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Advocate staff photo by ANDREA MABRY-- Southern University Baton Rouge Coach Dawson Odums speaks with members of the media at the SWAC media day in Birmingham, Ala. Friday, July 15, 2016. ORG XMIT: LABAT

Andrea Mabry

The Southern football program and its coach, Dawson Odums would’ve liked to have practiced Saturday morning, but that wasn’t in their control.

Three Saturdays away from opening day, the Jaguars canceled practice for the second consecutive day as rain and rising water continued to hit the Baton Rouge area. The team was scheduled to hold its first scrimmage of the year.

“You can’t control it,” Odums said. “Just get back to work when you can, get back on task and go from there. You’ve got guys that are from some of the areas that got hit really hard. It’s kind of tough.

“It’s difficult for coaches and personnel to get back to campus. The thing is to stay safe and hopefully tomorrow we’ll be able to get structure, organization and get some stuff going again. That’s what we need. That’s what we’re hoping for.”

These practices are crucial to a football team that was not able to practice during the spring.

The Jaguars had 18 practices scheduled for preseason camp, meaning the two canceled periods account for more than 10 percent of their preparation time for the season.

“You can’t control it, so you can’t worry about the time that you’re missing,” Odums said. “When you get back to work, you get re-focused and get back to doing the things that you were doing.”

Odums said Southern will do its best to make up for some of the lost time early in the week, but he also was quick to point out that there were more important things than football to worry about.

Members of the coaching staff spent their Saturday morning assisting the community instead of coaching up the team during a scrimmage.

“For the most part, it’s just making sure everybody’s safe, making sure their family’s safe,” Odums said. “Football is something we do, but you’ve got something of this magnitude — I was helping in Zachary, other coaches were helping in Baton Rouge — it’s bigger than football. Life is always bigger than this thing.

“When we give a helping hand to the community that we’re in and the surrounding areas, trying to make a difference in other people’s lives, that’s what it’s all about.”

As far as football goes, Odums said the team will be eager to get back to work — whenever that might be.

“Hopefully the rain lets up and hopefully we can get back out there and get going again,” Odums said.

Follow Luke Johnson on Twitter, @ByLukeJohnson.