, Port Arthur, Texas


December 3, 2013

Woodard to return as LU football coach

BEAUMONT —  Lamar head coach Ray Woodard will lead the Cardinal football

program into the 2014 season announced Director of Athletics Jason Henderson

Tuesday afternoon.

“Starting a program from the ground up is a different situation than taking

over a program that has been struggling,” said Henderson. “There is a growth

process that has to take place. We believe that this program his headed in the

right direction under Coach Woodard, and we feel that this season is a step

toward competing at the top of the Southland Conference, which is our ultimate


The Cardinals finished the 2013 season by tying a record for wins since bringing

back the program. Lamar went 5-7 on the season, and posted a 2-5 record in

Southland Conference play. Although the Cardinals finished the season below the

.500 mark, there were several positive signs that came from the team’s


In 2013, Lamar took then No. 2 Sam Houston State down to the wire

before falling 14-3. Lamar flipped the series on SFA defeating their rivals on a

40-yard field goal with seconds remaining.

A similar case can be made against McNeese State. The Cowboys had won the

previous two meetings by a combined 63 points and entered this year’s contest

ranked No. 6 nationally, but had to rally with a touchdown in the game’s final

minute to escape Beaumont with a win.

In addition, Lamar dropped a two-point decision to then No. 20 Central Arkansas, as well as a heartbreaking decision at Louisiana Tech, which is a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Lamar also re-wrote the record books this past season. More than 20 team and

individual records were either tied or broken during the year, including junior

quarterback Caleb Berry who recorded the best single-season performance by a

Lamar quarterback in program history.

Following the season, Lamar set another record of sorts by having 10 players

named to the All-Southland Conference team, including three first-team


Freshman running back Kade Harrington was named the league’s top

freshman, while senior defensive end Jesse Dickson garnered league defensive

player of the year honors according to College Sports Madness.

The Cardinals return 14 starters, including eight on offense. Although Lamar

only returns three defensive starters, it returns several players who saw key

playing time off the bench and pushed the starters for snaps this season.


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    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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From the Fieldhouse blog