Texas Tech Begins Bowl Preparations|
December 28, 1998
SHREVEPORT, La. - Texas Tech conducted its first practice in Shreveport in preparation for its upcoming Sanford Independence Bowl game against Mississippi scheduled for Dec. 31 at Independence Stadium.
The Red Raiders conducted one afternoon practice at Caddo Parish Stadium, just a few blocks away from it headquarters hotel, the Shreveport Sheraton. The weather for practice was overcast with a few sprinkles of rain and a temeperature of approximately 42 degrees with a slight wind for the south.
"We had a good first practice back from Christmas," said Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes, who coached his first game at Texa Tech in the Independence Bowl in 1986. "The guys are ready to play football. Mentally and physically are in shape. We didn't have that much time to get out of shape. We are here to have good time but deep in your mind, you have to plan for a football game. Sanford has done a great job with the events. The people (of Shreveport) make it what it is and we really appreciate that."
Wide receivers coach Dick Winder missed the practice while attending the wedding of his son, Greg, in Las Vegas. He is expected to arrive in Shreveport on Monday.
"It sure was different today without coach Winder here," said senior receiver Donnie Hart. "Without a doubt it was quieter. I don't think some of the younger guys really know how to handle practice without him here."
Sophomore offensive tackle Steve McFadden is doubtful for the Sanford Independence Bowl after having his appendix removed on Dec. 17 in Lubbock. He did not practice with the team on Sunday and is not expected to practice in Shreveport.
Also missing Sunday's practice was sophomore kicker Chris Birkholz. The Temple, Texas native was under the weather with flu-like symptoms. Senior Jaret Greaser, the starter going into the 1998 season before suffering a strained groin in the fourth game of the season at North Texas, was the primary kicker in practice.
The team also found out about senior cornerback Darwin Brown's invitation to the Hula Bowl all-star game in January. Brown is one of three Red Raiders playing in postseason all-star games. Hart will participate in the East-West Shrine Classic and the Hula Bowl. All-America Montae Reagor will play in the East-West Shrine Classic and the Senior Bowl.
The team will practice at 2:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday before undergoing its only walk-through in Independence Stadium at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Tickets are available for the Sanford Independence Bowl by calling the Texas Tech ticket representatives at the Shreveport Sheraton at 318/797-9900, ext. 105. Tickets are priced at $25, $30 and $35 each.