LAKE CHARLES – McNeese football marched to AI Ratcliff training grounds on Friday to begin fall camp, the first August training held since the 2019 season.
The morning session consisted of the veterans with selected newcomers while the afternoon training was with freshmen, selected ghosts and other newcomers.
“There was a lot of excitement today,” said the second-year head coach Frank Wilson. “A lot of guys were moving. I thought there was a lot of energy and effort. The team improved today. It was good to put them back into camp mode.
“It’s different for new guys. The pace, the pace of what we do. Our culture is one that needs some adaptation. We have guys who just came out of high school, college or even transfers. Let’s run our business at a high pace and learning to train is essential. It was tough for the kids today, but we love our team, we love our talent and we love our potential. “
Wilson explains the advantage of leading the split-team training that runs through Sunday.
“It’s for the development of our football team, for our roster,” he said. “These guys who are new to our team, these guys who have played for our team, we just want to improve the quality and quantity of our football team so that we can put a guy in the game and see the least drop. possible as possible. The only way to do that is to play. Experience is the best teacher. With our divided practices, we can pay undivided attention to at least two depths, and so ultimately in one day we represented four depths opposed to a practice where we can’t get all four or their minimal opportunities. “
Newcomers who took part in the morning group with the veterans included the transfer of Tulane back Stephane Huderson and Louisiana Tech transfer receiver CeeJay Powell. Powell trained with the Cowboys in the spring but was ineligible due to transfer rules. He can’t wait for fall to begin and builds on the things he learned in the spring.
“The terminology and the way the receptors move are diverse,” said Powell. “When I first came here I was scared. I was scared I would never have it. But coming every day, staying in my playbook is a marathon not a sprint. Now that we are in fall camp, I ‘I run and I say it again, it’s easier for me to grab it. “
Powell made several great catches in the morning while Huderson showed some explosiveness as he carried the ball, making impressive cuts and shattering the pitch.
Wide receiver all conferences Josh Matthews is excited about what the Cowboys have in store for the season ahead.
“I feel like it’s going to be a successful season for us,” said Matthews. “We had a great offseason where we all got bigger, faster and stronger. As a receiving group we are a tight knit unit and we have solidified very well. I am excited about what we have got. . “
A question mark in the spring was the offensive line. The Cowboys appear to have responded that with the additions of a few transfer giants Romello Tarver (6-5, 272, mid Michigan) and Trey Winters (6-6, 338, Iowa Central CC / Univ. Of Iowa). Both, as well as the veterans Calvin barkat, Caron Coleman and Nick vacation, along with a handful of knowledgeable freshmen, give the Cowboys an offensive line they haven’t seen in quite some time.
“It’s great to be back here and to have a sense of normalcy,” said Barkat. “It’s been a quick turnaround since the spring, but with our strength staff, coaches, coaches, we’ve been working our butt in the offseason and improving a lot.
“When you look at the spring we had the injury bug and the guys got mixed up and drawn all season,” said Barkat. “The fact that transfers and freshmen come to give us a bit of depth is definitely a blessing.”
Strategist Cody Orgeron enters the season ranked in the top 10 of the school career record book in many categories and has more weapons to target and because of that, might not have to use his feet as much.
“Coach Bunting (strength trainer Jimmie bunting) did a great job with us in the offseason and improved us a lot, “said Orgeron. We have a great receiving squad and the offensive line will be great as well. Of course sometimes you have to put the ball in and run , but this year the plan is to be able to stay in the pocket as much as possible because we have the playmakers there. “
The Cowboys will return to the training ground at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, take off on Monday, then reunite as a full unit for the first time on Tuesday at 9 a.m.
McNeese opens the season Sept. 4 at home against West Florida, the reigning Division II national champion and the No.1 preseason team. Season tickets are still on sale at the McNeese box office for as little as $ 80 a seat.
LSU GAME TICKET INFORMATION
Season ticket holders have until August 11 to purchase tickets for the LSU game on September 11. After that, tickets for this contest will no longer be available at the McNeese box office. Season ticket holders can purchase up to 10 tickets for this game. The price is $ 40 per ticket. You must have a McNeese season pass to purchase an LSU game ticket at the McNeese box office.
Season tickets are still on sale for as low as $ 80 per seat. In addition, a limited number of tailgate seats remain available but go fast.