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Lions Set For Annual Spring Game On Saturday
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s football team will close out an intense month of workouts on Saturday when it holds its annual Spring Game beginning at noon in Strawberry Stadium.
The scrimmage is open to the public. The final workout of spring practice will feature the Southeastern offense against the Lion defense in four, 15-minute running quarters with the defense being spotted 22 points.
“We want to come out with no injuries and we want the kids to have fun,” head coach Mike Lucas said. “I want the fans to get a glimpse of what the 2009 team holds for the season. There are some young guys who we redshirted last year that we need to see in game-time situations and see how they respond. We’ve got some really great battles on the depth chart going on.”
With 44 letterwinners and 15 starters returning from last season’s team that posted its best record since 2004, Southeastern spent the past month looking to fill voids left by the departure of eight starters.
“I think we’ve accomplished in the spring what we’ve set out to do and that was to become much more physical up front and do better in our run game, both offensively and defensively,” Lucas said. “We’ve gotten a lot of work done with our offensive and defensive lines, working on blocking combinations and just being more physical.”
New additions like junior college offensive lineman Michael Stallworth have helped the Lions make some shifts up front. With the addition of Stallworth, David Ward was able to move from left tackle to left guard, where he started all 11 games as a true freshman in 2006, and shifting Kevin Hughes from right to left tackle.
Josh Penton and redshirt freshman Paul Roppolo have seen significant action at center and right tackle, respectively, for Southeastern while returning letterwinners Josh Bridges and Willie Pritchett have pushed for playing time.
Looking to replace three-time All-Southland Conference performer Jay Lucas, redshirt freshman Zeke Jones has impressed the coaching staff with returning letterwinners Jasper Ducksworth and Johnny Owen expected to give Southeastern one of the top running back trios in the league.
“The player that has stood out in our mind as having the best spring has been Zeke,” Lucas said of the 6-foot-3, 240-pound runner. “He’s really added something to our running game and all three of our tailbacks have had a great spring. Jasper continues to amaze us with his quickness and things he can do with the football in his hands. Johnny has had a good spring and continues to improve. All three of them have done well.”
Due to waterproofing in areas of Strawberry Stadium, all fans attending Saturday’s scrimmage are asked to sit on the east side (opposite the press box) of the stadium. Fans can enter through the gates on the south side of the field, or at Gate 4 located near the new Strength and Conditioning facility.
The Victory Club, located on the fifth floor of Strawberry Stadium, will be open to all current members. Parking in the adjacent parking garage will be available with all members encouraged to park on the third floor with elevator access to the Victory Club.
A post-meal will be provided in the concourse area of West Stadium for all fans who have purchased tickets.
All fans are also encouraged to attend the Southeastern baseball team’s Southland Conference contest against Lamar, scheduled for 3 p.m. at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. The game is part of Baseball Reunion Weekend with many former Lions in attendance.
Southeastern Media Relations