COLUMBIA — Jamey Chadwell hopes the lights stay on at Charleston Southern for quite some time.
Chadwell roused the long-dormant Buccaneers to a 10-3 mark in his debut coaching season, its first winning campaign in four years. Charleston Southern had the Football Championship Subdivision’s longest losing streak at 15 straight games between the end of the 2010 and middle of the 2012 seasons.
But Chadwell it was a matter of giving his players some pride in what they could do. The former North Greenville coach brought in an option-based offense that the Buccaneers used with some success, upsetting two Southern Conference teams in Citadel and Appalachian State before handing Big South champion Coastal Carolina its lone league loss of last season.
Now, the team will open under its newly installed lighting system when it takes on Point University on Thursday, Aug. 28th.
Chadwell says those early games can be played under some high temperatures and the lights will help the team and its fans. “Plus, I think it shows the commitment our program’s making for the long run,” he said.
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Bucs coach Jamey Chadwell wants to see his players build on their accomplishments of last season and that means working harder than they did a year ago. “We’ve have had a lot of ‘Thank yous,’ off the season from last year and it was well deserved,” he said. “But we feel like we left a couple of things out there and that’s given us some good motivation. We’re hungry for more.”
Charleston Southern brings back Christian Reyes, who set a school single-season mark with 1,254 yards last season. The team has everyone back on the offensive line from a year ago, so Reyes may be in store for another big year. The offensive style means “we can do four different things. Either three people are running through our offense or we’re throwing it,” Reyes said.
The Buccaneers have sophomore Danny Croghan returning at quarterback after starting the final seven games a year ago and winning the Big South freshman of the year honors. Still, he’ll be pushed throughout camp by UAB transfer Austin Brown.
Charleston Southern funded its lighting project with some of the money it earned from playing at Colorado last season. After its opener with Point, play three more home games at night including an area rivalry contest with Citadel on Sept. 20th.
ON THE ROAD
Charleston Southern’s road following a month at home will be difficult. It includes contests at Vanderbilt, at Georgia and at Big South defending champion Coastal Carolina.