LAKE CHARLES, La. — It has been a whirlwind summer for Lamar University. In April, the university announced it would be returning to the Southland Conference - a league the university help found. Last week, the university added to the April announcement by stating that LU would be a full-fledged member of the Southland Conference beginning with the 2022-23 academic year, and days later LU – in a joined announcement with the Southland – released its updated schedule.
Following the quick the turnaround, the Cardinals are in Lake Charles Wednesday for the annual SLC Media Day event. The start of preseason hype for every season, the media day has coaches and players from every league school meeting with the media to promote the upcoming season.
“We are very excited to be back in the Southland Conference,” said LU head coach Blane Morgan. “We have established historical rivalries in the Southland, and our fans know these teams, and they enjoy these rivalries. In addition to that, our fans and our students now have the opportunity to travel to away games for all of our teams that they probably didn’t have last year. That is huge for our student-athletes.”
The Cardinals were represented Wednesday in Lake Charles by Morgan, defensive lineman Jack McCarthy and wide receiver Jalen Dummett. McCarthy earned a starting role during his first year on campus and has never looked back, while Dummett started at quarterback during his first year with the Cardinals (2020 season which was played during the 2021 spring semester) and has since moved to receiver due to position needs.
The day for the Cardinals started in the Southland Conference’s social media suite before the LU trio took to the ESPN stage for interviews, before breaking off into one-on-one interviews with the different media outlets.
The Cardinals are going to be young in 2022 with only 41 returning letterwinners and 12 returning starters, with just four on those defensive side of the ball. The overall youth was reflected in the league’s recent preseason poll that has Big Red picked seventh for the upcoming season.
Big Red enters 2022 looking to build from a 2-9 record last season. The Cardinals open the season Thursday, Sept. 1, when they travel to Abilene, Texas to take on Abilene Christian. That will be the first of two road games to start the season (Sept. 10 at SMU) before LU opens the home slate against Northern Colorado Saturday, Sept. 17. The Cardinals will report for preseason camp on Aug. 2nd.