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Severe weather hasn’t impacted Air Force’s bowl preparation at KHS

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Published: December 27, 2015

Reprinted from The Gazette
 
The Falcons have been in Fort Worth, Texas, since Friday in anticipation of Tuesday’s Armed Forces Bowl at TCU. That location was at least 40 minutes to the west of tornadoes that killed eight people in the Metroplex area late Saturday night. {{more}}

The only weather the team has experienced other than pleasant, short-sleeve temperatures was a cold and rainy Sunday. That didn’t affect practice, as the Falcons were at Kennedale High School’s indoor facility. The field is only 50 yards long, but Air Force split its practice sessions between offense and defense, with the unit not on the field utilizing the high school’s expansive weight room.

Yes, the high school facilities at a typical high school in Texas are roughly on par with many college programs. That’s part of the reason Air Force is so excited to be back at this bowl for the fifth time in nine years – there’s nothing quite like tapping into that fertile Texas recruiting ground.

“A lot of young men and women come from Texas through the academy,” Air Force athletic director Jim Knowlton said. “Our football team has 18 players on the roster from Texas. And it’s such a military-friendly area that the reception is always superb. And the Armed Forces Bowl does such a great job that when our fans have heard about it, we’ve heard nothing but phenomenal feedback.”

Weather knocked out one of those bowl activities, as Saturday’s pep rally was canceled. Bowl executive director Brant Ringler instead delivered a gift of large steer horns to coach Troy Calhoun and vice athletic director Col. Brian Hill at the team’s hotel.

Players from Air Force and its opponent, California, attended dinner and a comedy club on Sunday night, with the teams alternating between the spots for space reasons. They’ll mingle on Monday at a bowl luncheon following a press conference at the hotel.

“The events are top notch, first class,” offensive coordinator Mike Thiessen said. “It’s great. We love this bowl. We’d go to 10 more in a row in Fort Worth.”

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