CONWAY - Coastal Carolina head coach David Bennett officially opened his - and the University's - eighth season of Chanticleer football Wednesday.
The squad began the day with a conditioning test, which was labeled "team evaluation," and capped the day with a two-and-a-half hour practice in helmets, starting at approximately 7 pm and wrapping up around 9:30.
In addition to the conditioning test in the morning, there were three mini conditioning periods during the evening session with a day coming to a close with a "fourth quarter" run.
"I was pleased that all but about 10 passed the conditioning test this morning," Bennett said. "And really, of those 10 about six made all there times but one.
"One disappointing thing about the morning was that projected starting center Pat Williams strained or pulled a hamstring. It is hard to practice if you don't have a center. That is a real concern these first few days. I liked the enthusiasm and focus today. This is an important year for us."
In addition to installing the basics on offense and defense, one period focused solely on ball security. The team was broken up into groups, where each station focused on doing securing the ball and not fumbling. The drill was not for just the running backs, quarterbacks and receivers, rather the whole team was involved.
"There is nothing more valuable in this game than possessing the football," Bennett said. "You never know when an offensive lineman may have to pick up a loose ball and score. Same goes for the defense. If they create a turnover, we have to make sure we do not give right back to the other team."
The squad will have meetings and weight lifting Thursday morning with practice number two, also in helmets, set for the afternoon.