Thursday, September 24, 2009

The dirt on the Danes with Paul Booker

I caught up with red-shirt tight end Paul Booker on Thursday and judging from practice, the team was still high on their victory from last weekend over #20 Maine.

Booker caught the second pass of his career against the Black Bears and caught the first touchdown of his career and the first passing touchdown of the season for the Great Danes, a 22-yard rollout pass from senior Vinny Esposito.

I'm sure everybody was going crazy after that win on Saturday.

PB: Definitely. It was a huge win, great win for the program.

What was Saturday night like for you guys?

PB: After we won, it was pandemonium. We went out and had fun. It was great in the locker room, turned the techno (music) on and start dancing.
It was a great night.

How big was it to get the team's first win?

PB: It was definitely a big confidence booster going into conference and getting a win over a CAA team.

Your first catch came against UMass, the second catch (a touchdown against Maine) must have been a lot sweeter?

PB: It felt a lot better after we won. Then, I got to brag about it.

Did you think a touchdown would come this quickly for you?
PB: I thought I had to wait a little bit, get a few more catches and then finally get one, but it came so I'm happy.

How is the league schedule different from non-conference games?

PB: We're expected to win and we have to go out there and stay focused. We can't get a big head because we beat a CAA team, we just have to go out there stay focused and dominate the rest of the conference.

What's this week been like after the big win?

PB: We've been having great practices, but we can't get big heads. We have to come down a little bit and focus.

Is there a big difference between a league game and a non-league game?

PB: The speed against the CAA teams is different and we have to practice so hard and gameplan. This week, has been the same pretty much, but just less emphasis on it. We've been playing these teams for years, so we have a good idea of what they're going to bring.

Have the guys been talking about the 13-game league unbeaten streak?

PB: There hasn't been too much locker room talk, but at the same time it's in the back of our heads and we want to keep that going definitely.

What was the atmosphere like on Saturday, especially playing in front of the home crowd for the first time?

PB: It was a huge crowd and I had about 30 friends and family there and the whole Guilderland "Red Sea" there, all the players. It was just a great atmosphere to play in.

What has been like for you Guilderland guys (quarterback Andrew Smith) who are contributing this season?

PB: You get a lot of people out here, a lot of local people, a lot of friends and family coming out to see us, even if we really didn't know them, people are coming out here to see us play.

What was the best reaction you got after scoring the touchdown?

PB: I went back into the locker room and came back out and it had to be my mom (Sandra), sitting there screaming with her nice little purple glasses on. She was sitting there waiting for a hug, that had to be the best part.

(UAlbany Athletics)

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