With thousands of students set to arrive on campus next month, Bohannon and his group have virtually every “I” dotted and “T” crossed as the Owls get ready for their first season of football in 2015.
“We’ve had this mapped out for a while,” Bohannon said. “There are just a few things we’re tweaking, but we have a plan for what we want to do, and we’ll adjust it a little as we go based on how it’s going.
“We have all the stuff, and our staff has done a great job of planning to stay ahead of the game at everything we do. There’s always going to be stuff we need to do, but I think we have a good plan right now. There’s nothing I’m sitting here overly concerned about as far as having the stuff we need.”
Fall practice will begin Aug. 18 — the first day of school — with Bohannon’s first batch of players learning the ground rules and adjusting, before getting onto the practice field the next day.
It will be one of the first steps toward building the Owls’ inaugural football team, more than a year out from the first game at East Tennessee State on Sept. 3, 2015.
“We’re going to start at approximately 9 a.m.,” Bohannon said. “We won’t do anything on the first day. It will be a meeting on expectations, and we’ll go over the locker room and just get acclimated with everything.”
The first two weeks of practice will involve conditioning drills, and the third week will involve weight-training.
“What we want to do is get them in shape so we can practice effectively,” Bohannon said. “There will be a little bit of individual time, maybe 10 to 15 minutes at the end of each session, that can be dedicated towards certain positions.”
Bohannon said the first “official” day of practice will be Sept. 8. The team won’t be in full pads that day, but they will be in them by the end of the week. Practices will be on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning at approximately 9 a.m. each day.
Padded practices will last for three weeks, and then there will be another week of weight-training and conditioning.
“That should take us up to Oct. 6, when we’ll start another three-week segment of practice, followed by a week of conditioning and weight-training,” Bohannon said.
A homecoming scrimmage is set for Oct. 11.
“People can come out and watch, and I’m sure we’re going to have some festivities and stuff and things going on that week,” Bohannon said.
A final three-week segment of padded practices, with a week of conditioning and weight-training, will begin Nov. 3.
“That’s two weeks of conditioning, and three three-week segments — with a week off — of weight lifting and conditioning in-between,” Bohannon said. “That should take us up to Thanksgiving.”
Bohannon added that there will be “maybe three off-site practices on Saturdays, but we haven’t nailed those down yet.”
The support staff and coaches are all in place for Kennesaw State for as soon as the students come to campus.
“We’ve ordered everything, and we’re on a timeline to make sure that everything is ready to go when these kids get here in the fall,” Bohannon said. “That’s been our timeline. Our weight room will be brand-new by Aug. 4. Each area, we have a plan for to getting it up and running.
“For a first-year program, everything from a facility standpoint is not going to be exactly like you want, but that’s OK. That’s part of it. We’re new and we don’t play yet. I know that, as we go through, we’ll continue to work with getting things the way we like to have it.”
One last bit of business Bohannon and his staff will take care of is the final walk-on tryouts scheduled some day during the first week of school. He doesn’t expect another 85 hopeful players to come out, as they did in the spring.
The deadline to apply for the fall tryout is Aug. 1, and Bohannon said as many as 15 applicants have expressed interest so far.
“We’re doing this for kids who are transferring in the fall,” he said. “We already have a lot of preferred walk-ons from high school as it is. We might find one or two more players out of it.”
Fans can expect a very welcoming environment when it comes to practice.
“Right now, we’re going to be wide-open,” Bohannon said. “If somebody wants to come watch practice, come on. Especially this fall. We want people to come see us. This is something new. This is a part of history, and our main goal is we want to get people on campus.
“Come see us. We’d love to have them. It’s open for us. We want to really engage the community right now.”