View Full Version : Saint Vincent expects heavier public interest

Galax Steeler
07-23-2009, 03:54 AM
As the place where the Steelers train, Saint Vincent College takes nothing for granted in its role as the springboard to the Super Bowl.

To that end, a third regulation-size practice field has been added to the picturesque campus in Latrobe. The extra room will allow quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to work on making pinpoint passes to receiver Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone.

"After we saw Super Bowl, we decided we needed to widen the field so we could practice that play to perfection in the summer," said Saint Vincent president Jim Towey, speaking from a podium on the new field.

And the field has been meticulously measured at 100 yards for linebacker James Harrison, whose touchdown-producing interception became the longest play in Super Bowl history.

"When he practices, he doesn't have to go any further than necessary," Towey added.

As a way of putting out the welcome mat for the Steelers and their fans for the 44th consecutive year, campus officials showed off the grounds and discussed preparations yesterday. Training camp opens next week, with the first practice open to the public at 3 p.m. Aug. 1.

Record crowds are expected because the Steelers are the defending NFL champs. And at a school and monastery founded in 1846, the operative words are Benedictine hospitality. That means visitors are welcomed as beloved guests.

"We do what we can to make them feel at home," Towey said. "It's become a rite of summer, for generation after generation, to make the pilgrimage here. In religious circles, the number seven is considered a perfect number [as in seventh heaven]. We'll do everything we can to help win that seventh championship."

And by word and deed, those associated with Saint Vincent believe in their heart of hearts that they are part of the Steelers' formula for success.

"We don't want to exaggerate the importance of training camp. But like anything in life, beginnings are important, and this is where it begins," Towey said. "We do all we can to set them up to succeed. We pray like crazy; we cheer like crazy."

In addition to the third practice field, the college has installed Field Turf on an area used for soccer games. The artificial surface can be used if the other grounds become too muddy.

Open practices are scheduled on campus at 3 p.m. from Aug. 1-6, Aug. 8-11 and Aug. 15-20. An additional practice is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. Practice times are subject to change, and updates are posted on the team Web site at www.steelers.com.

Visitors are welcome to bring folding chairs, blankets, coolers and picnic baskets to practices, but alcohol and barbecue grills are among the items prohibited on campus.

An additional 40 workers will be on hand to assist the normal complement of 75 workers in the department of dining services. To feed the Steelers, the college has ordered 5,376 chicken breasts, 680 pounds of beef, 940 pounds of haddock, 520 pounds of cod and 2,200 turkey burgers, which, with cheesecake, became a player favorite last year.

The campus store is also stocked with a variety of souvenirs adorned with the Steelers logo.

As an example of the length and depth of the relationship between the Steelers and Saint Vincent, camp participants reside in Rooney Hall, named in honor of franchise founder Art Rooney Sr.

Training camp has been held at the college since 1966 when Art Rooney Jr., a graduate of Saint Vincent, suggested that the team move camp from Rhode Island to Latrobe.

When the Steelers clinched the division title and a playoff spot last season, college officials sent a congratulatory note to owner Dan Rooney, pointing out that the monks had been praying for a good outcome.

The owner wrote back: "You're not off the hook yet. Keep them praying."

A guide to Steelers' training camp, complete with rosters, maps, a schedule of practices open to the public and other items fans will want to know. Look for it in Sunday's Post-Gazette sports section.


07-23-2009, 07:29 AM
St. Vincent's does a great job. :thumbsup: Can't wait to see the new field when XT and I trek up there on August 5th! :tt03:

07-23-2009, 09:20 AM
Sounds like they are as big a part of steeler tradition as anything else! By all means KEEP PRAYING!!!!!!!!!

07-23-2009, 09:23 AM
St. Vincent's does a great job. :thumbsup: Can't wait to see the new field when XT and I trek up there on August 5th! :tt03:
i hope you two have a great time. i always look forwarded to seeing your pictures, get some of the best i have seen marianne. :thumbsup:

07-23-2009, 11:55 AM
Sadly comeJuly 31 there will be alot of dirt reporters up there as well following Ben around trying toprobe any of his teammates to say something. Im hoping to go up for the night practice but with all this circus around Im thinking otherwise.

07-23-2009, 04:04 PM
I have always wanted to go to Latrobe for Steelers camp, but have never had the time (and not I don't have the money).

I am kind of happy that I can't go because it's going to be extra crowded from the Steelers winning the Super Bowl to the case against Big Ben.

07-23-2009, 06:10 PM
19th year and counting! Can't wait until August 3rd.

Latrobe here we come!!! :o)

07-23-2009, 06:17 PM
I need to move to fricking Pittsburgh.

07-23-2009, 07:01 PM
St. Vincent better expect a heavier QB as well.

I just watched Ben's press conference. What the heck has he been doing the last 3 months? Apparently nothing but eating.

07-23-2009, 08:31 PM
I saw the new field this year, actually I had the luxury of running some drills at the fantasy camp. Such a beautiful campus.

07-23-2009, 11:05 PM
In 1965. Quaker Valley went to St. Vincent before the Steelers. I, 1. Did not know the Steelers were going to start training there that year. We were before them of course. 2. I never ate so good for the week we were there.
I was the Team Manager, Too small to play, but MAN, could I eat.

Galax Steeler
07-24-2009, 04:30 AM
I have never been to Saint Vincent but would love to make the trip for trainning camp.