Success in the Fall Depends on Hard Work in the Spring
STATESBORO, Ga. - After 20 periods of practice on Tuesday, Georgia Southern Head Football Coach Jeff Monken called his players up reminded them that they are "playing to be the best." Monken and the coaching staff don't waver on what they expect of the Eagles in their second spring together -- a "blue collar" mentality defining in the character of the team.
Much of that character was instilled on the practice fields last year when the coaches were developing a group of individuals into a cohesive team. An appearance in the NCAA FCS semifinals in 2010 only reinforces the goals the Eagles have for the program.
"Certainly expectations are up there and probably higher than they were last year," Monken said. "We didn't have any expectations less than what we achieved last year, our expectations were to win every game and to be the national champion, as is everybody's. If you go to any camp right now in the springtime, everyone has the same goal."
Even though the number of practices hasn't changed, this spring affords the Georgia Southern coaching staff more time to assess and teach. With most of the offense installed and only terminology changes on the defensive side, attention is directed to other areas.
"Things change after the first year, the guys understand the system, they know our personalities, they know our expectations on a day-to-day basis for them on the practice field," Monken note. "Hopefully there will be some more improvement. Year two is a lot different than the first, but we have the same expectations for toughness and playing together and playing hard, so hopefully we're getting that."
DIFFERENT LOOK FOR DEFENSE
Spring practice is the perfect time for coaches to allow their teams to work on different aspects of the game. The Eagle defensive unit had time on Tuesday to practice against the traditional sets it might see from opponents during the season. The offense ran plays from different formations to give the defense live reps against something other than the option.
"Everybody in our league and everyone we play seems to be running shotgun," Monken said. "So instead of lining up in our stuff for four straight weeks in the spring under center and then do the same thing to start for fall camp, it gives them (the defensive players) an opportunity to line in some stuff that is more traditional to what people are doing now. It really is to help our defense and hopefully it will. We will see enough of it this year that hopefully there will be some carryover."
PITCH OF A DIFFERENT KIND
Eagle Head Football Coach Jeff Monken will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Saturday's baseball game as the Georgia Southern Baseball team takes on The Citadel at 2:30 p.m. Prior to the game, Georgia Southern students and ticket holders for the game are invited to join the Clements Crazies Tailgate from 1-2:30 p.m. for free food and beverages in the Hanner Fieldhouse lower parking lot.
SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Georgia Southern Football conducts weekday practices on the practice fields between "Beautiful Eagle Creek" and Tillman Road. Schedule and location are subject to change. Practices are open to the public, but any filming, recording or photography is limited to members of the media only.
2011 SPRING PRACTICE DATES
Friday, April 1
Saturday, April 2 (scrimmage - Paulson Stadium)
Monday, April 4
Tuesday, April 5
Thursday, April 7
Saturday, April 9 (scrimmage - Paulson Stadium)
Tuesday, April 12
Thursday, April 14
Friday, April 15 (Spring Game)
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
The annual Blue-White game will have a different look as it will be played on Friday, April 15th at 7 p.m. as the final scrimmage of the spring. Admission is free. Special events leading up to the game include a tailgate in support of the ADA "Kiss a Pig" fundraising campaign for the Statesboro/Bulloch County team of Bubba Hunt and Coach Monken, a Little Eagles Football Skills Clinic from 5-6 p.m. and the Blue-White Eagle Rally immediately following the clinic.
COACHES CLINIC DATE SET
Georgia Southern will hold a spring Coaches Clinic this weekend, Friday-Saturday, April 1-2, with coaching sessions and chalk talks with the Eagles' staff. For additional information, contact Vic Cabral at (912) 478-5522 or by fax at (912) 478-5059. The Coaches' Clinic brochure and the full schedule of events is available on the GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com website. Coaches who pre-register pay $30 while those who register on the day of the clinic will be charged $40.
EFFA REVERSE RAFFLE & AUCTION
The fourth annual Eagle Football Assistance Association (EFAA) Reverse Raffle and Auction is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th, the night after the Blue-White Spring Game. The evening of great live entertainment, food and opportunity to spend time with the Georgia Southern Football coaching staff and former Eagle players also features the opportunity to win $10,000.
The social hour, ticket check-in and silent auction begins at 6 p.m. at the Gene Bishop Field House. Items for the silent auction include Georgia Southern game day experiences, memorabilia, a round of golf with former Eagle football legends and other packages.
Created to assist former Eagles in need of financial help, the EFAA invites all former football players, coaches and athletics staff to support the association through annual membership and fundraising efforts. Proceeds from the Reverse Raffle event benefit perennial EFAA projects including the Erk Russell Memorial Scholarship, the Eagle Fund, the GSU Athletic Foundation and Georgia Southern Football.
Reverse Raffle tickets can be purchased from the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation for $100 each and each ticket covers food, beverages for the ticket purchaser and a guest. Reverse Raffle ticket purchasers need not be present at the event to win the grand prize.
For more information about the event or to purchase tickets for the Reverse Raffle, contact the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation at (912) 478-5520.
- Category: Football
- Published on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 23:16