EIU Panthers

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Final Football Position Group Preview

Today we quickly cover the final position group breakdown for the 2010 EIU Panthers football team. If you divide this group into two units it has one of the best groups on the Panthers team and one the question marks.

EIU is very solid at defensive end with junior Perry Burge returning to anchor one spot after earning All-OVC honors last year. He led the team with five sacks. The other side is sophomore Artavious Dowdell who continues to develop on a weekly basis after getting three sacks as a freshman. He beat out senior Nate Galan for the starting spot. Behind them are two talented redshirt freshmen Judes Amilcar (pronounced just like the Beatles Song - Hey Jude) and Antonio Taylor.

The interior line is a question mark with some solid players but not a lot of depth. EIU graduated senior starters Trevor Frericks and Andre Lima. Now in the middle are senior Spyros Bazigos and sophomore Roosevelt Holliday. Both are solid but can only take some many reps. Behind them are sophomore Mike Letton and true freshman John Voytilla. Coaches also like the speed of Greg Mahan who may be effective against some of the FCS teams on the schedule.

Just five days until Iowa. For alumni and Panther fans in the Iowa area we are holding a kick off event at the Sheraton at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.

Wednesday also marks the start of the FB Coaches Luncheons at Two Flowers. Lunch begins at Noon. Also Panther Sports Talk returns to WEIU TV with its first airing at 5 p.m. Wednesday night.

Other news and notes from EIU on Tuesday include a preview of the women's rugby season on video. The Panthers begin the season on Wednesday at Ball State. EIU has posted back-to-back undefeated campaigns.

Also congrats to EIU goalkeeper Kaylin Lorbert who was named the OVC Goalie of the Week after allowing one goal in each of the Panthers weekend contests.

Monday, August 30, 2010

DB's & The OVC

One of the hardest positions to crack the All-OVC list in football may be at defensive back. The league currently has all four first team selections from last year back in EIU's CJ James, Jacksonville State's TJ Heath, Tennessee State's Eugene Clifford and Eastern Kentucky's Jeremy Caldwell.

The talent has been so deep the last couple of year's that EIU senior Rashad Haynes was a second team All-OVC selection last year and may be the league's top shutdown corner. He enters the season ranked 7th on the EIU career interceptions list.

James and Haynes anchor the Panthers defensive backfield which we examine today. Behind the two senior veterans are sophomore Randolph Tribble behind James while true freshmen Pete Houlihan and Tavares Crawford will battle to play behind Haynes. While the Panthers are steady at corner this year, they also have a bright future with that back-up group.

The safety tandem also has a couple of years under their belt with starters Carlos Reyna and Nick Martinez. Both are juniors who saw plenty of action last season. Backing them up and playing in a lot of nickel and dime combinations are redshirt freshman Nick Beard and sophomore James Cooper. Those nine players will take a majority of the snaps on defense.

Speaking of OVC football, games start this Thursday. One team - Austin Peay - should start the year 1-0 when they host Cumberland University. Most everyone else in the league is likely looking at 0-1 starts as they play a money game. On the docket are Ole Miss, Iowa, Tennessee and Arkansas. Murray State and SEMO will open with Kent State and Ball State from the MAC. TSU hosts Alabama A&M in the John Merritt Classic while the game with the most intrigue is EKU at Missouri State - those two teams will see where they are right out of the gate.

The EIU family sends its thoughts and prayers out to the family of former EIU head tennis coach Dutch Gossett who passed away over the weekend. Gossett's son Jeff was a star at EIU before going on to an All-Pro punting career in the NFL.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Game Week - Finally

After now 3 and 1/2 weeks of Eastern Illinois players beating their heads against each other the magical words they have all been waiting for have arrived. GAME WEEK!!!

While the task ahead of them will not be easy, be assured that EIU's players will be excited to walk out of the tunnel at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday if nothing else just to play someone in a different color jersey. EIU went through its mock game routine on Saturday and today began the first of many Sunday routines as they prepare for the Hawkeyes.

