The Southeast Missouri State football team officially begins preparations to defend its Ohio Valley Conference title Saturday when the Redhawks hold their first practice.
Southeast players reported to preseason camp Thursday. They'll have a conditioning test today followed by Saturday's first of 14 scheduled practice days prior to the start of classes Aug. 22.
"We're ready to get started," Southeast coach Tony Samuel said. "I think the players put a lot of time in over the summer, which is always important."
The Redhawks are coming off a historic season that saw them go 9-3 overall and 7-1 in league play to win the program's first OVC championship and earn the program's first playoff berth on any level.
The 2011 Redhawks face plenty of question marks as they must replace 14 starters, including several All-Americans. But Southeast does welcome back quite a few key pieces among 40 returning lettermen.
"We just have to see how everything develops," Samuel said.
Southeast's first practice in full pads will be Tuesday. There will be two scrimmages, Aug. 13 and Aug. 20.
The Redhawks open the season Sept. 3 when regional rival Southern Illinois visits Houck Stadium.
Southeast practices are open to the public. Following is the schedule for preseason camp (practice times are always subject to change due to weather conditions):
Aug. 6 -- 4-6 p.m. (Rosengarten Athletic Complex)
Aug. 7 -- 4-6 p.m. (Rosengarten)
Aug. 8 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck Stadium)
Aug. 9 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck)
Aug. 10 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck), 4-6 p.m. (Rosengarten)
Aug. 11 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck)
Aug. 12 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck), 4-6 p.m. (Rosengarten)
Aug. 13 -- scrimmage, 9-11 a.m. (Houck)
Aug. 14 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck)
Aug. 15 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck), 4-6 p.m. (Rosengarten)
Aug. 16 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck)
Aug. 17 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck), 4-6 p.m. (Rosengarten)
Aug. 18 -- no practice
Aug. 19 -- 6-8 a.m. (Houck)
Aug. 20 -- scrimmage, 1-3 p.m. (Houck)