Scott City receiver climbing chart as Southeast walk-on

Wednesday, August 7, 2002

Brandon Amick had a good football career at Scott City High School, making the all-conference and all-region teams before graduating in 1999.

But Amick had no real designs on pursuing the sport any further. He enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University and spent the past three years as a regular college student.

"I thought about trying to play my freshman year, but I didn't think it was for me," he said.

All of a sudden, however, football is for Amick again. With a nudge from Southeast offensive coordinator Russ Martin, Amick has joined the wide receiver-depleted Indians as a walk-on -- and is already listed No. 2 on the depth chart entering today's start of full-squad workouts.

"I played some fast-pitch softball with coach Martin's son this summer so I knew him," Amick explained. "He told me they needed some help and I thought I'd give it a try."

Because of academic casualties and other defections, Southeast is down to just four scholarship wide receivers. Since at least three receivers are generally in the game at all times for the pass-happy Indians, the opportunity appears to be there for Amick to earn quality playing time.

"He's got some talent," Martin said. "He'll give us depth and we think he'll be able to help us."

Amick, a 6-foot, 160-pounder who is a junior in eligibility, likes the sound of that.

"I'm excited. Hopefully I can help out," he said, smiling, at media day Tuesday.

A boost at punter

Another area of concern, punter, could be bolstered soon.

Southeast coach Tim Billings said that Australian Andrew Winters has been accepted into school and is waiting to get a visa to allow him to attend school in the United States.

Although Billings said he has never seen Winters punt, several contacts Billings has from his days as a special teams coach highly recommended the Aussie.

"Some people I know who hold kicking camps really liked him," Billings said.

Last year's punter, Kyle East, was recently ruled to be out of eligibility by the NCAA.

New to the staff

The Indians have just one new assistant coach this year as Marcus Garstecki replaces Rory Segrest, who left after last season. Garstecki, defensive coordinator at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College last year, will coach the Southeast defensive ends.

In addition to Martin, other returning assistant coaches are Shannon Morrison (defensive coordinator), Kip Shaw (assistant head coach, wide receivers), Mike Chavez (offensive line), Tony Joe White (special teams, running backs), Matt Webb (defensive tackles), Cody Vardeman (defensive backs), Bob Vaught (tight ends) and Andy McGill (defensive backs).

Short list of seniors

Of the 85 players on Southeast's roster, there are only 11 seniors and just five of those are listed first on the depth chart entering full-squad workouts.

The Indians have 19 juniors, 22 sophomores, five redshirt freshmen and 28 true freshmen.

Improving Houck

Southeast athletic director Don Kaverman said that renovations to Houck Stadium are progressing on schedule and should be completed by the Indians' second home game on Oct. 5 against Tennessee State.

The exterior of Houck is undergoing a complete renovation, with a new almond colored textured surface and a newly painted black iron fence. The press box is also being completed remodeled.

"We knew we weren't going to complete the improvements by the first home game, but it shouldn't be an inconvenience to anyone," Kaverman said.

A new hall of fame

Kaverman also said Southeast plans to start an athletic hall of fame this year. Approximately 15 individuals and a few teams will be inducted during the Indians' Nov. 2 game against Tennessee Tech. A permanent hall of fame display will be erected inside the Show Me Center, with inductions made every year.

"We're the only school in the OVC without a hall of fame," Kaverman said. "We have so many deserving people and teams. It's long overdue and it's going to be really nice."

More details will be released soon, Kaverman said.

Erlacker joins team

Former Cape Girardeau Central High School quarterback T.J. Erlacker has joined the Indians as a walk-on.

Erlacker, who attended Missouri Valley College last year, is ineligible this season under NCAA transfer rules but he will be able to practice with the team.

Practice begins today

Southeast will hold twice-daily practices until school starts Aug. 19. Most days (except Sunday), the Indians will work out at 11 a.m. on the practice fields near the Rosengarten Athletic Complex and at 5 p.m. at Houck Stadium. The workouts are open to the public.

Saturday marks the first day the Indians are allowed, under NCAA guidelines, to practice in full pads.

mmishow@semissourian.com

(573) 335-6611, extension 132

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