Hamline News

FB Team Takes Training Camp To Camp Ripley

The last weekend of August would figure to be a quiet time on most Division III campuses. Not so at Hamline University. 

On a gray Saturday afternoon, head coach Audrey Ludwig was putting her young volleyball team, fresh from their only scrimmage prior to opening the season this week with a tournament at St. Olaf, through their paces with a brisk practice in Hutton Arena. 

Behind Hutton, the women’s soccer team was seen loading up a series of vans. “Headed to a scrimmage?” a passerby asked head coach Ted Zingman. “Bonding trip,” he replied with a smile. Their season opens Thursday at Wisconsin-Superior 

A couple of hundred yards away at Paterson Field, the men’s soccer team was scrimmaging the University of Minnesota. Head coach Jon Lowery came away pleased when his charges erupted for three goals in the last 25 minutes. The men head to Ohio this week for a pair of games.     

The footballers were in New Ulm scrimmaging Martin Luther on Saturday. The next morning, however, the campus hummed with activity early as head coach John Pate’s team packed their bags for a five-day jaunt to Camp Ripley. 

This is Pate’s first season at Hamline. He said he got the idea in part because he remembered what Gary Barnett used to do when he coached Northwestern many years ago. “Barnett took his team to Kenosha for several days,” Pate recalled. “It worked very well for them. So I started looking around here for a place to go that was out of town.” 

He found what he was looking for in Camp Ripley, a 53,000 acre facility near Little Falls, Minn. that is best known as a military training center. It is roughly 110 miles from campus. The Pipers will be based there until September 1 when they return to Klas Field for an intrasquad scrimmage. The first regular season game is September 10 at Pacific Lutheran. 

The schedule at Camp Ripley sounds a bit daunting. The players sleep in military barracks. Reveille is at 6:00 a.m. the first four days. (On Friday, the players get to sleep in until 6:30 a.m.) Depending on the day, breakfast is either at 7:00 or 7:30 a.m. On Monday, there are morning meetings and weight lifting, an afternoon practice and an evening meeting. There will be two practices (one in pads, one in shells) on Tuesday and Thursday.  On Wednesday, the Pipers will spend the morning on an obstacle course and the afternoon practicing.  

Lunch is either 11:30 a.m. or noon and dinner is 6:00 p.m. except on Sunday.  

One thing stays consistent on this schedule: Taps (lights out for those unfamiliar with military protocol) is at 10:30 p.m. every night.  

45 players return for the Pipers, who were 1-9 overall last year. But those days are a distant memory. It’s a new season for the Pipers with a new head coach and a new look. It only follows there would be a new training technique used as well.