Part of that preparation on our part is to continue to break down the position groups. Remaining are the D-Line, LBS and DB's so we shall start in the middle with the linebackers.

This should be one of the most experienced groups for EIU in recent years with one senior and two juniors in the starting line-up. Nick Nasti was the team's leading tackler last year with 83 tackles despite missing two games. This year he is a preseason All-OVC selection and was named team captain.

In the middle is junior Gordy Kickels while on the weak side is junior Cory Leman. Leman and Kickels finished second and third on the team in tackles last year. Behind them as a solid back-up is senior Sean Campbell. The other players in the mix for playing time are redshirt freshman Antonio Taylor, sophomore Perry Maynard and sophomore Jonathan Ridgner.

Six days and counting until kick off in Iowa City.

As a recap on the pitch today EIU women's soccer team lost a hard fought contest to Eastern Michigan, 1-0, as the Panthers fell to 2-2-0 on the year. Most of EIU's other fall sports begin official competition this week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Chalked Full Of Stuff

A busy Saturday on EIU's campus as the Panthers had three activities on campus plus involving three of fall sports teams.

EIU cross country held it's alumni meet and Peace To Meece event which had a nice turnout for the 8 a.m. start time on the Panther Trail. Watch for a video piece on this event in the coming weeks as part of Panther Sports Talk.

Men's soccer ended its exhibition schedule with a second straight tie against a Horizon League opponent. Earlier this week EIU picked up a draw at Butler while they were all square with UW Green Bay on Saturday at Lakeside Field. Butler and Green Bay have been picked to finish 1, 2 in the Horizon League so it could so promising signs for the EIU season.

EIU women's soccer returns to action on Sunday at 1 p.m. with a match against Eastern Michigan at Lakeside Field. EIU fell on Friday night at Valpo.

Saturday also marked the mock game for EIU football. Talking to coaches after the game they said it was one of the most productive mock games EIU has had in recent yers. Standing on the sidelines it was hard to pick up what exactly was successful as each play was already scripted from a pre-determined down, distance and location on the field.

EIU football did name its captains for the 2010 season as seniors CJ James, Rashad Haynes, Nick Nasti and junior Willie Henderson will have that honor this year.

Breaking down the EIU units tonight is the Panther special teams. Senior Kevin Cook may end up being in the running for team MVP as he will move into the role of field goal kicker, kick off specialist and punter this year. For the previous three seasons he has been working on rewriting the punting records at EIU and will take his first step into other kicking duties in seven days at Iowa. Behind him as a kicker is freshman Cameron Berra and in recent practices wide receiver Erik Lora.

Kick off return will once again be Lorence Ricks who I think is ready for a break out year. A host of other players will rotate early in the season with Ricks including Lora, Jimmy Potempa and freshman Pete Houlihan just to name a few. In terms of punt return Haynes will once again be the primary guy with Lora and Houlihan listed behind him.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wide Outs Galore

One of the strengths of the 2010 Eastern Illinois might be its incredible depth at the wide receiver position. Add to that the fact that most of the faces are sophomores and the Panthers are stocked in that position for years to come.

Last season EIU had solid balance with eight players catching touchdown passes while seven receivers finished the year in double digit receptions. The core of the young receivers are Chris Wright, Erik Lora and Kenny Whittaker. While they probably don't have a nickname for themselves the vast difference in personalities may trend to calling them the Three Amigos.

In the Panthers new Pistol offensive scheme this season look for receivers to have to make plays after making catches. The top long ball threat continues to be junior Lorence Ricks who last season was named the National Special Teams Player of the Week in a win at Jacksonville State.

Senior Charles Graves provides a solid possession receiver while above mentioned 3 Amigos provide the ability to gain YAC (Yards After Completion). Toss in redshirt sophomore Chavar Watkins who showed promise before missing a good portion of the year with injury.

