As I reflect on the Terrapins football team’s 2013 regular season, I could not be more proud of our student-athletes and everything they have accomplished both on and off the field.
We have begun our preparations for the upcoming matchup with Marshall in the Military Bowl. I am thrilled that our student-athletes get to experience playing in a bowl game and everything that goes with it. They have earned it with all of the hard work they put in during our offseason training, spring practice and this entire season.
Our team’s motto this season was “Hold the Rope,” and I think the players truly took that to heart. Throughout the season, they were consistently tested with adversity and always found a way to overcome it. No matter who went down, the next man up was always prepared and ready to seize his opportunity.
That ability to stay together as a team is a testament to the type of leaders that we have in the locker room. Our leadership council of C.J. Brown, Sal Conaboy, Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, Stefon Diggs, Cole Farrand, Isaac Goins, Jeremiah Johnson, Darius Kilgo, Greg Parcher, Albert Reid and Dave Stinebaugh did a tremendous job of setting the tone in the locker room and holding teammates accountable. It was a pleasure to work with these players and use their feedback to make sure we made the decisions that were best for the team.
I also think it is important to recognize the players who missed significant time due to injury. They attended practices, sat in on meetings and served as mentors to their teammates on the field. Without their leadership and passion, we would not be preparing for a bowl game right now.
The opportunity to play in the Military Bowl right here in the state of Maryland is a great opportunity for the program. We talk a lot about our Maryland pride, and this gives us another opportunity to play in the state and in front of our fans. Our players get the opportunity to share this experience with their friends and family, which should make for a memorable experience.
I cannot thank you enough for your support as a student body. The noise and energy that you bring to Byrd Stadium is something our student-athletes feed off, and you make it a tough place for opponents to play. Hopefully, all of you can come support your fellow students in Annapolis to create a home-field advantage and help us get an eighth win. There would no better way to send off our seniors than with a victory in the state capital.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our coaches and support staff for their tireless work ethic and always going the extra mile to help our student-athletes. I would also like to thank another group that does not get the recognition it deserves: our student support staff. We have more 40 undergraduate students working in areas spanning academics, equipment, recruiting and athletic training. They work long hours and are instrumental to our program.
It's a team effort, and collectively we continue to put our best foot forward to represent our university and athletic department with Maryland pride!
Randy Edsall is the Terps' football coach.