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Towson looks for more wins this season
Coaches and players from around the Colonial Athletic Association gathered July 27 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore for the annual CAA Football Media Day.
The Tigers’s defensive end Frank Beltre was the sole representative for Towson on the Pre-Season All-CAA team, but he said he will be the first to tell you that he did not earn this honor alone. He credits the entire defense for his success and insists that the defense will be Towson’s anchor this year.
“We are ready to go,” Beltre said. “We, as a team, are ready to go. I didn’t get this because of myself, I got this because of my whole team, our whole defense, that’s the anchor of our team right now.”
While players and coaches from around the CAA seemed to coexist on the Southwest club level of M&T Bank Stadium, Head Coach Rob Ambrose, senior Marcus Valentine and Beltre seemed to walk around with a chip on their shoulder.
Smiles were scarce and the same look of fortitude was apparent in each of their eyes.
For the second straight year, Towson sits at the bottom of the conference in pre-season rankings.
But according to Ambrose and his two standout defensive lineman, pre-season rankings don’t hold much value.
“Everything is changing,” Valentine said. “People’s attitudes, our confidence is higher, we’re stronger, we’re faster, we’re smarter, everybody is on the same page.”
It goes without saying that wins do not come easy in the CAA. This season, while competing in the toughest Football Championship Subdivision conference in the country, the Tigers also face the challenge of playing in-state rivals Morgan State University and the University of Maryland.
“We know where we are headed,” Beltre said. “We have a vision. We got tunnel vision right now. We know where we’re headed, that’s the bottom line.”
While some would look forward to the matchup with the Terrapins, the Tigers are focused on their September 3 game against Morgan State that kicks off the regular season.
“Morgan State, that’s what we’re looking for,” Beltre said. “We are not focusing on Maryland. We’re looking at the wall. For us to get behind the wall, we got to look at the wall first.”
And it’s wrong to assume the Tigers are at all intimidated by the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Terps.
“They’re just like us,” Beltre said. “They look just like us, they breathe like us, they eat like us, they walk like us, they go to school like we do, they do homework like we do, what’s so different?”
Towson has won three games over the past two years, but Amrbose, Beltre and Valentine said they assure Tiger fans that wins will come this year.
“They say forget your past, but you always know where you come from,” Valentine said. “We know where we’ve been, and we know we don’t want to go back, so we can’t go nowhere but up.”