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Lamar Cardinals return to practice field

BEAUMONT – Nearly two weeks ago, the Lamar University football team reported back to campus to begin preparations for the 2020 season. The players first day back on campus was the first step toward normalcy for fans of the Red and White across the country. Despite their return to campus, the first few days were focused on COVID-19 screening, education and voluntary workouts, but Monday was the first official day the NCAA has allowed mandatory workouts.

The Cardinals hit the practice fields early Monday morning for conditioning workouts, followed by weights in the afternoon and closed the day with position meetings.

“It’s great to be back on the field with the guys,” said LU head coach Blane Morgan. “Just to have those guys backs seems like the first step toward things being a little closer to normal – that is a step in the right direction. There is a long way to go and a very short time before our first practice.”

Despite the allowable workout, the Cardinals were split up into separate groups to allow for social distancing both on the field and in the weight room.

The return to the practice field is just as important for the LU coaching staff as it is the players. Entering his first season with the team, Coach Morgan, and his staff, were robbed of their first spring practice due to COVID-19. The team’s return to Beaumont was the first time the coaches had the opportunity to meet with players – outside of online video calls – since the pandemic began.

“Not just for us, but every team across the country, getting back into routine is important,” said Morgan. “Just being back here and having them get into to a routine of doing football, workouts and then they get to go home where they can get into a routine of going to sleep at a consistent time is very important.

“We want to get them to be in a position where they can be safe on the field, go and practice and eventually be able to play in a game. That’s why every day we have with them is so vitally important,” added Morgan.

The Cardinals are slated to kick off the 2020 season Thursday, Sept. 3, against Mississippi College in Beaumont. The 7 p.m. kick off against the Choctaws will be one of two non-conference games for the Cardinals in 2020 (at Rice, Sept. 26th). LU will open Southland Conference play at home in week two against UIW.