Oct. 19, 2012
The UC Davis football team is making six roadtrips this season. Transporting a travel party of nearly 80 players, coaches and staff is a very organized and demanding operation. Joey Waters, a junior from San Clemente, is the Aggies' long snapper and in his third year traveling with UC Davis and talks about what it's like to hit the road.
This weekend, UC Davis is in Flagstaff, Ariz., to play No. 16/15 Northern Arizona. The Aggies began boarding buses on campus at 7:30 a.m., flew from Sacramento to Phoenix at 10:25 a.m., and then bussed more than two hours from Phoenix to Flagstaff. The team went to straight to practice at Walkup Skydome before finally checking in at the hotel. The team dinner followed soon after along with team meetings and rehab before lights out.
Saturday will consist of breakfast, rest, a pregame meal and then a short bus ride to NAU for the game. Following the game, UC Davis will immediately return to Phoenix by bus, get a short night's sleep at a hotel airport and then return to Davis with an early morning flight.
Waters talks about his travel experiences.
What's the best part about traveling?
The best part is just seeing the new places and seeing how are other schools are because UC Davis is definitely unique compared to most schools that I've been to. It's always awesome to see that.
What's the best school or city you've had opportunity visit?
It would probably be Montana State and getting to see how the big FCS crowds are. The entire town gets behind them, tailgating, fans cheering. It would just be a good place to play every Saturday, to see that crowd.
What's been your favorite venue to play in?
(Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium). The field was fantastic. The grass was kept up very well. The stadium really stacked up on you. It was a lot more intimidating. At Cal, there were more people but it just didn't seem as much just because of the fact it's much more spread out. It's just really cool to see everybody stacked up on you and the field itself was fantastic.
You guys are fed buffet-style in the hotels. Is it hard to go hungry on the roadtrips?
It depends on what time it is. If it's early in the morning and we're catching a flight heading out to somewhere, that's when you might get hungry unless you want to spend an arm and a leg for the airport food. Other than that, it's usually we're eating too much, in my case, and not feeling too good.
Easier to get ready for a home game or a road game?
I'm pretty lackadaisical in my routines. I try to stay really relaxed because personally I'm going to mess up the more I think (about the game). The home games are always really nice because I'm at home just sitting around so I'm more comfortable obviously. I just get ready for the game, show up and stretch. The convenience of home, you can't really beat it. On the road, everything is pretty much done by schedule. It's really a lot less thinking and just going through the motions. Being a junior, I've got it pretty much down. I just stay in my room, relax and stay off my feet. When you're stuck in a room, it's always easy to stay focused.
Do you look forward to the roadtrips?
It's kind of mixed. The home games are nice because your at home and have the convenience of it. The away games are fun to see how other schools are and to see how our crowd compares to their crowds.
If you could play one game in any college venue in the country, where would it be?
It'd definitely be at USC (L.A. Coliseum) just because I grew up in the area and I've seen the crowds and the stadium is awesome. Just to see that field from the ground level would be amazing I think. It'd be a good game for USC, we might not stand up athletically. (laughs).