This season the tight end position will become more valuable in the new scheme as Cody Bruns a senior who saw limited action last year appears to be headed into a starting role while Von Wise could blossom into a surprise player. In other formations you toss back in traditional tight ends Danny Vehovic and Keagan Robinson.

Nine days until kick off at Iowa.

One other note if you have not seen the new Kenny Chesney video "Boys of Fall" - check it out. Features a nice cameo by Sean Payton who will be returning to EIU on Sept. 11 to have his No. 18 retired. Word on the street is that former EIU head coach Al Molde may also be in the building that day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

O-Line & Iowa City Food

Today we preview the Panthers offensive line which at this point in the season is really hard to determine how this unit will stack up. Last's starting line featured two players currently on NFL rosters in Otis Hudson with the Cincinnati Bengals and Chris Campbell with the Green Bay Packers. Throw in Chaz Millard a three-time All-American who is now coaching at Ouachita Baptist in Arkadelphia, Ark., and you have a pretty solid crew.

Returning from last year are left guard Eric Zink, now a two-year starter, and Willie Henderson. Henderson is a preseason All-OVC selection who started at right guard last year and will move back to his natural position of center this season.

Behind them are all newcomers to the starting mix. The tackle battle right now is taking place between Kevin Kapellas, Ryan Grossman and Dominic Pagilara. Pagilara is listed as the possible back up at both tackle spots.

The right guard battle is between Mike Garrity a transfer from Illinois and redshirt freshman Alex Pierce. The only two other players listed on the current offensive line depth chart are Mike O'Neill at center and Collin Seibert as a back-up at tackle.

Turning our attention from the offensive line to food. Next Wednesday - Sept. 1, EIU kicks off its football coaches luncheons at a new location - Two Flowers Restaurant - located in the Worthington Inn in Charleston. Luncheons start at Noon and the buffet lunch costs $8 per person.

On other food notes we are now just 10 days away from kick off in Iowa City. We did a quick search of food joints in Iowa City and found a stop we just might have to make - Shorts Burger and Shine.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Running Backs & Soccer Kudos

Kudos to Sam Balek of the EIU women's soccer team for earning OVC Defensive Player of the Week honors as the Panthers opened the season at 2-0. EIU plays on the road at Valpo on Friday night before hosting Eastern Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Men's soccer also was back in action tonight with a 2-2 exhibition tie at Butler. The Bulldogs had an impressive season last year so a tie in this match might bode well for the Panthers.

Now on to more preseason position break downs for the Panther football team. Just 11 more days until the season opener at Iowa. For EIU fans wishing to purchase tickets to the game the sale ends at Noon on Wednesday - August 25.

EIU looked to be pretty deep entering preseason camp in the running back position, but my oh my what a couple weeks can do to a position group. One running back was suspended from the team while another was listed as medically unable to participate this year leaving the work load to seniors Mon Williams and Jimmy Potempa.

On Tuesday EIU announced that Mon Williams will miss at least the Iowa game with a sprained knee suffered last week in practice moving Potempa up to No. 1 in the order. EIU did add a transfer from Toledo on Monday who may provide some depth with transfer Jake Walker, a former Florida prep standout.

The remaining cast is all freshmen with Jimmy Lera, Cam White, A.J. Woodson and Kenny Williams set to possibly see some serious early season action. Lera will be the real deal should his smaller frame be able to stand up to early season physical defenses EIU will play. The Panthers are hopeful Mon Williams will be back for the Central Arkansas game.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Previewing the QB Race

Eastern Illinois most talked about topic during spring practice was who would win the starting job following the departure of senior quarterbacks Bodie Reeder and Jake Christensen. Entering the spring drills only one quarterback on the active roster had ever taken a Division I snap and those two snaps by Doug Reynolds were in the "Wildcat Formation".

