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Fans Getting Good Taste of 2014 Chargers
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It was a mix of rookies and veterans. Decked out in Chargers gear, fans from all over San Diego County flocked to Murphy Canyon Saturday morning to get a glimpse of their hometown team in action.
First-time training camp attendees Lisa and Ted Esquivel of San Marcos brought their two sons Zachary and Jackson to check out the team.
“We want our boys to have an up-close look at the Chargers,” Lisa said. “Watching them get fired up for the season (gets) us excited for the year.”
Many fans enjoy training camp as a means of seeing their favorite players and hopefully interacting with them when practice is done. Kyle Doton and his friends brought multiple Weddlesbeard t-shirts they hope to have the Pro Bowl safety sign.
Saturday is the first padded practice for the Chargers giving fans a more realistic look at how the players perform on the field.
“With the first day in pads it should be a nicer, harder practice,” said Collin Clack of Point Loma.
“I’m hoping to see a little bit of contact and a little bit of hitting,” Doton said. “I want to see how the rookies perform in pads (because) it’s going to be their first time with contact.”
Training camp gives fans the closest look to the players that they can’t get anywhere else and seeing their favorite players training and practicing up-close is a thrill.
“I’m looking to see Ryan Mathews, looking to get into his superior form,” said Benny Waters from Tierrasanta. Waters and his son Sterling came out to Chargers Park on Saturday to celebrate Sterling’s 18th birthday, a place Sterling called “the best place to be right now.”
After going 9-7 and making it to the AFC Divisional round in 2013, the expectations for 2014 are high with fans looking for the Bolts to compete for a championship.
“(The expectation) is to do better than last year,” Doton said. “With a second year head coach and adding more talent to the team, all of last year’s rookies have more experience so I’m hoping for a division title and obviously the playoffs.”
And as Benny Waters put it, “Super Bowl or bust, this is the year they have to do it.”