The Coastal Carolina football team hit the road Saturday, practicing for two hours in helmets and shoulders pads at Doug Shaw Stadium at Myrtle Beach High School.
“We had to find a place to practice today,” said head coach David Bennett. “We just could not go on the practice fields on campus (because they were so wet) due to player safety and the fact we would have ruined them. We are grateful to the people at Myrtle Beach for letting us come out here today,”
Myrtle Beach’s Doug Shaw Stadium has artificial surface. While that field is great for days like today (when there had been a lot of rain), the turf is hotter than natural grass.
“Coach (Jeff) Pounds (Coastal Carolina’s football athletic trainer) encouraged me to shorten the periods,” Bennett said. “It worked out well cause I think our practice was sharp and focused. The seniors had a meeting prior to practice and their message to the team was picking up the pace at practice. It worked.”
Asking Coach Bennett and others how difficult the late change and new location was, the answers were simple.
“One thing we as coaches have preached this camp is no excuses,” Bennett said. “Our attitude this preseason is we will practice in a parking lot if we have to. We can not let anything slow us down. Despite the change in plans and venues over the past couple days, we have had some really good practices and gotten some good work done.”
Pounds added, “This was like old times. Some of the new people and kids might have struggled a little, but this was like our first year when we would practice at different times and places and not always have a lot of notice.”
Saturday’s practice was the first with the team adding shoulder pads, meaning some hitting and more one-on-one drills taking place. The offensive and defensive lines were able to go one-on-one, as well as work some half-line drills. While the defensive line appeared to have a little more success Saturday, senior running back Eric O’Neal looked sharp, hitting open holes and getting to the secondary with a great burst of speed.
The team will have Sunday off, doing a little team building and relaxing at a local water park.