Reynolds, Brandon Large and Shadonta Travis all took a number of snaps during spring drills with the knowledge that EIU has signed three new players in February who could also battle to play quarterback. Freshman Taylor Duncan and Jimmy Garappolo have continued to play at the quarterback spot while Sam Hendricks is listed as an athlete and will most likely see time at tight end.

Reynolds was hurt in the middle of spring practice and during the summer had shoulder surgery which most likely keeps him sidelined this year. Large emerged as the top quarterback as the redshirt sophomore from Arizona has slowly learned the new "Pistol Offense". Large has solidified himself as the starter heading into the early season and now the battle is for who will be No. 2.

Garappolo appeared to have earned that nod by taking reps at No. 2 quarterback during last Saturday's scrimmage. He has a solid arm and is a tall quarterback in the pocket. Travis will continue to battle for No. 2 as he provides a mobility that the other quarterbacks do not have. Duncan appears headed for a redshirt year this season.

In other EIU football news, the Panthers landed at No. 16 in the FCS Coaches poll which was released on Monday. EIU was No. 18 in last week's Sports Network rankings.

By the way 12 days until the season opener at Iowa. Tickets for the game are on sale through the EIU ticket office until Noon on Wednesday. 217-581-2106.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

OT Goals Lift Soccer On Sunday

Eastern Illinois women's soccer improved to 2-0 on the season as the Panthers picked up a 1-0 win in overtime against Missouri Valley Conference member Evansville. Kristin Germann collected a goal halfway through the first overtime period as EIU was awarded a penalty kick following a rough tackle by a Purple Aces defender in the goal box.

This season soccer has returned to the Golden Goal of overtime as the first goal scored in an OT period is now a game winner.

A couple hours later Brandon Loncar scored an overtime goal to lift the underclassmen to a win over the upperclassmen during EIU men's soccer scrimmage.

Sunday night marks First Night as campus life is now in back in full swing following all the students returning to EIU to begin classes on Monday. With that look for a possible football transfer announcement on Monday with the start of classes.

Only 13 days left until the season opener at Iowa. Get your tickets now if you don't have them. The deadline to purchase tickets is Noon on Wednesday. Previews of each position group will start tomorrow on the blog.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Football, Football, Football

Eastern Illinois had its second scrimmage of the fall season and the Panthers showed balance on both sides of the ball. Brandon Large drove the Panthers down the field in 13 plays hitting 8-of-8 on the opening drive for a score. The defense then responded with three strong series before both sides finished with some high notes.

We are now 14 days away from the opener at Iowa and will start previewing the different EIU position groups on Monday right here on the EIU Panther blog. This will be the fourth member of the old Big Ten that EIU has played with previous stops at Illinois (twice), Purdue and Penn State. EIU will play at Northwestern next season and already has Minnesota on the docket for the 2014 schedule.

Panther season and single game tickets are currently on sale by calling 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com A limited number of tickets for the opener at Iowa are still available through the EIU ticket office. The deadline is Noon on Wednesday (Aug. 25). Iowa is sold out for this game.

Make sure to watch former EIU football players Tony Romo (Dallas) Pierre Walters (Kansas City), Otis Hudson (Cincinnati) and Chris Campbell (Green Bay) during preseason NFL action. Right now Walters, Hudson and Campbell are working their ways into securing spots on NFL rosters with all three getting solid back-up playing time.

Congrats to the EIU women's soccer team, off to a 1-0 start to the season following Friday's win over IUPUI. They face Evansville on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lakeside Field on what should be a great weather day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Panther Picture Day

Two of Eastern Illinois athletic teams knocked out their team pictures for the 2010 season on Thursday as volleyball and men's soccer finished the task earlier today.

Men's soccer is coming off a 2-0 exhibition loss to Saint Xavier yesterday while volleyball will hold an intrasquad match over the weekend as they prepare for their season opener.

Speaking of season openers EIU women's soccer will hit the pitch on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. for the first official Panther contest of the new school year with a contest against IUPUI. Weather should be nice so we hope to see many of you out at Lakeside Field.

