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’Dogs unleashed for spring

March 22, 2012

 

Sonny Dykes and his Bulldogs have started their quest to repeat as Western Athletic Conference Champions with spring practice underway. After holding 15 practice sessions, Tech will conclude their spring with the T-Day Spring Game at 1 p.m. April 1 at Joe Aillet Stadium. –Photo by Donny Crowe

DEREK AMAYA
Sports Reporter

 

The mission to defend the Louisiana Tech Bulldog’s Western Athletic Conference championship title began March 16 when the Bulldogs took the field to begin spring practice at Joe Aillet Stadium for the first time.

 

After losing in the Poinsettia Bowl against Texas Christian University, the Bulldogs and head coach Sonny Dykes started right back where they left off and are scheduled to hold 15 practice sessions during the course of the spring.

 

“The big thing is we need to improve every day,” Dykes said. “I think we’re in a pretty good place right now in terms of our work ethic. I think we have just got to learn how to be more consistent and come out every day, roll our sleeves up and go to work.”

 

The Bulldogs only lost two offensive starters from last year’s championship team, but lost four of their defensive starters, including linebacker Adrien Cole, who won 2011 WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

 

“We lost some good players last year,” Dykes said. “We have some good young players who are ready to step up and contribute. The competition is pretty fierce for some of those spots. It makes those guys better to come out every day and compete at a high level.”

 

Shakeil Lucas, a redshirt junior defensive tackle, says there are big shoes to fill with Cole and defensive end Matt Broha’s departure in order to be successful, but the Bulldogs have plenty of young players who are ready to step up and fill those spots for the 2012 season.

 

“We are just trying to get back and start from scratch,” Lucas said. “We want to get back at what we were last year. We’re trying to be even better. We’re not trying to be high off of last year.”

 

Offensively, redshirt senior quarterback Colby Cameron  came off the bench in 2011 to lead the Bulldogs to an undefeated regular season and secured the starting position for the rest of the season because of his steady play throughout the year.

 

Cameron returns to lead offensive coordinator Tony Franklin’s high octane offense and says he is ready to step up to guide the team.

 

“I’ve seen how past guys have taken control of the team and it’s my time being in my fifth year here,” Cameron said. “When they (Dykes and his coaching staff) first came in, obviously you feel a little rusty trying to pick up a new offense, but since this is their third year with us I think everyone understands his coaching style and what he expects.”

 

Redshirt senior wide receiver Quinton Patton, who led the team with 11 receiving touchdowns and 1,202 receiving yards, said they have a lot to work on, but said the team is prepared to continue trying to get better.

 

“Everybody is going to rise to the competition,” he said. “Everybody is going to rise up and make plays. It feels different because we have got to defend our championship. We feel like we’re the underdog going into every game. We’re just going to play our game and do what we have to do to win the ball game.”

 

The spring practice season will conclude April 1 with the T-Day Spring Game at 1 p.m. at The Joe.

 

Most practices will be held at The Joe and will be held at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. on weekends.

 

For complete coverage of Bulldog football and updated times, follow the Tech Talk Sports twitter page at www.twitter.com/techtalksports.

 

Email comments to dja014@latech.edu. 


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