DAVIE — Sports-minded Tribal youth, all Florida State University fans, were treated to an up-close look at the team as they practiced a few days before the Orange Bowl matchup against Northern Illinois University on Jan. 1.
“When FSU comes down here, they have our number,” said Max Osceola Jr., who brought a few members of his family to the practice held at Nova Southeastern University on Dec. 29. “When they are here, I’m glad they get to meet the real – the first – Seminoles.”
All players practiced on the field, and the coaches rigorously put them through their drills. Afterward, the kids met head coach John James “Jimbo” Fisher, who was pleased with the practice.
Trevor Osceola, a star running back at his high school, had never been that close to a college practice.
“It’s cool,” said the Pine Crest School 11th-grader. “Hopefully one day I’ll be out here practicing with them.”
As the team was on the field, loudspeakers blasted crowd noise at top volume to simulate game conditions. Although the team played in crowded noisy stadiums throughout the season, the practice gave them one last time to acclimate to the noise and concentrate on listening to the quarterback’s spoken signals.
“The kids we brought here are all athletes,” Max Osceola said. “Any time they can see a top-notch athlete, it is inspiring. They see what they have to do to reach that level, which is what practice is all about.”
Kids were thrilled to meet Fisher, who graciously posed for photographs. The practice was a success; FSU won the Orange Bowl game 31-10.