Cross country polls were released by the OVC today and the Panthers were picked to finish second in both the men's and women's poll. Olivia Klaus is the top returning women's runner for EIU while Matt Feldhake is the men's top returner.

Football held a situational scrimmage this afternoon and I thought the defense looked really good. Offense is a little banged up as the Panthers ran through drills with Mon Williams and Jimmy Potempa both on the sideline with some minor bumps and bruises suffered earlier in the week. EIU will scrimmage for the second time this fall on Saturday at 4:30 p.m at O'Brien Field.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

EIU Students Returning To Campus

The buzz in Charleston the next couple of days will be the thousands of students returning to campus as move in-day at EIU begins on Thursday. Traffic will come to a stand still and grocery aisles at Wal-Mart will be empty but all are signs that fall is just around the corner.

Men's soccer began its fall today as the Panthers played an exhibition match against Saint Xavier College out of Chicago. EIU fell in the match 2-0, but it gave head coach Adam Howarth a good feel for where his team is current at.

EIU women's soccer will kick off the regular season for all Panther sports teams when they host IUPUI on Friday at 4 p.m. Other teams currently back on campus are cross country, women's rugby, volleyball and football. Look for the OVC cross country poll coming out on Thursday, the Panthers should be right in the mix.

As for football the Panthers will hold a situational scrimmage at 3 p.m. on Thursday as they begin to prepare for their season opener at Iowa in just 17 days. Speaking of Iowa we started looking at the games the play against opponents for a trophy. One of the more famous has to be the Floyd of Rosedale battle with Minnesota voted the No. 1 trophy game by Rivals.com in 2008. Trophy games truly are a great aspect of college football.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Futbol & Football

Eastern Illinois men's soccer will kick off their exhibition season on Wednesday with a 5 p.m. match against Saint Xavier. EIU just reported to camp on Sunday evening so head coach Adam Howarth will test the summer conditioning of his squad right off the bat.

Speaking of men's soccer at EIU the Panthers were picked seventh in the Missouri Valley preseason soccer poll. This will be EIU's final season as a soccer member of the MVC, the move to the Summit League next year.

Also former EIU assistant coach Dino Raso has taken over as the head coach at Oakland City CC just outside of Evansville. The Panthers will play Evansville in a MVC match later this year which will be televised by the Fox Soccer Channel on Oct. 29.

Turning attention to the gridiron, the Panthers are just 18 days away from kick off with Iowa. Next week we turn our attention to each position group break down. But for the time being the Nashville City Paper did a nice feature on the Tennessee Titans coaching staff including a segment on former EIU baseball standout Mike Heimerdinger, now the OC for the Titans.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Scoreless Draw & National Rankings

Eastern Illinois women's soccer was the first Panther team to open its season today with a scoreless exhibition draw against Drake. The Panthers will open the regular season this Friday at home against IUPUI. Start time is 4 p.m. at Lakeside Field.

Men's soccer will take to the pitch on Wednesday with a 5 p.m. exhibition against Saint Xavier. The Panthers will also play an intrasquad game on Sunday at 5 p.m. following the women's second match of the season against Evansville.

EIU football will open the season nationally ranked as the Panthers landed at No. 18 in the preseason poll released by the Sports Network. TSN has joined with Fathead.com to present this year's Top 25. EIU finished last season at No. 19 in that poll. TSN is one of two major polls covering FCS action, the other is the FCS Coaches poll which will be released next week. Ranked in the mid-teens is just about where I had the Panthers slated to land in the preseason rankings. I get a weekly vote and I had EIU at No. 14. Villanova - the defending National Champ - was an overwhelming No. 1 choice.

By the way Iowa, EIU's season opening opponent - is ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. 19 days until kick off.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Football Scrimmage No. 1 In The Books

Eastern Illinois put its first scrimmage of the fall season in the books as the Panthers worked out on Saturday morning at O'Brien Field.

