The Coastal Carolina football team held a two-hour workout Saturday morning, the first of 29 practices in preparation for its 2017 season opener versus UMass on Sept. 2 at Brooks Stadium.
Interim head coach Jamey Chadwell led the session, although the players said there was no difference than previous practices under Joe Moglia, who announced he would take a five-month medical sabbatical on July 28.
“Our mission and the way we do things will not be different,” said senior linebacker Shane Johnson. “It was heartbreaking to hear the news from Coach Moglia, but we understand his decision. However, in the past, the assistant coaches have run the film sessions and practices, so there really was not that much difference today.”
Senior running back Osharmar Abercrombie added, “Since I’ve been here, he’s been giving us everything and making all kinds of sacrifices for us. So we want to make sure we give everything back to him.”
Chadwell was named associate head coach this past January. He was 35-14 in his four years as head coach at Charleston Southern prior to coming to CCU and has an overall head coaching record of 60-36 over eight seasons with stints at North Greenville (2009-11) and Delta State (2012).
“I think there is still a little bit of a shock and surprise from what happened last night, which was to expected,” Chadwell said. “The thing we were worried about as a staff was what their attitude would be, and it looks like business as usual and that’s what coach Moglia told them he wanted it to be.”
In addition to his interim head coaching role, Chadwell serves as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The signal caller position will be a heated battle all through the preseason as eight quarterbacks are in camp including, Josh Stilley (stated first three games of 2016 before suffering season-ending injury), Tyler Keane (6-1 as starter in 2016), Austin Bradley (played in seven games in 2017) and Austin Wilson (graduate transfer from Syracuse).
Also in the mix will be two familiar faces, a transfer and a true freshman. Chance Thrasher missed the last two seasons due to injury and was going to play defense this season, working there in the spring, but moved back to quarterback after he progressed well from his injuries. Dalton Demos spent two season at Coastal (2012 and ’13) before transferring to a junior college first then to Northern Iowa. He missed last season, graduated from Northern Iowa and decided to return to Coastal for his final year of eligibility. A new name that came to CCU this summer is Kilton Anderson. The junior began his career at Fresno State, playing eight games with five starts as a redshirt freshman in 2015. True freshman Darius Harper rounds out the octet.