McNeese to practice at ULL on Monday due to expected weather from TS Harvey

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LAKE CHARLES – For the third time in six years, McNeese’s season opening football game is being affected by the weather as what was Hurricane Harvey continues to pound Texas with southwest Louisiana in the cross-hairs.

The forecast for the storm as of Sunday evening has Tropical Storm Harvey returning to the Gulf of Mexico sometime on Monday then making landfall again near Galveston on Wednesday.

This slow and unpredictable storm is expected to dump somewhere between 10-20 inches of rain on southwest Louisiana and as the Cowboys continue to prepare for their still-scheduled 7 p.m. game at Nicholls on Thursday, McNeese got the help from an old rival, Louisiana-Lafayette, to use its indoor football facility Monday morning as well as any day thereafter if needed.

The team will load up on buses Monday morning to workout at the ULL facility before returning to Lake Charles for afternoon meetings.

“We can’t thank the people at ULL enough for lending a hand and offering its indoor facility so we can continue to prepare for Nicholls,” said McNeese Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill. “For them to be able to work us in and to allow us to use their facility is a tremendous gesture.”

McNeese practiced at the campus rec complex on Sunday evening and has spent more time in that facility the past several days than hit has on the practice field.

Also being able to go indoors at the rec is nice at a moment’s instant, the team does not get a chance to practice like it would if it were on the game or practice fields. There’s no live action, no tackling, and players have to wear tennis shoes.

“We’re really appreciative of them letting us come practice on their field,” said head coach Lance Guidry. “We’re rivals but we’re also the same. We help each other out when in need.

“It’s very important to be able to get on a practice field,” said Guidry. “We haven’t been in the heat the past several days so I’m worried about our conditioning. But we also haven’t been able to go live those days either.”

In 2012, McNeese’s travel plans to open up the season at Middle Tennessee on Aug. 30 were changed when Hurricane Isaac threatened the area. The Cowboys left a day early for the game and flew out of Chennault International Airport in stiff winds as Isaac closed in on the southeast Louisiana coast.

Then in 2015, the Cowboys’ season opener at LSU was halted after an offensive series by each team and a 3-hour and 57-minute storm delay, the game was canceled due to continuous lightning and heavy rainfall amounts.

Football isn’t the only sport being affected this week for McNeese. The Cowgirls’ volleyball team hosts Southern at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, but that match could be in jeopardy depending on the effects of the storm.

McNeese soccer is scheduled to fly out of Houston on Thursday as it heads west to play at Air Force (Friday) and Wyoming (Sunday). McNeese is working on getting the flights changed to where it can depart in Dallas.

In addition, the cross country team is set to open its season on Friday here at home with the running of the Cowboy XC Collegiate. That too is a wait and see game to see how the storm tracks, but as of now, it’s scheduled as planned.

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