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Irish to take football camp on the road

Notre Dame will go on the road to get ready for the football season.

The university announced Thursday that the Irish will open training camp at Shiloh Park Retreat and Conference Center in Marion on Aug. 5.

Notre Dame will have four practices at Shiloh Park before returning to campus for the rest of camp on Aug. 9.

"I'm excited to take our football team to a facility like Shiloh Park," coach Brian Kelly said in a press release. "Training camp is vital in terms of developing team unity, character, camaraderie and ultimately a focused and specific identity for the upcoming season. We instituted a similar type off-site program for training camp at the University of Cincinnati and it played a huge role in the success of our team.

"I can't say enough about the people at Shiloh, especially Dan and Karen Heincker. They've really gone above and beyond to make this a tremendous experience for our players. I'd also be remiss if I didn't recognize our program's incredible support staff. This was no simple task to pull off logistically, yet thanks to the hard work of everyone on our staff, especially Beth Rex (operations), Dan Brazo (facilities), Jason Michelson (operations), Rob Hunt (sports medicine), Ryan Grooms (equipment), Tim Collins (video) and Paul Longo (strength and conditioning)."

Shiloh Park will offer the Irish more than a site to practice. The park is available for summer camps, retreats, banquets, conferences, workshops and special events throughout the year.

"Coach Kelly believes in the importance of team building and honestly a camp setting accomplishes it perfectly," said Dan Heincker, director of Shiloh Park Retreat and Conference Center. "He understands that our pace of life in this modern world is far too fast. We have a culture filled with distraction and constant communication. It's important to get away from all that pressure, which helps people slow down and think about what is truly important. The players will spend significant quality time with one another, beyond the practice field and meeting rooms. The team will get a true understanding and appreciation of their importance to one another.

"This is such a tremendous opportunity for our camp and our staff is thrilled. As a sports fan, former college athlete and longtime coach, I can't begin to describe the feelings that our camp could possibly play a role in the success of the Fighting Irish this fall."

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.

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