March 23, 2019

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Southeastern Football Position Report No. 4: Linebackers

HAMMOND, La. – When the Southeastern Louisiana football team opens the 2018 season in two weeks, it will do so with a new-look linebacker corps.


The 2017 senior starting trio of Sione Teuhema, Jake Jiannoni and Lee Spight are gone. In their place is a talented mix of veterans and newcomers eager to play a big role in the success of the Lions’ defensive effort.


Overseeing the SLU’s talented and hungry linebacking group is first-year linebackers coach Chris Lachney. The Southeastern graduate was most recently head coach at Riverside Academy in Reserve.


Senior Tamarcus Russell is the group’s top returning tackler and was named to the preseason All-Southland Conference team last month. The Dadeville, Alabama native finished with 24 tackles and five tackles for loss in his debut season in Hammond out of Fresno City College.


Russell is one of several Lions with experience expected to fulfill a bigger role this fall. Senior Sean Clavelle, sophomore Isaac Adeyemi-Beglund, senior Dwaine Thomas, junior Kyle Nevels and senior Ja’Hmal Macklin all are back for Southeastern.


Several new faces could be immediate impact players for SLU. Highlighting that group of newcomers is junior Mike Mason. The Encino, California native was an SCFA All-Central League performer as a sophomore at El Camino College.


“We’re returning some players with game experience, but nobody who received the lion’s share of the workload last season,” Lachney commented. “With that being the case, we’re seeing these guys improve rapidly as they better understand the task at hand. We’re a much different group now than we were at the start of spring.


“The biggest progress we’ve made is taking the lessons we’ve learned in the meeting room and applying them on the field,” Lachney continued. “We’re seeing things start to slow down for our guys as the light bulbs go off in their heads.”


Lachney believes the competition for playing time is fueling his group’s chances for success.


“When you don’t have any returning starters, that means there’s a lot of guys vying for three spots and it’s an ultra-competitive situation,” Lachney said. “What makes this group special is that despite the intensity of the battles for playing time, they are consistently supportive of one another. The guys in our room are team players, who share in each other’s successes.


“If somebody makes a great play, it’s motivation for the other guys to up their performance,” Lachney added. “Nobody is putting their personal needs above those of the team. We’re getting better as a group thanks in large part to that healthy competition.”


Southeastern returns to the practice field on Friday at 9 a.m. The Lions open the 2018 season with a 7 p.m. contest on Aug. 30 at ULM.



For season ticket information, please contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit The Lions will welcome conference foes Central Arkansas (Sept. 15), Northwestern State (Sept. 29), Houston Baptist (Oct. 13 – Homecoming), Abilene Christian (Oct. 20 – Hall of Fame Game) and McNeese (Nov. 3).


Season ticket holders will also be able to participate in the Season Ticket Party, set for Aug. 25 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the south end zone of Strawberry Stadium.



Southeastern Athletics has instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of football season. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit



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 letterwinners.


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


SOCIAL MEDIA/#SelfieWithScelfo
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 can also win a pair of SLU Football season tickets by participating in the #SelfieWithScelfo campaign during the month of August. Follow @SLU_athletictix on Twitter for more information.


Fall Camp Key Dates
Aug. 25 – 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Season Ticket Party); 2 p.m. (Media Day)

By: Southeastern Athletics