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Notre Dame

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Irish to open camp in Marion

Notre Dame will go on the road to get ready for the 2013 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 Aug. 9.

“We wanted to take our players off campus,” coach Brian Kelly said in a video on the school’s website of opening camp in Grant County about 100 miles southeast of South Bend. “They obviously have the entire summer here. We have great facilities, so it’s difficult to take them away from the great facilities we have here at Notre Dame, but it’s an opportunity for us to start 2013 anew.”

This is the first time since the mid-1990s that the Irish will start camp at an off-campus site.

“It’s never been done here before, since I’ve been here,” Kelly said. “We wanted to change things up, and it gives us a great opportunity to be closer to our players.”

Shiloh Park will offer the Irish more than a site to practice. The 65-acre facility also features a challenge course with climbing walls and zip line, four conference rooms and the recreational area includes a softball diamond and sand volleyball courts.

“This gives us another opportunity to build leadership,” Kelly said, “to make sure our kids understand that camaraderie, pulling together is why we’ve had success here.”