Helton leads Eagles for first day of fall practice

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:10 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Southern Eagles football team took flight Wednesday as the first practice of fall camp and Clay Helton era is in the books in Statesboro.

There was no crossing Beautiful Eagle Creek to kick off fall camp for Georgia Southern. The team got right to work inside Paulson Stadium as they are weeks away from kicking off their 2022 campaign.

“I feel like today was just about getting our feet in the ground, you know, starting fast and getting with the tempo, controlling what we can control, but all-in-all, I feel like it was a good day,” redshirt junior defensive back, Derrick Canteen said.

The team says they’re embracing all the changes that have come their way since last season.

“I mean, we won three games last year, so I think everybody is embracing all the change coming, because we obviously need to do something whether that’s schematically or effort-wise,” defensive lineman Justin Ellis said.

While the coaching staff is working on implementing a new system, especially on the offensive side of the ball, one thing you can’t teach: experience.

“There’s nothing that replaces experience and reps, and when you’ve got guys who have been here five years, six years, who understand what this place is about and what the tradition of excellence is here, that’s invaluable, because they pass it along to 33 newcomers out there that this is day one,” Helton said.

Out on the turf in Paulson Stadium, the South Georgia summer heat was a worthy opponent for the Eagles.

“I told the boys out there today, I want everybody to look up there in the sky and thank Coach Russell, because he’s given us something not a lot of people are getting, and that’s extreme heat, Statesboro heat, and another way of being able to give some adversity to guys and being able to embrace hardship and embrace share suffering and being out there, because that will make the game easier. 25 practices in this type of heat, now it turns into game day and makes Saturdays easy,” Helton said.

The team is back at it Thursday through Saturday and they get Sunday off to rest.

Just 24 more practices between now and that first kickoff against Morgan State.

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