Special to The Leader
The Orange Leader
LAKE CHARLES, La. —
Lamar University participated in Southland Conference Football Media Day on Wednesday from L’auberge Resort, an early indicator that football season is right around the corner.
LU head coach Ray Woodard, who is set to begin his fourth season on the Cardinals’ sideline, was joined at the annual event by senior defensive linemen Jesse Dickson and Mark Murrill. Dickson, who was a second-team all-conference selection last year, was one of five Cardinals named to the 2013 preseason all-conference team released last week.
As part of this year’s event, each of the conference’s eight football-playing members was represented. Additionally, head coaches from new league members Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word and Houston Baptist were in attendance.
A well-run event hosted by the Southland Conference, players and coaches were interviewed by the Southland Conference Television Network, other local television stations and assorted print and radio media. There was also a live 90-minute broadcast on ESPN3 featuring each school’s players and coaches.
“This is my senior year and I’ve been here for four years and I’ve seen what doesn’t work and what the players need to do to make it work,” said Dickson about his final season in the red and white. “Being a senior, you know this is your last chance and your last go around. We as players have come together to make sure we have a winning season.”
Murrill echoed those sentiments as he discussed the work that is being put in by the Cardinals to have a successful year.
“Every player on this team has been up here in the summer working hard and that effort is going to show when we get on the field. That passion is going to reflect how much work we’ve put in, and you don’t have to believe. Seeing is believing and you’re going to see it.”
Prior to the media session, a luncheon was held in which the preseason polls were released. Also during the luncheon, the 2013 Southland Conference’s Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award was presented to longtime journalist and Lamar Sports Information Director Rush Wood.
Lamar found itself toward the bottom of the preseason coaches’ poll as the Cardinals were selected seventh in the eight-team league with 14 points. Sam Houston State, which has been to back-to-back FCS National Championship games, was chosen first with 48 points and six first place votes.
Central Arkansas, which won the regular season title in 2012, earned a first place vote and finished second in the voting with 42 points. McNeese State was third with 37 points, followed by Stephen F. Austin (32 points), Southeastern Louisiana (26) and Northwestern State (17). Nicholls was eighth with eight points.
“I like that we’re picked at the bottom,” said Woodard. “I think we’re going to stress that we have no say so as to where we start out but we have everything to say about where we finish. That’s going to be our thought going into camp and we’ll use it for motivation.”
Lamar’s 12-game regular season begins on Aug. 31 when Oklahoma Panhandle State pays a visit to Provost Umphrey Stadium. The Cards’ first Southland Conference home game will be Oct. 19 when Central Arkansas comes in for homecoming. For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715 or visit www.LamarCardinals.com.