No sunscreen was needed Wednesday afternoon as the Georgia Southern Football team was forced indoors for offensive and defensive walkthroughs in Hanner Fieldhouse. Stormy weather that moved through Bulloch County in the late afternoon disrupted the schedule for the day's second session. Coach Jeff Monken hopes to get the two-a-day practices in on Thursday.
"It is a little frustrating not to be able to be out there," said Eagle Head Coach Jeff Monken. "We have a limited number of opportunities, by NCAA rule, we are permitted 29 practices before our first game and we have to do those within a certain number of opportunities. When you miss one, it's tough and it takes away from the opportunity to prepare."
Monken was ready to get back on the practice field Wednesday after the Eagles' tempo and effort in the morning session was not up to par, but the weather did not accommodate. With this morning's practice, Georgia Southern completed 16 practices so far, and today was originally scheduled to be the fifth and final two-a-day of preseason camp.
"I didn't feel like we came out there with the best attitude about practicing and sometimes that happens," Monken said. "You get tired, you get taxed mentally and physically , and they are, they are tired, but that can't keep us from giving our very best effort."
While the weather prevented the Eagles from getting in a practice session, they did conduct walkthroughs in Hanner Fieldhouse. The offense and defense spent time in the main arena and in meetings before breaking for an early dinner. Coaches reviewed specific plays and concepts during the limited session. Team and position meetings will the team bring back to the Parrish Football Center this evening.
"A walkthrough is really a good meeting," Monken said. "It is a great way to have a meeting where you are moving around and it allows the kids to get a better understanding. There's nothing like that competition, where you are out there in full gear, and you have to push, and it's physical, and there's blocking and tackling, we have to make sure that we get enough of that too so that we are ready to go."
The plan for Thursday is to have the Eagles back on the banks of "Beautiful Eagle Creek" at 8:30 a.m. for the first practice in full gear and hold the second session at 5:45 p.m. in shells. One practice is set for Friday morning in full pads before team will volunteer and assist fellow students and their families move into the residence halls as part of the University's "Operation Move In."
Preseason camp wraps up this weekend as the Georgia Southern will have their final practice, a scrimmage, on Saturday morning at Paulson Stadium. Student-athletes from all fall sports will participate in "Meet the Eagles" at the Soccer/Track complex beginning at 10 a.m. Gates open at 9:45.