The defense looked good for a majority of the day while several young receivers stepped up for the offensive unit. Chris Wright and Erik Lora both ended the day with more than 100 yards receiving including one long touchdown reception for each of them.

EIU has just 21 days left until the season opener at Iowa. The Hawkeyes were picked No. 10 in the Coaches poll. Last season they won the Orange Bowl.

EIU was previewed by the Sports Network on Friday as the preseason favorite in the OVC. Jacksonville State was picked second. That is a reverse order of how the top two teams in the OVC were picked by the league's coaches and media relations directors.

Friday was also the Panther Club golf outing in Mattoon. A good turnout was had at the event despite tempatures in the 90's and a course that you could tell had been beat up by the hot weather in the area. EIU will have one more Panther Club golf outing this year the day before homecoming on Oct. 22 at Charleston Country Club. You can call 217-581-2310 to register for that event.

We apologize for taking a day off on Friday the 13th, but normally most things that occur that day result in bad luck. We will also take off tomorrow and resume blogs on Monday when the women's soccer team hosts Drake at 2 p.m. in an exhibition match at Lakeside Field. The tempatures should be back down in the 80's so come enjoy some afternoon soccer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Men's Basketball Schedule Released

Eastern Illinois men's basketball coach Mike Miller released his 2010-11 schedule on Thursday and the Panthers will have some interesting home match-ups against South Dakota State, Ball State and Western Illinois.

The Panthers were 19-12 last season and will open OVC action at home on Dec. 2 against Tennessee State. Still too early to see where the Panthers will stack up in the OVC race but on paper they should be in that group of teams chasing Murray State.

While Thursday was the first camp day with two-a-day practices, the somber mood felt at the morning practice may have been the fact that Coach Bob Spoo dismissed three players from the team.

EIU did finish with a spirited practice with four NFL team scouts in attendance and former running back Vincent Webb also stopping by to say hello. The four teams represented included Arizona, Tampa Bay, San Diego and Houston. Hard to say who they were looking at, but my guess would be they are taking a hard look at Mon Williams and Kevin Cook.

The Panthers will be the first team to take the field in action this fall as they play an exhibition match against Drake on Monday afternoon at Lakeside Field. Look for more coverage on the match on www.eiupanthers.com on Friday including some video footage and interview from practice.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Women's Hoops Releases 2010-11 Schedule

25 days until Eastern Illinois squares off against Iowa. Only tickets remaining are those purchased by EIU fans through the EIU ticket office at 217-581-2106.

However the top story of the day for Panther athletics was the release of the women's basketball schedule. Head coach Brady Sallee will play host to Big 12 (I think that is what they are still going by) member Missouri in the home opener for the defending Ohio Valley Conference Champions.

Season and single game ticket information is still a few weeks away but guessing this will be a hot ticket in Charleston. The home docket also includes visits by Bradley, UIC and Valpo. The ladies will spend Thanksgiving in South Beach as part of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament.

The men's 2010-11 schedule will be released on Thursday.

Eastern Illiois will hold its Mattoon Panther Club golf outing this Friday. Looks like the event will be a near sell out. Also looks like the heat advisory is going to hang around until Friday evening just to welcome the golfers.

Panther Club also announced that it will host a PC member and Season Ticket holder appreciation cook out next Saturday, August 21 at O'Brien Field.

EIU had its first full pads practice today and head coach Bob Spoo was pleased with the effort but did announce that three players - walk-ons Mick Viken and Leslie Tripp along with Aki Dionsopoulos have left the team.

Watch the video recap from the first full day in pads.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peace To Meece Announced

Eastern Illinois released its 2010 cross country schedule today and among the events is the Peace To Meece Memorial run which will take place on Saturday, August 28 at 8 a.m. on the EIU campus.

