Even With New Faces Abound, Great Effort Expected
STATESBORO, Ga. - After an afternoon off on Monday, the Georgia Southern Football team returned to the banks of "Beautiful Eagle Creek" on Tuesday for 22 periods of practice in full pads. After completing individual drills and working in extended team sessions, Coach Monken reminded the Eagles that the spring is a critical time to make improvements.
"I hope we are getting better," said Georgia Southern Head Coach Jeff Monken when asked how the spring was going. "It's just tough to look out there and see so many different faces. Six of our top eight defensive linemen a year ago are sitting out practice. That's a little rough. (Roderick) Tinsley was back in there today, so five of the eight, but we are playing a lot of young kids, guys who haven't played before. They are learning to play, and we are seeing some improvements, and that is positive. We have a long way to go. We are not ready for games yet."
With the team, for the most part, donning blue and white jerseys, it was easy to pick out the quarterbacks. After injuries in Saturday's scrimmage sidelined sophomore Russell DeMasi and freshman Ezayi Youyoute, Jaybo Shaw and Jerick McKinnon sported red jerseys as a protective measure.
"We had both Jaybo and McKinnon in red jerseys and we will continue to dress them in a red jersey," Monken said. "That has not been our style up to this point, we have always kept those guys live. We've been trying to rest him (Jaybo) and recover him the best we can and he is getting a lot better. We have to keep Jerick healthy (as) he is the only one who is completely healthy. We are going to try and keep them off the ground, keep people from tackling them so we can get through the spring and just do the best we can."
Unexpected injuries this spring might have changed the installation plans for the Eagles, but the expectations for tempo and effort remain constant.
"We had an installation schedule on both sides of the ball and we have changed it and modified it," Monken said. "I really can't say at this point if we have accomplished what we hoped to at this point. (With) spring practice, we are hopeful we can get the guys, especially the guys who haven't played, to play with speed we want them to, play with the kind of effort we had hoped, and really just have competition, and develop a depth chart. We'll have plenty of time in the fall to re-implement all these schemes, and all these things we are doing defensively, offensively and in the kicking game. Right now, we are just trying to get these guys better and keep the tempo so we are ready to go in the fall when we come back to camp.
The Eagles will be back on the practice field on Thursday for a regularly scheduled practice. Georgia Southern opted to move its practice originally slated for Monday to Friday afternoon.
SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Practices are open to the public but any filming, recording or photography is limited to members of the media only.
2011 SPRING PRACTICE DATES
Thursday, April 7
Friday, April 8
Saturday, April 9 (scrimmage - Paulson Stadium)
Tuesday, April 12
Thursday, April 14
Friday, April 15 (Spring Game), 7 p.m.
KISS-A-PIG "PORKER" RUN SET FOR SATURDAY
A"Porker" Run to benefit the Kiss-a-Pig campaign for the Bulloch County team of Bubba Hunt and Eagles Head Coach Jeff Monken rolls out Saturday, April 9th from Sinkhole Customs at 11 a.m. The last bike will finish at 2 p.m. at Locos Grill & Pub in Statesboro. All proceeds will go to raising awareness and promoting research for diabetes through the American Diabetes Association's annual Kiss-A-Pig campaign. This event is sponsored by J'dore Bridal and Formal Wear and the Sugarland Candy Shoppe.
Individuals may sign up from 10-11 a.m. Saturday morning at Sinkhole Customs at 9433 US Highway 301 South in Statesboro. Registration is $20 for first hand and $5 for each additional hand. Prizes include $200 for best hand, $50 for second best hand, and $50 for worst hand. The first 100 paid participants will receive a free T-shirt.
The Kiss-a-Pig fundraising effort pays homage to the pig as insulin was originally derived from the pancreas of the animal. The life-saving and life-sustaining discovery of insulin in 1921 has provided effective treatment for millions of diabetics who are insulin dependent.
Contributions are accepted through the area website at www.diabetes.org/SavannahKAP or by calling 912-353-8110, ext. 3091 or 3093, with the designation to the Bulloch County team of Hunt and Monken. When donations are received by the Bulloch County team, the names of the contributors will be posted on the website's honor roll list.
All funds raised during the Kiss-a-Pig campaign benefit the American Diabetes Association, the nation's leading organization dedicated to curing diabetes and improving the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Diabetes is the nation's fifth deadliest disease, killing more than 220,000 Americans each year. It is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke, adult blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic amputations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 05 April 2011 23:48