Lions complete week one of spring drills

After officially opening up spring drills on March 7, the Lions have concluded week one of practices with first year head coach Ron Roberts and a revamped coaching staff.

The Lions return 17 starters from a team who finished last in the Southland Conference last season. This season the Lions have opened the spring with a new attitude.

“The effort has been great, the attitude has been great. That’s all you can ask for right now,” said Roberts. “Right now, we’re trying to get them entrenched in what we expect.”

The majority of Monday and Wednesday’s practices were spent working on individual drills before the team split up into 7-on-7-pass skill competition.

“There was a lot of teaching today and overall I was pleased with what I saw,” said Roberts, in  a lionsports.net press release. “You have to know what to do before you can do it at the speed you want.”

Senior quarterbacks Brian Young and Nathan Stanley each took equal snaps under center as the new receiving corps worked to build chemistry and timing.

The Lions took the field for their third of 15-scheduled practices on Thursday in full pads for the first time. The two-hour practice was originally scheduled for Friday, but the anticipation of bad weather moved the practice to a day earlier. Despite a change in schedule the Lions still brought good intensity and effort that Roberts and his staff were looking for.

“We had a very good day today,” said Roberts. “The attitude has been great all three days, and that’s all we’re asking for. We want our guys to come out and get better and they have done that. I thought today was a lot better than the first two, even with putting the pads on.”

The Lions continue to install new offensive and defensive schemes while looking to fill what has become a void at the tight end position.

Currently, senior C. J. Ogbuehi is the teams only healthy option at the position with sophomore Jordan Moon recovering from a knee injury.   

In order to fill the void the Lions have moved sophomore offensive lineman Hunter Craven to the position. Craven started the last three games of last season at right tackle for Southeastern.

The Lions other alternative came with the additon of now-former Lions basketball player DeShawn Patterson to the roster. The senior completed his last season on hardwood and has one year remaining. Patterson was an All-District and All-Region performer at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma on the gridiron. Roberts added this about Patterson’s effort in his third day of drills.  

“He’s been a good addition, especially in his third day of camp,” said Roberts. “For him playing football, he’s back as a rookie, but he’s got a lot of ability and we hope to see him get better each day.”

The Lions will continue to make roster changes in preparation for the Sept. 1 season opener versus Missouri. Roberts said his team will review video from the first three practices and work on the areas they need to improve in this week’s practices.

Southeastern returns to action today at 3:15 p.m. as they prepare for the spring game scheduled for March 31.  All practices are open to the public.

“We’ve got a long ways to go and we have a lot of things we need to work on,” said Roberts. “Right now, we’re sticking to one day at a time, but I’m pleased with the effort and the attitude that we have.”