PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

August 15, 2013

LU football team gets back to business

BEAUMONT — The Lamar football team was able to turn its focus solely to football on Thursday at Provost Umphrey Stadium as head coach Ray Woodard and his staff held the first two-a-day practice of preseason camp.

    While many schools begin two-a-days early in the camp season, Lamar had to delay the start for the first week and a half of practice due to summer school. Woodard, however, believes the delay helps them hold more productive practices later in camp.

    “We had to do this kind of schedule out of necessity, but I like it,” Woodard revealed. “We’ve had some good practices in the evenings, and I think we’re actually further along than if we would have had a two-a-days right off the bat. I think we’ll get more out of these extra practices, and since we don’t have any school going on, we can just focus on football. It’s a great 10-day period for us to really get better.”

    LU came into the morning practice looking to get some work done after holding an abbreviated session on Tuesday to let players prepare for finals and a weather-shortened session on Wednesday evening.

    “I think the guys were a little bit giddy to get back out there today,” Woodard said. “They came into today with a lot of rest. We had a little trouble getting mentally locked in today, but I brought them up and talked to them. After that, they did a pretty good job. We have an older team this season, and they really respond. They finished up practice well, and I like where we’re headed.”

    The Cardinals will return to regular practice on Friday before holding an extensive scrimmage on Saturday evening at Provost Umphrey. There are three more two-a-days left on the schedule, with LU beginning the day with a 9 a.m. session before returning for an evening practice at 7 p.m. Those practices will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week.

    After running just under 40 plays in last Saturday’s scrimmage, the Cards will run more than twice that this Saturday as Woodard will look to mimic a game day as much as possible.

    “We’re looking to have a really good, physical scrimmage on Saturday night,” Woodard said. “It’s going to be as close to a game as we can get before we actually play somebody. We’re going to be out here for a while and try to get in anywhere from 80-100 plays. We’re going to have to cut back that number with next week’s scrimmage because we’ll be getting ready for the first game.”

    With preseason wrapping up next week, the program will host its annual Kickoff Celebration on Sunday, August 25 at the Montagne Center. The event will feature Earl Campbell, member of both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Space is limited and individual tickets start at $100. For more information, please call (409) 880-7157.

    “It should be an exciting night, and it’s a great way to kick off our season,” Woodard said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there, and it’s going to be a great event for both our players and our fans. Earl’s not only a great player, but a great person with an amazing story to tell.”

    The Cardinals will begin the 2013 campaign on August 31 with a game against Oklahoma Panhandle State, the first of six games on the home slate this season.

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