Feb. 14, 2014
2014 Lamar Spring Roster
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Less than three months after the conclusion of a record-setting 2013 campaign, the Lamar Cardinals' football team returns to the field at Provost Umphrey Stadium for its first of three spring scrimmages. The scrimmage will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"This first scrimmage is going to be more of a controlled scrimmage," said head coach Ray Woodard. "I don't think we've had enough workouts yet for us to run a game-like scrimmage. Those will come later during the spring. We will also be running some drills prior to the scrimmage."
Although the Cardinals return tons of talent on the offensive side, there are several questions to be answered on defense and special teams. The Cardinals lost eight starters from a defense last year that had four All-Southland selections, including two first-team honorees. Arguably, the most notable name is that of defensive end Jesse Dickson. The first Cardinal to receive All-America honors since the return of football, Dickson exhausted his eligibility following a season that saw him earn conference defensive player of the year honors according to College Sports Madness.
A four-year starter, Dickson exhausted his eligibility along with classmate Mark Murrill who was also a starter at defensive end opposite Dickson. In addition to the ends, Lamar will also be trying to replace its entire secondary.
"I like what I have seen from our guys in the first few days of practice," said Woodard. "There has been a lot of energy on the field. It appears the offense has picked up where they left off in the fall - moving the football with few mistakes. On defense we have a lot of new faces who really need to step up, but we've got some talent and I'm excited to watch their progress. They have an opportunity to get in there and show us what they can do."
Lamar also has some big shoes to fill on special teams. The Cardinals will be looking to replace All-American deep snapper Chris Maikranz, and first-team All-SLC punter Kollin Kahler. Both players held the starting positions since the program was brought back. Maikranz never recorded a bad snap during his four years, while Kahler graduates as the school's career leader in punt average.
Saturday's scrimmage wraps up the first full week of spring practice, although it was an abbreviated week due to the fact that the first workout was cut short due to the weather. Lamar's spring schedule takes them through March 5, and will include a total of three scrimmages. The annual Crawfish Bowl will kick off at noon Saturday, March 1 from Provost Umphrey Stadium.