The Lion's Roar

Lions celebrate additions to roster

Jasmine Tate

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Lion Football members and fans alike were joined on National Signing Day for the annual Lion Football Signing Bash.
The celebration was held at the University Place on Wednesday, Feb. 5, inviting guests to meet the new additions to the football program and provide an official welcome.
Head Coach Ron Roberts was excited about the opportunity to welcome the players and give fans an opportunity to see what is in store for next season. He explained the need for continued excitement around the program and its future.
“A big part of midterm was really filling the needs of the areas we had,” said Roberts. “This class is really about signing the future of the program and guys that are going to get in our program, develop and be here for four years.”
The event was held from 5-8 p.m. and started with a buffet style dinner, including meals prepared by local vendors including Buddies Bar and Grill, Tope la and more. Players mingled with guests while enjoying music, photographs, casual conversations and special performances by the spirit groups.
At 7 p.m. each new member was introduced with a highlight film that showed playing time during his career with past programs. Videos were also played presenting personal interviews, detailing their reasons for saying “Yes” to Lion football and Southeastern, their dream job, most embarrassing moments and several other topics.
In addition to the excitement around the football signees, many fans were also introduced to plans for the launch of lionup.com. The website will be the new host of the Lion Athletics Association’s online presence and hopes to carry over the support from lionsports.net.
“Lionup.com will probably launch in mid-spring and include information about season tickets and all events,” said Cody Gougler, assistant to the athletic director for development. “Fans will be able to make donations online and find out about tailgating, parking and home games. We want to bring the LAA’s online presence to lionup.com. It will also be beneficial for students because we will have a lot of information for them.”
The coaching staff was pleased with the signees and achieved a mission to fill positions with devoted athletes willing to compete.
“We really went after guys that we thought could help us win a championship,” said Roberts. “We were really stingy about it and turned down a lot of great football players that just didn’t totally fit our mold and what we were looking for in these guys. These guys come in here, and they’ve got to know that they’ve got to work their tail off to get an opportunity to get on the football field; they’re going to have to wait their time and be patient. There are guys that are coming in here to start and coming in here to compete for a job and playing time and be an impact player for 2014. We were looking for unselfish guys and guys that we thought had what it took to compete with these guys that we’ve got here.”
Although more than 20 players have been added to the roster since last season, there are more spots to be filled.
“We’ve got about five scholarships left,” added Roberts. “We were kind of picky with it and what we could find.  There are a lot of great players out there; there are a lot of great players in the state of Louisiana. Some guys just didn’t exactly fit what we were looking for. We’ve got five left, and we’re going to take our time and make sure those guys are the right guys.”
According to Roberts spring practice will further show coaches and fans what the 2014 team is made of and answer questions about next season. Spring practice starts on March 11 and will be open to the public. The spring game is scheduled for April 5. For more information on Lion athletics and plans for the off-season, visit www.lionsports.net.
 

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