elevate the team, who’s going to work hard enough to bring more to the team.”
Fall camp begins on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Football Beat Reporter Katie O’Keefe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org