By: Dave Collins
Eagle Radio Sports Director
With a talent-rich roster and strong veteran leadership the Chadron State Eagles opened camp for the upcoming fall season Friday afternoon under a scorching sun with temperatures in the 90's on the practice fields south of the Chicoine Center and CSC Softball Field.
The length of day one that started with conditioning tests at 6 a.m. didn't temper enthusiasm from the coaching staff nor stray focus on the faces of veterans coming back for their third, fourth and even fifth training camps with perhaps the best team they've been a part of going into a season.
Mitch Collicott knows all about the grind of fall camp. The former nose guard on CSC's defensive line isn't too far removed from his playing days and is embarking on his second year coaching with his alma mater. Collicott gave thoughts on day one and has a lot of depth on his defensive line.
Senior Calder Forcella returns to the defensive line where he emerged as a big playmaker last season. He told me about his excitement to be back with all of his teammates on day one, how the team was able to build strength and speed in the off-season, and how he wants to be an even better leader this year.
Coach Collicott says Forcella is the leader on the defensive line and does a phenomenal job keeping his teammates working to the standard the coaches have set. He says Forcella's footwork is really good and wants to see him take his vocal leadership strengths even further on the field through his play this year. Collicott wants the line to set the tone and re-establish the line of scrimmage every play.
Dave's Day One Camp Notebook
- After practice the seniors holler out their position groups where players gather to stretch and break down the day's practice, share thoughts, learn from each other and make constructive suggestions. The defensive line group just might be the biggest in terms of total bodies at this point on a Chadron State team started the day with 164 players on the roster as of Friday morning.
- The team will practice on the grass fields before likely moving over to Don Beebe Stadium at some point before the season starts. Practice will begin at 9:30 Saturday morning and sessions are open to the public through noon, heat permitting.
- The offensive line looks really big and strong. Two guys that could garner a lot more playing time are junior returner Jake Norris and transfer Justin Calderon who both stood out on the eye-test with their strength and size in jerseys and helmets. CSC could have a starting line that goes around 6'5" or so all the way across.
- Dalton Holst and Tyler Hyland took 1st and 2nd team reps at quarterback as expected. Both threw it well and looked good in reps.
- Stevann Brown and Elijah Myles both look absolutely cut and ready to power the Eagle backfield with the departure of senior Kevin Coy. The speedy Priest Jennings took part in practice and is hoping to stay healthy coming off a knee injury that sidelined him all of last season and through spring ball. Coaches will be looking to find a third back for a rotation they've been utilizing the past few years that's helped the team create the #RunningBackMill.