Thursday Report

Dexter Heyman Audio | William Savoy Audio

Senior Day is an emotional time for a football team, especially for those seniors who will play on their home field for the last time.

The gamut of emotions that runs through the player’s heads is difficult for most of them to hold until that final whistle blows.

Saturday afternoon, 17 seniors on the University of Louisville football team will walk off the field at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for the final time, hopefully as victors. The Cardinals haven’t won a Senior Day contest since Louisville pulled off a 41-38 come-from-behind win over Rutgers in 2007.

For senior linebacker Dexter Heyman, Saturday will be an emotional day for him. He is playing his final game in the city he grew up in and adored for many years. A standout from Male High, Heyman has seen his Louisville team experience many highs and lows, but loves the direction the program is headed and wishes he could be around to be a part of the continued climb to prominence. He can assist in that climb by guiding the Cardinals to their fourth-straight win and keeping them in the race for the BIG EAST title.

“My senior class is really something,” said Heyman, the team’s top tackler. “It’s really important to me as a player, and it’s really important to me as a person. This young talented team that we have, coming in here and really buying into coach Strong and what he’s really trying to accomplish here, and (is great and it’s) helping us seniors along the way. Just seeing Calvin Pryor get his first interception on the first play of that Rutgers game, that was huge. Certain things like that. You have a good time with guys that you’ve known through the years like Greg Scruggs, Josh Chichester and Victor Anderson, who I’ve known for several years. There are just fine memories of those guys, and knowing this is the last time we’ll be able to strap on a Louisville helmet and go out here in this ballpark for one last time, it’s going to be huge, and we expect to put on a good show.”

One senior who won’t get that opportunity to strap on the helmet for the last time will be senior Anthony Conner, who broke his neck against Rutgers and was lost for the year. Conner can only dream of playing again and that hurts senior defensive tackle/end Greg Scruggs, who knows how bad Conner would love to be out on the field again.
“It hurts so hard that he can’t be out there with us to win,” said Scruggs of Conner.  “At the same time, it motivates us. It gives us a drive to make the most of every opportunity because, in the blink of an eye, it can be taken away from you. I think everybody in the stadium who’s ever seen him play or been a part of Louisville football knows that we lost a good one. We really did. I think they will be emotional not only for what he’s given to the program but also for the fact that he’s so fortunate and so lucky to be able to be out there standing and walking on his own two feet.”
Senior defensive tackle William Savoy, who came here as a walk-on and earned a scholarship, is also experiencing a wide range of emotions, but is also looking toward the future of this program and is jealous he won’t be around to see when this program takes off, possibly by next season. He continues to help these young players develop and is also there for his young freshmen.
“We are always acting like father figures, coaching them up,” said Savoy.  “I don’t want them to make the same mistakes that I made, especially the young defensive linemen like B.J. Dubose and Deointrez Mount. It’s fast for them out there. They’re having to do their freshman year what I didn’t to until my junior year. I’m jealous of them boys, at the same time I’m glad I’m here. They’re going to win a lot of games, and I’m proud of them.”
For the 17 seniors, who are playing their final home game, their focus isn’t on the final play Saturday but rather what they’ve set out to do all year – win.
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