With sights set on yet another playoff berth, the first session in pads is Aug 12 in preparation for Sept. 2 opener
A squad of 90 players will report on August 7-8 as Eastern Washington University begins preseason practices for the 2010 football season.
After a day of conditioning on Aug. 8, the team will practice together for the first time on Aug. 9 at 3 p.m. Eastern will practice in pads for the first time on Thursday, Aug. 12 at 3 p.m., followed by its first of six days of two-a-day practices on Aug. 13.
The Eagles, who have advanced to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs four of the last six years, will scrimmage twice before the team’s season opener on Sept. 2 at Nevada. The first scrimmage will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at approximately 3:30 p.m., and a second scrimmage will take place at the same time exactly a week later on Aug. 25.
Both scrimmages are free and open to the public, and will take place on the EWU practice fields as work continues to convert Woodward Field (to be re-named Roos Field upon project completion) to a red Sprinturf surface. Eastern’s Red Turf Project is scheduled to be completed Sept. 3.
After Eastern’s game at Nevada, the Eagles play Central Washington at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash., in the “Showdown on the Sound” on Sept. 11. The following week, on Sept. 18 at 4:05 p.m. Pacific time, Eastern plays at home in Cheney, Wash., versus 12-time defending league champion Montana in the debut of the red turf. The Grizzlies and Eagles have been picked to finish 1-2 by both the coaches and media in the Big Sky Conference preseason polls.
The Eagles finished the 2009 season with an 8-4 record and advanced to the FCS Playoffs. Eastern is one of only eight schools (of 125 playing FCS football) to have made the playoffs at least four times in the past six years (2004-09).
Eastern finished as the runner-up in the Big Sky Conference with a 6-2 mark, winning its last four regular season games by a combined 172-107 margin. The Eagles finished the season ranked 13th in the final NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Sports Network Poll, and was also ranked 13th in the FCS Coaches poll and the AGS/anygivensaturday.com poll.
Defensively, Eastern returns All-America linebacker J.C. Sherritt, who averaged more than 14 tackles per game in 2009 (170 total) as a junior to lead FCS. Running back Taiwan Jones is the top player from the offense returning after a 1,213-yard season helped him earn All-America honors as a sophomore. Sherritt, Jones and defensive lineman Renard Williams, who had 9 1/2 sacks as a sophomore a year ago, have earned a variety of preseason honors, including All-America accolades from The Sports Network. Sherritt and Jones have also been selected to watch lists for the Buck Buchanan Award and Walter Payton Award, respectively.
Tentative Schedule of EWU Practices
(practices usually last for two hours. Media interviews take place after practice or 1/2 hour before the time listed)
Saturday, Aug. 7 - Newcomers Report; Orientation &
Sunday, Aug. 8 - Veterans Report; Orientation & Conditioning
Monday, Aug. 9 - 3 p.m. - First Practice
Tuesday, Aug. 10 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 11 - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 12 - 3 p.m. (first practice in full pads)
Friday, Aug. 13 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 14 - 3 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 15 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 16 - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 17 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 18 - Scrimmage, approx. 3:30 p.m., Sports & Rec. Center Practice Fields
Thursday, Aug. 19 - Off
Friday, Aug. 20 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 21 - 3 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 22 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 23 - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 24 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 25 - Scrimmage, approx. 3:30 p.m., Sports & Rec. Center Practice Fields
Thursday, Aug. 26 - Off
Friday, Aug. 27 - 3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 28 - 3 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 29 - 3 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 30 - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 31 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 1 - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 2 - EWU at Nevada, 6:05 p.m. Pacific time.