Fans Enjoy Final Scrimmage of Pre-Season - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Fans enjoy final scrimmage of pre-season

Fans Enjoy Final Scrimmage of Pre-Season

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From Georgia Southern Sports Information:

– The Georgia Southern Football team ended preseason camp on Saturday with approximately 75 scrimmage plays at Paulson Stadium after starting the morning with drills and special teams. As the Eagles were preparing for their final session at Paulson before the start of the new school year, more than 500 Eagle fans attended the ribbon cutting for the new Football Operations Center and toured the new headquarters for the Eagles.

The halls of the new facility were filled with fans taking in all the new amenities of the 50,000 square foot facility and catching some of the scrimmage from the Hall of Fame atrium and from the deck spanning the building. Eagle fans enjoyed the shade provided by the new mid-deck on the north side of the stadium as they watched their team and waited for the Fan Fest autograph session afterward.

Head Coach Willie Fritz planned today's scrimmage to put his team in as many pressure situations as possible, with various field positions, score scenarios and times remaining. Each of the four quarterbacks in camp received playing time with sophomore Kevin Ellison holding onto the No. 1 spot. Ellison hit B.J. Johnson for a 40-yard reception that later set up the first score, 43-yard field goal by Alex Hanks.

Both Ellison and Upshaw contributed to touchdowns as Ellison pitched to Montay Crockett for a seven-yard touchdown and sophomore quarterback Favian Upshaw connected with junior college transfer Ryan Longoria for a 25-yard touchdown. Younghoe Koo had both PATs and also kicked a 22-yard field goal.

“Today was about game mechanics, for the coaches, for the players, for the managers, trainers, for the officials, they got a lot of good work in as well, (for us it was) getting on and off the field, understanding situations, “ said Head Coach Willie Fritz. “We did a little more situational work (today), two-minute, four-minute, overtime, a lot of good work for all of us.”

Saturday's scrimmage gave both the players and coaches an opportunity to experience a game-like environment with the coaches on headsets on the sideline and press box and communicating with their position areas during breaks.

“It is hard to replicate a two-minute (drill) without officials on the field and having the crowd noise in the stadium. We try the best we can to put our guys in the most stressful situations possible during practice so the games are easy.”

Fritz and his coaching staff will grade the film from today's scrimmage and meet again Sunday before beginning preparations for the season opener at N.C. State.

From his observations from the field, Fritz was complimentary of the passing game, special teams play and tackling.

“We threw the ball pretty good,” Fritz said. “I was impressed with that. Early, when we were doing some kicking game, we had nice punt coverage and thought we did a good job with mechanics as far as lining up, kicking game, extra point and field goal, it looked pretty solid. We have some speed out there, but we still need to find that (running) back who is going to bethat running back for us and we give the ball to 15-20 times a game.”

With the start of the new school year comes “Day One,” an annual event for new students to help teach them about Georgia Southern's traditions as well as game day chants and cheers. Gates at Paulson Stadium open at 7 p.m. and the program begins at 9 p.m. University President Brooks Keel, Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein and Football Coach Willie Fritz will speak at the event Monday night.

After Georgia Southern's practice Wednesday night, juniors Jake Banta and Alex Hanks were on hand to dump a cooler full of cold water and ice on Eagle punter Ryan Nowicki as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The participants in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge “call out” others and challenge them to do the same with the goal of raising funds to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for those people living with the disease.

Nowicki challenged Georgia Southern Head Coach Willie Fritz, who accepted the challenge and had a full cooler of 40-degree water dumped on him by senior linebacker Edwin Jackson and sophomore quarterback Kevin Ellison. Fritz challenged two of his friends, Chuck Clemens, defensive line coach at Central Missouri, and Jeff Conway, co-offensive coordinator at Texas State.

New Georgia Southern Football Coach Willie Fritz will be the featured speaker on Wednesday, August 20th, at the Georgia Southern Savannah Business Luncheon. Held at the Johnny Harris Banquet Facility at 1651 E. Victory Drive in Savannah, the gathering features a tasty buffet and a preview of the 2014 Eagle Football team from Coach Fritz.

Fritz begins his first season with Georgia Southern and 22nd as a head coach this fall. The Eagles open the season just 10 days later at N.C. State on August 30th.

Serving lines for the Savannah Business Luncheon open at 11:45 a.m. with the program beginning at 12:20 p.m. and concluding at 1 p.m. The cost of the luncheon is $10 which includes buffet, sweet tea, tax and gratuity. For more information or to RSVP, contact Laney Claxton at

Fans, friends and alumni are always welcome to attend the Savannah Business Luncheon, however, due to NCAA regulations, bringing students in grades 9-12 to this month's event is not encouraged.

A mandatory information meeting for Georgia Southern students interested in walking on to the Eagle Football team is set for Monday, August 18th at 5 p.m. at the Football Operations Center located at 205 Lanier Drive. Tryouts will be held Wednesday, August 20th at 7 p.m. Candidates must be Georgia Southern students enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours for Fall 2014.

Documents required at the information meeting for each student include: 1) Copy of student's fall 2014 class schedule verifying full-time enrollment, 2) A copy of a physical exam conducted within six months of August 20th 
tryout date; 3) Copy of the front and back of a medical insurance card and 4) Signed originals of the required sports medicine forms available here.

Participants must meet NCAA eligibility standards and agree and comply with the Georgia Southern and NCAA drug testing policy.

For more information about the meeting, required documents or 
tryouts, contact Shane Meyer at 912-478-5522.

Season tickets for the Eagles' first campaign in the Sun Belt Conference and FBS are on sale online now at and weekdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. by calling 1-800-GSU-WINS. The five-game home campaign opens September 6th vs. Savannah State with two historic Thursday night games on ESPNU September 25th vs. Appalachian State and October 30th vs. Troy.

Single game tickets for home games went on sale to the general public August 15th and are available online at until 5 p.m. the day before the game. Single-game tickets can also be purchased by calling 1-800-GSU-WINS or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office on weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Individual tickets increase by $5 for day-of-game sales.

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