The Lion's Roar

Football springs into action

Jasmine Tate

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The Lion football roster has seen many changes since its historic 2013 season, earning the team its first appearance in the NCAA playoffs, its second conference championship in more than 50 years and contributing an $835,000 economic impact to Tangipahoa Parish. The program continues to adapt to change and implement people and practices to lead to success in 2014.
Karl Scott, recently announced as the new Defensive Coordinator, will join Chet Pobolish, who was named Offensive Coordinator earlier in the year. The two replaced Pete Golding and Greg Stevens.
“They felt that they were both better moves for them and their family, Coach Stevens being financial and Golding being career wise,” said Head Coach Ron Roberts.
Scott has replaced Pete Golding, who accepted a coaching position at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he will lead safeties under second-year Head Coach Todd Monken.
The change came after two spring practices with the Lions. Golding expressed his thoughts on the position and excitement about his opportunity at USM earlier this year in an interview with the Sun Herald Newspaper of Mississippi.
 “I’m real pumped. The timing wasn’t perfect, but it never is,” said Golding. “I’m also excited about going into a different system. I’ve been in the same system all eight years as a coach. I’m excited about getting into a new system with new terminology. It’s been a goal of mine to coach on the FBS level.”
The 2014 season will mark three years for Scott under Robert’s staff. He spent his first two seasons as the Lion’s linebackers coach and travel coordinator.
During his career with the Lions, he trained a distinguished defensive class including All-Southland Conference Selection, Devan Walker during his first season at Southeastern and 2013 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Cqulin Hubert.
Roberts will assume responsibility for linebackers until the position is filled and shares that the team is growing despite changes in the coaching staff.
“I think we are getting better daily,” said Roberts. “During spring ball I am coaching the linebackers; I will make a decision after spring ball. I will be the additional coach on defense to help out for now. I will evaluate and look for the best fit for our program.”
Pobolish coached wide receivers and served as special teams’ coordinator throughout his first two years on the Lion staff. Pobolish replaced Greg Stevens. The sports information office of Eastern Illinois University issued a press release on January 17 announcing Stevens as the Offensive Coordinator.  
Roberts attributes Pobolish’s success to his relationships with his players, passion for the game and attention to detail. He expressed the consistency in the scheme of offense with staff change.
“He is passionate about football and has great attention to detail,” said Roberts. “I think he builds a great relationship with our players, and they trust him. The scheme has stayed the same, but obviously his personality and sense of urgency will be an influence.”
Under the direction of Pobolish, several Lions received All-Southland Conference honors for their performance during the historic season including Junior Wide Receiver Jeff Smiley who had 57 catches, 744 yards and six touchdowns, senior Tony McCrea who added 40 catches, 689 yards and 2 touchdowns, and senior Marquis Fruge, earning 39 catches, 630 yards and 7 touchdowns.
In addition, junior running back Xavier Roberson and senior placement kicker Seth Sebastian were named All Americans by various channels.  
Pobolish joined the Lion Staff with five seasons under Roberts at Delta State during his coaching career. This season will mark eight years on Roberts’ staff.
Although it’s too early to tell who will shine on the field next season, Roberts says fans can expect another year of exciting football.
“[Fans can expect] exciting football and a great atmosphere,” he said. “I hope they are excited for Super Lion Weekend.”
The spring game is scheduled for April 13 at 12 p.m. Students and fans can participate in a day-long celebration of Lion Athletics “Super Lion Saturday,” leading up to the game. For more information on Lion football, statistics and upcoming events visit lionsports.net.
 

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