EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College football team opened preseason camp Friday afternoon in preparation for the 108th season in school history. Under the direction of third-year head coach Kurt Barth, the Red Devils will enter their third season as associate members of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference in 2011.
Players arrived on campus and began checking in at 11 a.m. Friday morning. The Red Devils participated in fitness testing at 1 p.m. before the first practice began at 5 p.m. The Red Devils will continue workouts throughout the month of August prior to Eureka's annual preseason intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. at McKinzie Field. The scrimmage will be open to the public.
A total of 16 starters return for the Red Devils in 2011, including junior quarterback Sam Durley (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.), senior wide receiver Alex Hess (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.), senior free safety Mike Minehan (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./McKendree) and senior wide receiver Wes Schmidgall (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Culver-Stockton). All four players received All-UMAC accolades last season, including First Team selections for Hess, Minehan and Schmidgall.
The Red Devils will open the season on Saturday, Sept. 3 in a non-conference game against Northern Athletics Conference member Benedictine. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. under the lights at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex in Lisle, Ill. Eureka will play a full nine-game UMAC schedule for the first time this fall, beginning with Eureka's home opener against Crown on Sept. 17 at McKinzie Field. The regular season UMAC champion will receive an automatic bid to the 32-team NCAA Division III playoffs beginning in late November.