Head coach Lance Guidry and his staff welcomed 105 players to the practice field for the first time Wednesday morning as the McNeese Cowboys began preparations for the 2017 season. The Pokes have moved their practices to the mornings to try and beat the South Louisiana heat and rains. The NCAA has mandated only 1 contact practice per day and moving it to earlier in the day allows the Cowboys more chances to get it in, if weather is a problem.

"It was a good first day," said coach Guidry. "Guys were flying around to the ball!"

Guidry also said he was impressed with the speed he say from his team on the first day. The team practiced in shorts and helmets, and will do so most of the first week.

The Cowboys return 64 lettermen from last year's 6-5 team, 18 of them starters, including QB James Tabary, WR Kent Shelby, S Andre Fuller, and WR Parker Orgeron. Coach Guidry also had high praise for some of his freshmen, J'Cobi Skinner from Sulphur, Andre Sam from Iowa, And Cory McCoy of Leesville.

McNeese will open the season on August 31 at Nicholls State. You can hear all of the Cowboys games on 929 The Lake.