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Sachem North's uphill climb

The Sachem North football team at practice upstate

The Sachem North football team at practice upstate in Fishkill, N.Y., on Aug. 26, 2014. (Credit: Newsday/Bob Herzog)

FISHKILL, N.Y. -- This summer camp is more like football boot camp.

"If it was easy everyone could do it," Sachem North coach Dave Falco is fond of saying. It ain't easy.

Tuesday at Fishkill's Sharpe Reservation, where the Flaming Arrows have been coming for a five-day getaway since 1983, began with a 2.5-mile run at 6 a.m.

Halfway through, the team paused to sing its fight song and God Bless America. It's all about bonding, coaches and players agree.

But after the first of three practices, it was all about misery -- Mt. Misery. That's the name given by players of years past for the steep hill they climb. Daily. Multiple times.

Tuesday, they ran the hill 14 times before a well-earned pool and lunch break. Two practices to come before lights out at 10 p.m.

They'll repeat it all Wednesday. The football stuff is the fun part.