LU Football starts spring practices
BEAUMONT – After rain washed away the original start date of spring practice, the Lamar football team was able to begin its spring workouts Wednesday evening under the lights of Provost Umphrey Stadium.
The Cardinals will have 15 practices during the spring, culminating with the second annual Crawfish Bowl on Apr. 17. After waiting an extra day due to rain, third-year head coach Ray Woodard and his players were ready to get on the field.
“We were able to meet again which was good,” said Woodard about how Tuesday was spent. “We have a lot of new stuff to put in with the new coaches and it was good to meet again. It added to the excitement and there was a little more build up to tonight. I’m very excited.”
Lamar has 63 letterwinners returning, including five offensive starters and six starters on defense. While there is a lot of returning talent on the roster, much of the early practices will be spent teaching and welcoming new players and coaches.
“There will be a lot of learning and a lot of teaching, but we need to see a lot of want to out of our players because we have 15 practices to pick up a lot of material. We have to come out here focused and do a great job of really learning and coming together in a short period of time.
“With our senior class leaving, we have about 15 new walk-ons out here. We have four junior college additions that weren’t here in the fall, and with the new coaches, there’s a lot of new out here. There’s a lot of learning going on, but it brings a lot of excitement to what we’re doing.”
The Cardinals broke up into positional groups for specialized coaching during much of the two hour practice, but midway through, Woodard and his staff added a new wrinkle with team-building exercises and special teams work.
“This was a great way to start the spring,” said Woodard. “It’s great team-building because it gets everyone involved.”
Lamar, which is coming off a 4-7 season in 2011, will play a 12-game schedule this year. The Cardinals open the season at former conference rival Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 1 before playing their home opener the following Saturday against Prairie View A&M.
The Cardinals are scheduled to be back on the practice field Friday at 4 p.m.