Georgia football: Georgia State inks deal with dome, Mercer opens camp
ATLANTA, July 31, 2014 — It’s official: Georgia State will continue to play its home games in the Georgia Dome.
The school this week finalized a three-year deal with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. The agreement runs through the 2016 season, the last for the Dome, which is to be replaced by a new open-air stadium.
The Panthers have played their home games in the Dome since their inaugural season in 2010. The school is one of only eight Division I football programs that play home games in an NFL stadium; the Atlanta Falcons also play in the Georgia Dome.
Georgia State’s 2014 schedule kicks off Aug. 27 against Abilene Christian, the first game of the Football Bowl Subdivision season.
Mercer opens practice camp
Mercer University opened its practice camp on Wednesday when 95 players reported. The Bears’ first camp included a full day of a full day of activities, including morning conditioning drills and a 4 p.m. practice and position meetings.
“I’ve always said that the first day is your most impressive practice, because the young men have fresh legs and they have a sense of excitement,” mercerbears.com quoted Mercer Coach Bobby Lamb as saying. “Our level of play was really good today, even though we were in what I call ‘pajama practice’ with helmets only. Now the entire secret of preseason camp is following this practice up with another good one tomorrow.”
The Bears have 18 practices and a pair of scrimmages scheduled in advance of their season opener on Aug. 28 against Reinhardt.
LaGrange returns a record 68
LaGrange heads into the 2014 season with a record 68 players returning. That includes 18 starters.
The Panthers kick off their 2014 campaign on Sept. 6 at Birmingham-Southern and were picked to finish fifth in the USA South Conference, according to the 2014 USA South Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
“This is a fun conference to to play in,” lagrangepanthers.com quoted LaGrange Coach Matt Mumme as saying. “I am blessed and excited about the opportunity I have been given. I was excited about some of the things we did in 2013 and trying to carry them forward to 2014.”
Mumme was named head coach in October.
“My first goal after taking over as head coach was retention,” Mumme said. “I saw a lot of good things on the football field in 2013 and I knew a lot of these players were good players. We needed to grow them up and to get them to come back.”