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BC football opens first practice of season

CHESTNUT HILL --- The Boston College football team conducted its first day of preseason camp Monday with a spirited workout in shorts and jerseys at Shea Field, the team’s first organized activity in preparation for the 2014 season and the Aug. 30 opener against UMass at Gillette Stadium.

A year ago, Steve Addazio primarily concerned himself with establishing BC’s program and building a foundation in which mental and physical toughness were the cornerstones. The Eagles seemed to meet all of Addazio’s first-year objectives when they culminated a 7-6 season with their first bowl appearance since 2010.

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``Our specific goal right now, what I laid out for the team was to win the opener, get bowl eligible and find a way to get to Charlotte [for the Atlantic Coast Conference football championship game],’’ said Addazio, now in his second year at BC’s helm. ``After laying that big picture out, the small picture is all about winning the opener. It’s just about the opener right now. We’ve got to get prepared for the opener. Period.’’

The Eagles will conduct their first practice in full pads Friday then stage their first of two planned preseason intrasquad scrimmages Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

Despite losing several dynamic players on offense, including running back Andre Williams, a 2,000-yard rusher who won the Doak Walker Award and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, the Eagles will return nine starters (including three offensive) and attempt to overcome their sixth-place predicted finish in the ACC’s Atlantic Division in the hopes of achieving their ultimate goal of reaching the conference championship game Dec. 6 in Charlotte, N.C.

``We tagged on `get to Charlotte’ because it’s the right progression,’’ Addazio said. ``Because at some point, as you’re building your program, you’ve got to start talking about what you’re trying to get to. You came here to compete for championships, right? So that’s what we’re trying to get to.

``Now where are we right now? We’re pretty young. I had someone tell me that we’re the third youngest team among the Power 5 conferences right now, in terms of our returning roster and everything else. It tells you what you need to know: We’re young, we’re inexperienced, and we’ve had a lot of turnover.

``But you still have to set your goals. And your goals are to win the opener, get bowl eligible, and find a way to get to Charlotte and compete for a championship.’’

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