Eagles open preseason practices with 60 players

ELIZABETHTOWN — About 60 athletes filled the Eagles’ practice field on Monday evening, and head coach Robby Priest was happy with what he saw.

“Oh yeah, it’s a good turnout for us,” he said. “All of the big team (varsity) players that I expected to be here are here. We may get a few stragglers on the jayvee.”

One “big team” player that Priest was especially happy to see was Sincere “Skippy” Smith, who is back on the football field after suffering a season-ending injury in the preseason last year.

“It’s real good to see Skippy out here going full speed,” Priest said. “That’s an athlete we’ll have out there that we didn’t last year, and he’ll give us a lot of options.”

East Bladen’s gridders were spared the heat of the previous couple of weeks, as temps had settled into the low 80s on the first evening.

Although the Eagles are without graduating seniors like Kyle Tatum, Ethan Hines, Eian Hines and others, they will have the services of returning players like Caleb Strait, Xavier Wooten, Quinton Bedsole and others.

Also on the field for East Bladen — at least for the preseason practices — is former head coach Lenon Fisher, who was out this week working with the linemen.