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PRACTICE, PRACTICE: Eastern offensive linemen Tony Grote (left) and Ryan Shimabukuro go over run-blocking drills Thursday. (Observer photo/C.J. GISH).
PRACTICE, PRACTICE: Eastern offensive linemen Tony Grote (left) and Ryan Shimabukuro go over run-blocking drills Thursday. (Observer photo/C.J. GISH).

By C.J. Gish

Observer Staff Writer

Temperatures hovering in the mid 90s early Thursday afternoon didnt overheat Rob Cushmans optimistic voice.

Eastern Oregon Universitys head football coach was yelling, Isnt it great to be out here? to his players as they stretched and prepared for the second day of practice.

Armed with trainers and water bottles scattered on both sidelines, players and coaches were ready to combat the heat while going over plays and working on individual skills.

Weve got 83 in camp. Just about everybody I thought would be coming showed up, Cushman said.

Cushman and the Mountaineers face an early start this season. Easterns first game is Labor Day Weekend when it hosts Willamette University Sept. 1.

Eastern has 25 returners back, including 15 starters from last years squad that went 2-8.

Were comfortable with who we have reporting, Cushman said. If everybody stays healthy, I feel we have a chance to be great.

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