SLC picks Cowboys fourth

Will use last season’s letdown as motivation

HOUSTON — McNeese State head coach Lance Guidry joined his Southland Conference colleagues Thursday at the Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria to give his take on the upcoming season at the league’s annual Media Day.

The day opened with an announcement of the league’s preseason poll — voted on by coaches and sports information directors — placed the Cowboys at No. 4 with 159 points with one first-place vote.

Sam Houston State earned the top spot with 187 points and 10 first-place votes, followed by Nicholls State at No. 2 with 173 points and six first-place votes and defending league champion Central Arkansas was third with 170 points and five first-place votes.

McNeese head coach Lance Guidry didn’t pay the poll too much mind, essentially calling it white noise.

“I like being the underdog,” he said. “If you’re not No. 1, you’re last. If you’re not going to pick me first, I’d rather you pick me last. Fourth doesn’t mean anything to me.”

Guidry fielded questions from the media concerning everything from his thoughts on missing the 2017 postseason despite a 9-2 record to coaching personnel changes.

Guidry said he felt last season provided no closure for the Cowboys but he looks forward to them using it as motivation in 2018.

“There’s a lot of tradition and history at McNeese,” Guidry said. “These guys know that the expectations at McNeese are always going to be there.”

With him, Guidry brought senior linebacker BJ Blunt and junior tight end Lawayne Ross.

Blunt lived up to his last name, providing straightforward and brutally honest answers to questions that came his way, even explaining why he was forced to forgo opportunities at bigger programs.

“Coming out of (junior college) I was an all-American, and I had a lot of offers,” Blunt said. “I was originally committed to Memphis then decommitted and committed to Texas Tech, but I couldn’t get into those schools because of my grades.

“I was actually just going to try to go pro and squeeze in however I could, but coach Guidry came through for me, and it’s been the best yet.”

Ross spoke about his transition from running back to tight end, a move that proved to be successful as he earned first-team all-SLC honors as a sophomore.

Guidry said Ross was initially hesitant to make the move, but once he was sold on it, he didn’t take long to make great strides.

“At first it was hard,” Ross said. “I’ve been playing running back my entire life, so I didn’t even want to do it at first. But doing 7-on-7 in the season … I realized it came kind of naturally to me. After awhile it got pretty easy and I started to like it.”

With Media Day in the books, Guidry and his two upperclassmen will return to Lake Charles where they will continue summer workouts until the team reports for fall camp on Aug. 2.

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McNeese State University head football coach Lance Guidry.

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