CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - A new season of football is just days away for Coastal Carolina University who will open the season at home Saturday afternoon against Eastern Michigan.
With a new stadium, new head coach and a lot of young talent, CCU fans will notice some changes at Brooks Stadium this season as the team goes for a ninth straight season with a home opener victory.
The team hopes for a great crowd filled with students, alumni and CCU fans that will pack the now 20,000 seat stadium.
Aside from preparing his team on the field, first year head football coach Jamie Chadwell has been meeting with fans and alumni to help sell season tickets.
“We’ve tried to do our very best to this point now to get fans here and hopefully they want to come check us out and see how we are and if the talk and things we’ve been doing is meaningful,” said Chadwell.
This season, Chadwell looks to bring back a winning culture to Brooks Stadium with a very young but hungry team.
“We’ve got 93 out of our 125 player that are freshman or sophomores so we have a lot of young people on our team, but I think a lot of them grew up during this fall camp and will play significant roles for us this season,” said Chadwell.
Aside from changes on the field, CCU fans will notice plenty has changed around the new 20,000 seat stadium.
Coastal Carolina Athletics has announced a series of fan experience enhancements for students and fans this season at newly-renovated Brooks Stadium.
Part of the renovations included new concessions on the west side of the stadium that will offer new menu items. Fans can also bring one sealed 20-ounce water bottle into the game and refill them using new water stations that will be available for the first two home football games of the season.
For CCU students, they can take advantage of the new Pepsi Patio deck located behind the student section, giving them their own place to hang out and watch the game with a DJ set up on the patio for in-game music.
“Would you rather be in your dorm room watching Netflix or watching a game with the whole school doing stuff,” said Sophia Pavin.
Junior Linemen C.J. Brewer and Trey Carter will be looked upon as leaders throughout the season and know, emotions can run high during that first home game.
“You can’t just be out there all hyped so its just a matter of us staying calm and being ready to go,” said Brewer.
“This will be my third year starting and I’ll probably mess up three or four times a game, but you just have to forget about it and move on to the next play,” said Carter.
While packing the stands is out of their control, Brewer and Carter have one message to their fellow students and CCU fans.
“I can promise they’ll see a different team than they’ve seen out there in the past two years that’s for sure,” said Carter.
“We’re going to face some adversity throughout the season but need [fans] to stay behind us. We do feed off that energy so everybody please come out this Saturday,” said Brewer.
Chadwell also announced that Fred Payton will the starting quarterback on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 3:30 p.m. at Brooks Stadium with tailgate festivities starting before the game.