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Jaguars impressed Cajuns coach

The final score wasn’t an accurate reflection of Southern’s performance in its 45-6 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday.

At least that’s the way Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth sees it.

Hudspeth went to the Jaguars locker room after the game to congratulate the team on the way it competed under adverse conditions.

Southern was nearly two hours late leaving campus and didn’t arrive at Cajun Field until 45 minutes before kickoff. The delay happened because university officials were trying to certify that several players were academically eligible. Eventually time ran out and five Jaguars who would have started had to be left behind.

Odums said on the Southwestern Athletic Conference coaches conference call Monday morning that he learned of Hudspeth’s visit when he returned to the locker room after doing his post-game interviews.

“The players and assistant coaches said he came in and really encouraged them,” Odums said. “If you know coach Hudspeth, you know he’s a great guy and his heart is always in the right place.

“He told them they have a chance to be a really good team. He said, “from watching interviews I know (Odums) talks about a process and a mindset and you displayed that with the show that you put on. You competed and you didn’t fold your tent in the face of adversity. You gained the respect of a lot of people around here with the way you handled yourselves.””

Odums said he was “really appreciative” for what Hudspeth said about his players.

Southern still has not completed the certification process.

Odums said he and his staff will evaluate quarterbacks Deonte Shorts and Austin Howard throughout the week before deciding how to use them in the home opener against Central Methodist on Saturday.

Shorts started against UL-Lafayette, but completed just 2-of-9 passes for 21 yards. Howard played most of the game, including the entire second half. He completed 18-of-31 for 181 yards and a touchdown.

Odums said wide receiver Randall Menard was having an MRI on his left big toe, which was injured Saturday when Menard’s cleat got stuck in the turf. Odums said he didn’t think the injury was serious.



Several starters not in lineup

Southern was late leaving Baton Rouge for its season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette as it tried to certify the academic eligibility of several players Saturday.

Despite leaving nearly two hours late and arriving just 45 minutes before the 6 p.m. kickoff, the Jaguars had to leave five starters behind.

Dorsey Bindon, a redshirt junior from Capital High, was a late addition to the starting lineup at strongside linebacker, replacing senior Daniel Brown..

Safety Renaldo Thomas, a transfer from Tulane, was replaced by freshman Bryan Anderson of Edna Karr High  School.

Southern shuffled its starting offensive line. Dewayne Houston moved from right tackle to left tackle to replace Reginald Redding.

Zach Brown moved from left guard to right tackle to replace Houston and Terrell Lee was scheduled to move into the starting lineup at left guard, but was a late scratch and was replaced by Jamal Boulden. Center Brandon Thibodeaux and right guard Anthony Mosley started in their customary spots.

Jamarcus Jarvis started at running back as Malcolm Crockett, a transfer from Pitt, was not certified.

John West was listed as the primary backup to fullback Brian McCain, replacing Josh Perry, who quit the team.

Kyle Yonke, a late arrival after camp started, was listed as the starting place-kicker, ahead of Matt Hill. Starter Greg Pittman has been sidelined due to knee surgery.



Bus trips galore to the football opener

Southern fans interested in making a bus trip to any of the Jaguars road football games, beginning with the season opener Aug. 30 at Louisiana-Lafayette, have several options.

SU Quarterback Club

The SU Quarterback Club has planned bus trips to each of the six road games.

The cost for each trip is UL-Lafayette ($70), Prairie View ($185 single/$260 double), AlcornState ($80), Alabama A&M ($210 single/$285 double), JacksonState ($100) and the Bayou Classic ($40).

Each package includes a game ticket with the exception of the Bayou Classic.

For information, visit, or call Jonathan Dearbone (225-572-5878), Reginald Jarvis (225-939-6722) or Robert Brown (225-287-8385).

The Strong Unified Unification Organization

The Strong United Unification Organization also has scheduled trips to each of road games.

For information call (225) 355-6886, (225) 357-3833 or (225) 774-7617.

Blue & Gold fan club

The Blue & Gold fan club is also sponsoring a trip for the opener at Cajun Field. The cost is $75 and includes a reserved seating ticket and a reserved tailgate spot near the stadium with food and refreshments.

For more information, contact Craig Pierre at 225-324-7234.

L.W. Express

The L.W. Express bus trip to the Southern-UL-Lafayette game Aug. 30 has some openings. Tickets cost $70.

For information on that trip or those to other Jaguars road games, contact Lisa White at 225-408-9928.


