FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- Bright and early Tuesday morning, the Fountain Fort-Carson football players were hard at work.
They're not running plays just yet, but they are working on an equally important skill with some help from a few United States Marines.
"Today, we partnered up with the Glacier Clinic. We do combat fitness tests and a leadership talk at the end," said Staff Sergeant Del Carmen
"I think doing something like this just puts a bigger emphasis on the things we talk about already," said Head Coach Jake Novotny.
Each person on the team had to complete three drills in a timed format. It was hard, it was hot but in the end, the greater lesson prevailed.
Eric Donnell, Senior Quarterback, said "Being accountable, being disciplined. No one really wants to get up at 5 in the morning and work out, but it is something we do every day. So, you can put your team in a situation to get better."
"Culture and leadership, that is something we have been wanting to develop throughout the off-season. I think bringing in guys who, their real life, every day job that accountability and family oriented atmosphere, sacrifice for someone next to you, and do that every day when it is life or death, and bringing it to football, that's a big, big statement," said Coach Novotny.
"It's great to see the captain, that is exhausted, on his knee and he gets back up. He encourages, especially the freshman and other young ones to push themselves to the limit," said Staff Sergeant Del Carmen.
Through the effort, some Trojans fought harder than others.
"I saw some kids step up and lead, who I didn't think would be leaders. I also saw some kids not lead, who I thought were going to be leaders. Adversity introduces a man to himself," said Coach Novotny.
Overcoming that adversity will help the team mentally prepare for game day this fall.
"We will know what we need to do, and what our mindset has to be to get the games going," said Donnell.