Ryan Meece was a cross country and track member at EIU from 1993-98 who lost his battle with a complex brain injury in August 2009. This race is in his memory.

EIU cross country will also host its Walt Crawford Alumni Event as part of this same day event.

Women's Basketball
Look for the release of the 2010-11 EIU women's basketball schedule tomorrow on www.eiupanthers.com. Home games against a team from Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conference highlight the schedule for coach Brady Sallee.

The panthers will put on full pads for the first time on Wednesday. Due to hot weather in the area, practice has been moved up to 11 a.m. An injury report from camp and video clips will be online tomorrow afternoon.

25 days until kick off at Iowa

Monday, August 9, 2010

Football Media Day & Hot Weather

Eastern Illinois hosted its annual media day and kids clinic this afternoon under some pretty hot conditions. Now it probably was not as bad as Robin Williams weather forecast from 'Good Morning Vietnam' but to some of the young people participating it probably felt that way.

For video clips of Coach Spoo and Nate Galan from media day visit here.

Good turnout by the local media folks, look for coverage on a couple of the local stations and by Brian Nielsen in the www.jg-tc.com. By the way for those who have not heard, Nielsen was voted OVC Media Person of the Year - so congrats to Brian.

26 Days to the Iowa Game. Now that does not seem very far away so we did a quick Google Search for things you could get accomplished in 26 days. Other than a few other sites that mentioned it was 26 days until kick off the only reference we could find was Day 26 - a R&B group.

While attending the media day we did speak with EIU men's soccer coach Adam Howarth whose team will report Sunday night and play their first exhibition contest three days later. A quick google search on that revealed all sorts of weekend trips you can take so we will let you have your own experience on the internet for that.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Panther Pause 2nd Post

EIU football is underway with their second practice of the season. Once again a helmet only practice. In the coming weeks we will look in-depth at each position group and identify which battles are taking place.

Reminder that EIU will hold its media day and kids clinic on Monday - August 9 at 1 pm at O'Brien Field. If you are in the area bring the kids from some autographs and free football clinic.

27 days until the opener at Iowa.

EIU volleyball will report on Monday to campus. We will look at the Panthers prospects for the coming season in the coming weeks. EIU was picked to finish 8th in the OVC preseason poll. Senior Alex Zwettler was a preseason All-OVC selection as head coach Kate Price enters her first season.

EIU women's soccer is already on campus to start head coach Summer Perala's second season in Charleston. The Panthers were tabbed sixth in the preseason coaches poll. More previews on the upcoming season are on tab for EIU blog.

Look for video clips on our website www.eiupanthers.com this week from these sports.

Panther Pause 1st Edition

As part of the new redesign with the http://www.eiupanthers.com/ athletic website we are dedicated to bringing more new content for coverage of Eastern Illinois Panther athletics. With that said we will add a daily blog (some short, some long) on the happenings in EIU Athletics.

Since today is the opening day, we will do two reports. One this morning and one later on this evening.

Panther Football Camp

EIU had its first practice of the fall on Saturday night with some crisp weather at the stadium. The practice was a helmets only event as most of the drills consisted of bringing the new players up to speed on how EIU runs a practice.

Brandon Large took all of the snaps with the first team offense as he appears set to open the season as the Panthers signal caller. Redshirt sophomore Doug Reynolds recently had shoulder surgery which has ended his 2010 season. Shadonta Travis is the other returning quarterback from the spring and he took the snaps with the second team.

EIU opens at Iowa in 27 days.

Former EIU wrestler Matt Hughes picked up a victory at UFC 117 last night as he won with a front headlock choke hold over Ricardo Almeida at 3:15 in the first round. Hughes was quoted as saying "It's an old wrestling move I learned at Eastern Illinois" in the post match press conference.

EIU will have two former Panthers represented in the NFL preseason kick off tonight when the Cowboys play the Bengals. Tony Romo and Otis Hudson will play for their respective teams. The game airs on NBC at 7 pm (Central)