April 9, 2010
BEAUMONT - Lamar University's football team will conclude its spring training Saturday afternoon with the playing of the Cardinals' 2010 Spring Game at the Lamar Soccer Complex.
First play for the offense-vs.-defense, controlled-scrimmage-format game is set for 3 p.m. No scoring system will be used, but coaches will certainly evaluate the performance of players on both units in finalizing their depth charts for the upcoming season, Lamar's first in football since 1989.
"We want to see where we are leaving these spring workouts and heading into our fall workouts (set to begin on Aug. 5)," said Ray Woodard, Lamar's head coach, on Friday afternoon. "We've seen improvement each week so far, and we expect to see more improvement tomorrow.
"What we would like to do is see the offense move the ball, but we also want to see the defense making some stops. It should be a spirited showcase on both sides of the ball."
Andre Bevil, a junior-to-be from West Orange-Stark by way of Navarro College, will start at quarterback for the offense. The starting tailback will be Keaton Parker, a 5-5, 160-pound freshman from Livingston, and the wide receivers will be Barry Ford (freshman from Spring Westfield), Marcus Jackson (junior from Tyler Lee by way of Navarro College) and J.J. Hayes (junior from Diboll by way of Navarro College).
The starting tight end will be Billy Chavis, a 6-4, 258-pound junior from West Brook who transferred from Texas A&M.
Prominent defensive players to watch are linebacker Johnathan Epke, a junior transfer from Cape Vincent, N.Y. by way of Dean College; defensive backs Branden Thomas, a freshman from Central, and Steven Murray-Sesay, a sophomore from Fort Washington, Md. by way of Northeastern; and linemen Jesse Dickson, a 6-2, 228-pound freshman from Alief Taylor, and Mario Foster, a 6-2, 260-pound junior from Biloxi, Miss. by way of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
"We want to see our offensive and defensive units improved and working together in this final spring outing," said Woodard. "We don't want to see guys making the same mistakes they've made in our earlier workouts.
"This is an opportunity for us to get out in front of our fans and put on a little bit of a show, and, hopefully, we're going to do that."
The Cardinals will open their 2010 season with a Sept. 4 game at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. They will play their home opener in newly-renovated Provost-Umphrey Stadium against Webber International on Sept. 11.