Lion defense continues to improve during spring drills

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HAMMOND, La. – As the Southeastern Louisiana football team enters the final week of spring practice, Lion head coach Frank Scelfo has been consistently pleased with his squad’s progress on the defensive side of the ball.

Scelfo credits much of the defensive progress to the relationships forged between the Lion defensive players and the defensive coaching staff, led by new defensive coordinator Lance Guidry.

“Our players should be commended for how they’ve bought in to a different coaching style,” Scelfo commented. “The changes we’ve made on our defensive staff have made a big difference. Our players are more comfortable and are really flying around making plays.

“Coach Guidry makes a big difference,” Scelfo added. “We’re playing more disciplined and his level of intensity and enthusiasm is rubbing off on the players. They feed off his energy level and it gets them going.”

One of the primary goals Scelfo had for his team was more consistency up front on both sides of the ball. His defensive line has met his expectations this spring under the direction of first-year assistant head coach and defensive line coach Raymond Monica.

2018 All-Southland performer Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund has made a smooth transition to defensive end and is one of a number of players in the trenches Scelfo singled out for praise.

“We’ve really started to come together on the defensive line this spring,” Scelfo said. “Isaac and Will Douglas have both been good on the edge, while I think Ronald Cherry III, Dante Carter, Fred Brown, Feletoa Ailua, Tainano Gailua and Steven Wright have all made big strides this spring.”

While Scelfo freely admits that his linebacker corps is not the deepest position on his roster in terms of experience, he has been pleased with that group’s effort.

“We don’t have a lot of guys there that have much game experience, but they’ve been competing well,” Scelfo said. “Mike Mason and Arlen Williams, in particular, have had solid camps.”

Scelfo singled out a rising sophomore for his improvement, as well as a quartet of returners for their efforts in the secondary.

“Donniel Ward-Magee has been our most improved defensive back this spring,” Scelfo stated. “You can see the spark in his eye. He’s so much more comfortable knowing what to do and he’s been a big plus for us at one of the safety spots. We’ve really liked the competition we’ve seen at the cornerback spot between Dejion Lynch, Ferlando Jordan, Marquis Johnson and Keith Benjamin.”

Scelfo also has been pleased with the kicking game. Nathan Holliday, who handled kickoff duties last season, will take over as the place kicker, while Ivy Wall returns at punter.

“Nathan and Ivy have both performed well this spring,” Scelfo said. “We’re confident about where we are at both those spots.”

Saturday’s Spring Game, set for 2 p.m. as part of Super Lion Saturday, closes out spring practice.

2019 Southeastern Football Spring Practice Schedule
Tuesday, April 9 – 3:50 p.m.
Thursday, April 11 – 3:50 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 – Spring Game – 2 p.m.

For more information on Southeastern Football, follow @SLUFootball and @Coach_Scelfo on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the football program are encouraged to join the Touchdown Club. Lion football alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.

All membership fees and donations to both the Touchdown Club and S Club (football) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern football program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at or (985) 549-5091 or visiting

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