Lamar opens fall football practice after short rain delay
Aug. 6, 2012
BEAUMONT - While the Lamar University football team was ready to get its first preseason practice of the 2012 season underway Monday evening at Provost Umphrey Stadium, Mother Nature had other ideas.
With rain and lightning filling the Southeast Texas sky, the Cardinals had to wait it out before finally taking the field at 7:15 p.m. The rain dampened the field, but it could not dampen the excitement and energy of the players and coaches who were ready to get practice started.
"The weather is just part of it," said Ray Woodard who is beginning his third season at the helm of the LU football program. "We've got a great facility and the turf absorbs the water. It's like it never rained right now and if anything, it's even cooler."
For the first three days of practice, the Cardinals will work out without pads. Much of the early practice time will feature a lot of drill work and individual work. Woodard and his coaching staff, which features five new faces, will make sure that players know their assignments and what is being taught in the class rooms.
Despite the fact that the players worked out in shorts and helmets, Woodard still used Monday's first practice to evaluate players at each position to help determine playing time and if anyone needed moved to another position to benefit the team.
"We're just getting started, but I like where we're headed," said Woodard. "We've got a lot of returning players but we have some good, young players to push them and I think it's going to be really good for us. We're going to have competition at all positions and I think the older guys better be ready or they're going to be sitting watching these young guys play.
"I never liked this (practicing without pads) as a player. The first three days are difficult to hold your attention the entire practice, especially for a lineman. But, it's very important. This is when they have to get their footwork down, their assignments down and really get on the same page."
Lamar will finally put the pads on for Thursday's practice with a scrimmage Saturday morning. It will be the first of two scrimmages prior to Lamar's season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. The Cardinals' home opener will be the following Saturday (Sept. 8) at 7 p.m. when Prairie View A&M visits Provost Umphrey Stadium.
Lamar will host five games following the Prairie View A&M contest. Highlights of the home schedule include the homecoming contest against McMurray at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 and a Southland Conference game against national runner-up Sam Houston State at 3 p.m. Oct. 27. Tickets can be purchased at the Montagne Center ticket office, by calling (409) 880-1715, or visiting www.LamarCardinals.com.