The Toledo Rockets completed a morning practice Tuesday, their first of three sessions in preparation for their game against Florida International University at the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Friday, Dec. 21.
The game will start at 12:30 p.m. and be televised on ESPN.The Rockets had a 90-minute workout at Davies Field in Nassau, a turf soccer field not far from Robinson Stadium, where UT will battle the Golden Panthers.
In the afternoon, most players spent some free time at the beach while the captain took part in an up-close dolphin experience. In the early evening, the Rockets joined their opponents from FIU for a beach party on Atlantis Beach on the Caribbean Sea. The players enjoyed a cookout, beach games and a highly spirited team dance-off competition.
Toledo will practice Wednesday morning and again Thursday.
A few players will visit the Ranfurly Homes for Children and a youth football clinic on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Toledo cheerleaders and band will lead a team pep rally.
”This is a beautiful place. The Atlantis is second to none when it comes to facilities,” UT Head Football Coach Jason Candle, said. “The hospitality has been great; everybody we’ve interacted with has taken great care of us. We’re very fortunate and very lucky to be here.”
He added, ”Obviously, the extra practice time is huge for the growth and development of our younger players. But at the same time, we want to send our senior class out the right way with a victory. When these guys go home over break and talk to their family and friends about their bowl trip, we want them to be able to talk about a positive experience, and that includes a win on Friday.”
”We’re just focused on getting better and perfecting our craft, doing whatever we can do to win this game on Friday,” senior defensive end Tuzar Skipper said. “We’re not on vacation; this is a business trip. We want to go out with a victory.”
“The first practice was hot, but it was fun being out here in the heat,” junior center Bryce Harris said. “We’ve been practicing in Fetterman for all of our bowl practices, so being able to get outside and have a practice felt good.”