Bucs hold first scrimmage of spring practiceMarch 29, 2003
by David Shelton, CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, SC - Charleston Southern's football team held their first scrimmage of the spring, ending Saturday afternoon's two and a half hour practice with a 40-minute situational scrimmage.
First-year head coach Jay Mills came away pleased with the effort and intensity his team displayed in the full contact drills.
"I thought our effort level was very high and I thought we played pretty physical on both sides of the ball," Mills said. "I think, overall, this scrimmage exceeded my expectations on both offense and defense. We saw a lot of positives that we can continue to build on through the rest of spring practice."
With a new offense and a new defense to learn this spring, CSU's players have been challenged mentally through the first seven practice sessions. Mills feels his team is starting to get a total grasp of things on both sides of the ball.
"We threw everything at them in the first seven practices and we purposely had their heads scrambling a bit," said Mills. "I would have to say, at this point, we have taken more steps forward than we have backwards, which is real pleasing to see. It's just our first scrimmage and I realize that we have a long ways to go but we're on track, This football team wants to be successful and they are working very hard."
The start of spring drills comes after a successful off-season in the weightroom. Mills says the team improved their average squat per player by 46 pounds, their average bench press by 12 pounds and their average power clean by 18 pounds per player.
"I think the improvements made in the weightroom show the level of commitment that we're getting from our players," said Mills.
CSU's offense is working this spring with only one quarterback, redshirt sophomore Clint Chappell. Last year's starter, Darren Swiggett, will miss all of spring drills recovering from off-season shoulder surgery but is expected back for the fall.
The Buccaneers will scrimmage again next Saturday at 10:00 a.m., and will hold their annual BUC BLAST spring game on April 12 at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday's practice and scrimmage was only a small part of a full day for the Buccaneers. The team spent nearly four hours in the morning working at the Bell & Schlau Track meet for youth, held at CSU's Bagwell-Settle Track facility. The football team, as well as members of CSU's men's and women's basketball teams and the volleyball team, provided free clinics and exercises for the several hundred pre-teen and teenaged athletes.
The football team will also sponsor a University-wide blood drive on Wednesday afternoon at the CSU field house.
"We're not only a football team, we're also a big part of this University and of this community," Mills said. "It's important that our athletes make positive contributions on and off the field of competition."