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The football drought is ending as Albany State returns for the 2021 season

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:48 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Albany State Golden Rams are getting set for their first game in nearly two years!

A team that’s anxious to get out of the field, compete and finally put their hard work to the test.

The Rams hit the road early this morning ahead of their match-up with Mississippi College on Thursday.

The SIAC canceled their 2020 season due to the pandemic, which means the Rams haven’t played in a game since the Conference Championship on November 16.

Junior linebacker Antonio Leroy said ahead of their first game, ”It’s very exciting. It’s overwhelming just getting that feeling back to getting to play football. Because it was never-ending cycling having to keep going through different rules and regulations trying to survive this COVID pandemic. So, it’s been stressful but at the same time, it’s a blessing in disguise because it gave us time to get closer together and realize that the greater goal is just coming closer to God and being a better team.”

Head Coach Gabe Giardina added, “We’re playing a really good Gulf South Conference team, A team that’s unique on offense with the read-option. But, we’ve been so internally focused about playing our game, let’s play the way Albany State plays. I think you’re going to see a team that’s really fundamentally sound that plays really, really hard, that’s going to cut it loose.”

On offense, ASU has a slate of newcomers with just four returning starters on the offensive line.

Defensively, coach Giardina said the Golden Rams will rely on size and experience. Leroy believes after a season without football, this team is determined to be better than before.

”You can just see this is a better team, it’s a better overall atmosphere. Everybody is closer and tight-knit and we’re just going to be playing together. And you can just tell we’re on a different mission, chasing a culture, chasing a crown,” said Leroy.

After a long time away from the game, Giardina is hopeful their offseason training and scrimmages will help them start their 2021 campaign 1-oh.

“I think we’re just super excited. We’re finally here, it’s been 20 months since we played. And just kind of a surreal feeling, but a confident feeling, a hungry feeling. And just ready to go represent our school,” said Giardina.

Giardina continued, “And see how good we are, we’re anxious to play, we’re anxious to see what this team will look like, we’re anxious to I don’t know, go compete. it’s been a long time.”

The Rams open their season Thursday at 6:00p against Mississippi College.

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