Southern works around weather _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Quarterback Deonte Shorts throws a pass during a drill at Southern's first day of practice Friday in the Clifford T. Seymour Gymnasium. Shorts has been working out with the first team for the Jaguars, who have experienced problems with each of their first three practices: rain Friday, poor practice-field conditions Saturday, and lightning and rain Sunday.

The Southern football team has had three preseason practices, and none has gone according to plan.

“That’s usually how a season goes,” coach Dawson Odums said philosophically Sunday afternoon as lightning near A.W. Mumford Stadium forced a 30-minute delay just as the Jaguars were finishing their pre-practice stretching.

After 30 minutes, Southern returned to the field amid moderate rain that gradually dissipated during the two-hour practice.

The Jaguars’ first practice Friday was moved inside a gymnasium because of rain, and Odums moved Saturday’s workout from the practice field to the stadium because of concerns about the safety of the field’s surface.

Odums said Southern would move to its regular practice field for its Monday morning workout.

“The AD (William Broussard) called me and said the practice field is good to go,” Odums said. “I know he’s doing some work on it. It’s whatever they want, wherever we’ve got to go to get better.

“I asked them if it was safe for us to go out there. We’re going to go out there and do the best we can with what we’ve got.”

The Jaguars practiced without any lines on the stadium field, which is being prepared for the home opener Sept. 6 against Central Methodist.

“We’re going to try to preserve the game field for as long as we can and give the grass a chance to take root,” Odums said.

Wide receivers adjust

The wide receiver entries on the depth chart have been juggled as much as the practice schedule.

Willie Quinn is sidelined by a jaw injury. And Jordan Bracy, who was listed as his primary backup, left the team before the start of camp.

Justin Morgan moved into Quinn’s spot, then twisted his left ankle during practice Saturday.

Morgan finished that practice, but was held out Sunday.

Nico Talbert moved into Quinn’s spot, and Samuel Altman moved into Morgan’s original spot.

Quinn is expected back within a week, and Morgan’s injury does not appear to be serious.

QBs discuss competition

Redshirt freshmen Deonte Shorts and Francis Kanneh spoke after practice Sunday for the first time about their competition to start, which includes true freshmen Austin Howard and Jarrad Hayes.

Shorts has worked with the first team each of the first three practices, but Odums said each quarterback will get the same opportunity. Kanneh has worked with the second team, Howard the third and Hayes the fourth.

“I just have to take what the defense gives us and not force everything deep, take check-downs, throw passes underneath and make plays,” Shorts said. “It’s about making plays and studying the playbook.”

Kanneh said it’s a close but friendly competition. “Coach Odums always tells us we have to encourage one another,” he said. “But we also have to compete because we all want to play in the games.”

True freshmen aren’t available for interviews.

Jordan says he’s ready

Nose tackle Jaylen Jordan said he doesn’t have any lingering symptoms from a car accident he was involved in Thursday in Houston, which forced him to miss the first three practices. He hopes to practice Monday.

“I feel fine. I feel good,” Jordan said. “I just need the doctors to clear me.”

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