Aug. 5, 2007
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team braved the East Texas heat Sunday afternoon for their second of 29 practices before the season opener against Tarleton State on Saturday, Sept. 1.
"The first couple of days have been tremendous," said SFA head coach J.C. Harper. "I've seen a lot of carry-over from the spring and summer. We have good leadership on this team. The guys have come into camp strong and in good shape. These guys are willing to learn and do what they're asked to do. It's just been a lot of fun to be around these guys."
Although the 'Jacks have yet to don the pads, competition has already begun to show itself on the field. SFA closed out the practice with the kickers taking center stage, the veteran Cory Long and local newcomer Jaime Fernandez.
For all the hype that Fernandez received during the recruiting process, Long has returned to the SFA campus looking to retain the job he has held for the previous two seasons. Both kickers were accurate from close, and with every make the rest of the team urged the coaching staff to move the ball back. Long was true from 42 and 47 yards out. Fernandez made good on his attempts from the same distance. The ball was moved back five more yards where Long boomed a 52-yarder with room to spare. Facing the same pressure Fernandez rocketed a kick from the same distance through the uprights.
The competition came to an end after next kick. Staring down a 59-yard field goal, both Long and Fernandez had the distance, but the kick sailed wide of the target.
The Lumberjacks will be in team meetings the rest of the evening and return to the practice field Monday for a 3 p.m. workout. All practices are free and open to the public.
SFA will take part in three scrimmages during preseason drills. The scrimmages will be Saturday, Aug. 11, Saturday Aug. 18 and Wednesday, Aug. 22.
The Lumberjacks kickoff the 2007 season Saturday, Sept. 1, when they host Tarleton State. The game against the Texans is slated to begin at 6 p.m. from Homer Bryce Stadium.