STATESBORO — The Georgia Southern Eagles open the 2016 campaign and their second season in the Sun Belt Conference on Friday under Coach Rodney Hennon. This season marks Hennon’s 17th as head coach at Georgia Southern.
The Eagles upcoming 56-game slate includes 32 home games and a full Sun Belt schedule. The team heads into the season facing new opponents along with some old acquaintances.
“Our schedule is really competitive and we play a lot of good teams this season,” Hennon said. “We face Georgia, Georgia Tech and Radford right out of the gate, and I think playing these teams early on is going to prepare us for conference play when the Sun Belt season starts.”
Hennon has a solid roster of 36 players, including 15 freshmen, six sophomores, nine juniors and six seniors. After benefitting from a strong off-season on the field and in the weight room, both coaches and players are ready to see how their hard work will pay off.
“We had a productive fall, and that makes us feel good about what’s to come,” Hennon said. “We are certainly looking forward to the Sun Belt Conference games, and I think after getting a feel for the league last year, we can take the next step this season.”
The Eagles open with a three-game series against Georgia this weekend in Athens. The first game is set for 5 p.m. Friday, with the remaining two set for 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The team then heads home to J.I. Clements Stadium for 10 straight games, starting with the Eagles’ home opener and first mid-week game against Georgia Tech on Wednesday, followed by four games against Radford Feb. 26-28.
The Eagles begin March against the College of Charleston on the 1st and a series against Memphis March 4-6. The Eagles end their run of home games against Kennesaw State on the 8th.
Next, the team travels to Boone, North Carolina, for its first Sun Belt Conference series against Appalachian State from March 11-13, then heads to Macon to play Mercer on March 15.
Georgia Southern will return home to host conference foe Troy in a weekend series March 18-20 before hitting the road again to play a Sun Belt series at Arkansas State from March 24–26. The Eagles end March with a contest in Atlanta against Georgia Tech on March 30.
Next on the conference slate is a home weekend against Texas State from April 1-3. The team then heads to Charleston for a quick contest against the College of Charleston on April 5 before returning home to play Savannah State on April 6.
The home games continue as the Eagles face conference opponent UL Lafayette in a three-game series April 8-10, followed by a contest against Mercer on April 12.
The Eagles will then travel to Arlington, Texas to take on UT Arlington April 15-17 before facing The Citadel in two games, first at home April 19, then in Charleston the next day.
A conference series at home against Little Rock will take place April 22-24 and will be followed by nine away games, starting with a mid-week game against Kennesaw State on the 26th.
Two conference series, one against UL Monroe from April 29-May 1 and another against South Alabama from May 6-8, conclude the Sun Belt Conference away games. Before returning for the final home stretch, the Eagles face North Florida in Jacksonville on May 10.
Then the Eagles travel home to face North Florida on May 11. Following that, the team plays Clemson in a three-game series May 13-15.
The Eagles will then wrap up the season with a conference series against rival Georgia State at home May 19-21. The series will determine the final regular season points of the 2015-16 Georgia Southern vs. Georgia State rivalry series.
The Sun Belt Conference Tournament will take place at Texas State University from May 25-29.
Four home games, including the home opener against Georgia Tech next week, will be featured on ESPN3. Fans can watch the remaining 28 home games on GS All-Access on GSEagles.com.