ELIZABETHTOWN — For East Bladen head coach Robby Priest, things couldn’t be going better during preseason practices, and his Eagles are “itching to hit someone other than themselves.”
They will get that chance on Wednesday, when they are scheduled to make a nearly four-hour trip to Roanoke Rapids for a one-on-one scrimmage. Two days after that, they will travel across the county for the final tune-up scrimmage at West Bladen High before the Friday, Aug. 23, regular-season opener at Fairmont High.
Priest said his varsity and jayvee players have been working hard since practices officially opened Aug. 1
“The energy level has been really good — and they are having fun, which I like to see,” he said.
As a reward for their hard work, the players were treated to a cookout Thursday evening after practice.
Despite all the hard work and high energy, Priest said there haven’t been any injuries outside of a few dings and soreness. He added that, this year, things are in a better place than they were at the same time last year.
“We’re way ahead of that this time around,” he said. “We have a lot more experience, players knew what to expect when they got here and we also got a lot more work done in the second semester and in the weight room.
“Plus, we’re seeing leaders starting to step up,” Priest added.
By the time the scrimmage at West Bladen arrives, Priest and his staff have a clear idea for what they hope to accomplish.
“We hope to just fine tune some things and stay injury-free,” Priest said. “We’ll probably give a few players some final looks, but we’ve had a pretty good idea who are starters will be. For the most part, all that begins to take shape in the spring.
“But, there could be a few surprises,” he added.