CHADRON – Both Chadron State College head football coach Bill O’Boyle and defensive coordinator Todd Auer believe the Eagles have done well so far during fall drills, but note the team must continue working hard to be ready for the season-opener on Thursday, Sept. 1 against the University of Mary in Bismarck.
With classes beginning at CSC today, the practices from now on will be limited to about 2 ½ hours a day.
The fact that the Eagles have a more players with experience has been a bonus this fall, O’Boyle said while discussing the offense.
“I think we’re ahead of last year, probably because we have veterans at quite a few positions,” O’Boyle said. “We’ve been doing some things well offensively. For one thing, we haven’t put the ball on the ground (fumbled it) very much. Fumbles and penalties are always something we’re concerned about early in the season.”
Auer said his defensive unit may have had its worst day of practice on Saturday, when the Eagles had a lengthy scrimmage. However, he said he believes the defense is still ahead of last year.
“Some of our players seem a little more comfortable with their assignments and we’ve stayed healthy so far. That’s been huge,” Auer said. “I’m glad we don’t have a game this week. We’ve still got a lot to work on.”
O’Boyle added the Eagles will concentrate on “getting in game shape” and the schemes they will use in the season-opener.
There will continue to be emphasis on the kicking game during the remainder of the preseason. The Eagles must replace both its punter and placekicker from a year ago, and none of the candidates has been as consistent as the coaches would like.
O’Boyle said the two players who handled the kicking duties during the spring, Ethan Bellairs of Mitchell at punter and Alex Ferdinand of Rapid City at placekicker, are probably still the leaders at those positions, but some freshmen are challenging them.
—CSC Sports Information
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