CCU shifts practice to Myrtle Beach High School

Coastal Carolina football coach Joe Moglia addresses his team following practice at Ashley Booth Field in Myrtle Beach Tuesday. The Chanticleers moved practice there while campus remains closed following Hurricane Matthew.

MYRTLE BEACH – Coastal Carolina football returned to practice Tuesday after an open week and Hurricane Matthew, but things aren’t fully back to normal just yet.

Campus remains closed in Conway, so the Chanticleers had to practice at Ashley Booth Field at Myrtle Beach High School. It’s an unusual experience, but coach Joe Moglia says it just requires a simple shift in focus.

“You almost treat it like it’s an away game,” Moglia said. “So when we’re at away games we have to worry about meals, we have to worry about meetings, we have to worry about film, we have to worry about all those things. So in effect, that’s just the way we adjusted.”

The move may require more work than a typical week, but it’s a change defensive lineman Casey Barker is embracing.

“I’m kind of excited for it, get to stay in a hotel – Marriott on the beach,” he said. “But it’s definitely cool because we get to come out here, practice for a little bit, fly around, you know, have some fun.”

Barker believes the change of scenery can even help the team to focus better since it forces them to adjust. But it’s more of a change for some than others. Defensive back Michael Billings, a Georgetown native, practice on the same field during the North-South All-Star game in high school.

“It’s like an all-star game or a bowl game really to me and everybody on the team,” he said. “It felt like we were preparing for a game – the guys in the hotel talking, you know, ‘We got a game, we got a game.’ But actually it’s just practice, you know, coming out here, playing around.”

The Chanticleers had a total of 10 days off due to the storm and the open week. They play at Gardner-Webb Saturday at 1:30 p.m.