Rams looking forward to Thanksgiving

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

ALBANY -- The Rams are hungry.

Only this time, it's not for another win.

The Albany State football team takes on Wingate this Saturday in the second round of the Division II playoffs, but before the Rams (10-0) have an opportunity to feast on the Bulldogs (9-2), they'll be chowing down on some food Thanksgiving Day.

"We gotta eat turkey," head coach Mike White said. "We'll eat together."

After a normal practice schedule Wednesday, ASU will have an early practice today, then have a team dinner afterward.

And since ASU has slightly more than 75 college football coaches and players, you can bet there will be a decent dip in the bird population.

"How many turkeys do you think that is? That's a whole lot of dressing, cranberry sauce and macaroni 'n cheese," White chuckled. "We have quite a few of the moms getting together and they're going to feed us, so we're excited about that."

It will also be another chance to build team camaraderie before the biggest test of the season.

"We're just going to spend time together as a team and bond," sophomore defensive lineman Justin Blash said. "We're going to miss our families, but we're all brothers as it is now, so we get to spend time with our 'other family.' "

So the biggest question is, who can put down the most plates on the team?

"You have to give that to those linemen, especially 'Big Mike' (Mavromichalis) and (Damien) Goosby," senior defensive back Mario Fuller said. "They're going to eat it up."

Albany State has 11 linemen who weigh 295 pounds or more, and the majority of the players are at least 6 feet or 200 pounds. And while some will choose to be conservative at the meal today -- "I can't overeat, man," quarterback Stanley Jennings said. "I can't be too stuffed for the game." -- others will pack it in.

"Big Mike" Mavromichalis (6'6, 300), "Big Travis" Walker (6'4, 346) and Goosby (6'3, 35) are a few of them, as all received the most votes when players were asked who can eat the most on the team.

But as is the case for most people on Thanksgiving, the huge meal will still be a change from the norm.

"A (normal) meal for me, I like to spread it apart, so I might make two sandwiches. And instead of having a side (with the sandwiches), I'll come back like 15 minutes later and get a bag of chips to spread it out," Mavromichalis said. "So really, I guess it's just one meal, spread out over a longer period of time."

Yes, it'll be a nice, big meal for the Rams, but you can bet they won't be eating too many leftovers. After all, there's a game just 48 hours after the big meal.

"It'll be nice," Walker said. "But we're still focusing on the game Saturday."