Jaguars practice rained out

The weather gave the Southern football team a break Sunday afternoon.

The Jaguars practiced five times from Wednesday through Friday, then went through a two-hour scrimmage in challenging heat and humidity Saturday morning. That concluded the most intense stretch of preseason camp so far.

But rain pounded away on the Southern practice field Sunday, leading coach Dawson Odums to call off the workout scheduled for 4:45 p.m. The team met to review film of the scrimmage.

The Seymour Gymnasium, where the Jaguars conducted their first practice of camp while rain fell on the practice field, was unavailable Sunday because it’s being used for fall registration, which begins Monday.

Southern is scheduled to return to the practice field Monday for its second-to-last two-a-days of camp.



Jaguars begin two-a-days

The Southern football team began its first two-practice day with a two-hour workout on the Jaguars practice field Wednesday morning.

Defensive back Dionte McDuffy took a knee to the helmet late in the practice and was checked by the medical staff. His status for the afternoon workout is unknown as is that of wide receiver Justin Morgan, who aggravated a twisted left ankle.

Wide receivers Randall Menard (foot) and Willie Quinn (jaw) and defensive back D’Andre Woodland (hamstring) also missed practice.

Nose tackle Jaylen Jordan (car accident) and offensive lineman Neako Jones (personal matter) were late arrivals to camp and are awaiting medical clearance to begin practicing .

Running back Dakota Starks, who took a blow to the head in Sunday’s practice, returned. Also returning were defensive back Kevin King and linebacker Javon Allen, both of whom had been held out after losing too much weight in the early days of camp.

The Jaguars will return to the practice field at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.



Rashaun Allen signs with Seahawks

Former Southern tight end Rashaun Allen signed with the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks after a tryout during a rookie mini-camp last week.

Allen, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, was seldom-used in the Jaguars passing game, catching nine passes for 53 yards and no touchdowns as Southern won the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship last season. But the Cleveland native caught the eye of the Seahawks during Southern’s Pro Day.

SWAC honors 3 Southern baseball players

It wasn’t a very good season for the Southern baseball team, but three Jaguars were honored by the Southwestern Athletic Conference on Tuesday for their individual seasons.

Outfielder D.J. Wallace, who led the SWAC with nine home runs and was second in slugging percentage (.577), was named first-team all conference. Starting pitcher Santos Saldivar and catcher Jose De la Torre were named to the second team.

Saldivar was 3-0 and led the league with a 2.06 earned run average. He did not allow a home run and had 49 strikeouts and 23 walks in 56.2 innings.

De la Torre batted ,330 with five homers and 22 runs batted in and finished fourth with a .539 slugging percentage.

The Jaguars did not qualify for the SWAC tournament after finishing last in the West Division with a 6-16 league record and a 10-26 overall mark.

East Division champion Alabama State had three players that won individual awards.

Shortstop Emmanuel Marrero was named Player of the Year, Joseph Camacho earned Pitcher of the Year, and Mervyl Melendez was voted Coach of the Year.

Alabama A&M outfielder Andrew Utterback was named Hitter of the Year, Jackson State first baseman Tilur Smith was Newcomer of the Year and Prairie View A&M outfielder Cody Den Beste was Freshman of the Year.

The awards and All-SWAC team selections were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information contacts.


Softball team eliminated from SWAC tourney

DECATUR, Ala. – Southern’s softball season came to an end when the Jaguars were run ruled by JacksonState, losing 14-3 in 4½ innings in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament Wednesday night.

After staving off elimination with a 12-7, eight-inning victory against Grambling earlier in the day, Southern grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning against JacksonState. But the Tigers scored seven in the bottom of the second and six in the third to seize control.

The Jaguars, appearing in the tournament for the first time in three seasons, finished 11-36. JacksonState (28-28) advanced to a semifinal game Friday against MississippiValleyState, which beat the Tigers 8-7 in a winners’ bracket game Thursday afternoon.

Carla Arismendi and Danielle Jackson homered in a five-run eighth inning in Southern’s victory against Grambling.

Alicia Barajas led off the top of the eighth with a single and Arismendi followed with a two-run homer. Macy Maurer walked, Desiree Dawson singled and Jackson followed with a three-run homer.

Asimendi and Dawson each had three of the Jaguars’ 16 hits. Kayliegh Thomas (7-18) went the distance for Southern, allowing 10 hits and four walks, striking out five.