RICHMOND, Ky. – On what almost felt like an early fall evening, the Eastern Kentucky University football team held its first preseason practice Thursday night.
“It was a very good first day,” new EKU Head Coach Mark Elder said. “The energy was high. This was one of the better first practices I’ve ever been associated with as far as the energy, knowing what we needed to do and the guys playing as close as we want for a first day as possible. We’re still obviously a long way from where we need to be, but it was a step in the right direction.”
The Colonels practiced for nearly three hours. Rain and lightning that passed through the area right before the start of practice dropped the temperatures into the 70s. The first practice was likely the longest and the coolest the team will see for the rest of preseason camp.
EKU will have about 40 new players that were not on the team last season. That could have made for a disastrous first preseason practice.
“This summer most of those new guys were here and the returning players that know how we want to play, the style we want to play and the expectation levels did a tremendous job of leadership because the new guys knew what the expectations are on day one,” said Elder. “The upperclassmen did a great job of setting the standard and teaching the young guys. As coaches we are not around during the summer to teach them. That is a complement to our returning players.”
The Colonels are scheduled to practice again on Friday at 6 p.m. All practices are scheduled to be held at Roy Kidd Stadium and are open to the public.
EKU is ranked No. 25 in the nation in a preseason poll by Athlon Sports and was picked to place second in the Ohio Valley Conference this season by the coaches and the media.