By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
NATCHITOCHES – Meetings, filling out forms, equipment fittings, listening to guest speakers.
Kyle Moore and Kendrick Price are well-versed in the traditions of Northwestern State football reporting day. For the seniors, that made Thursday’s events a little more surreal.
“With it being the last one, I’m taking the time to appreciate the things I didn’t really enjoy as much,” said Price, a sixth-year senior from Lindale, Texas. “I appreciate being around the guys and having another opportunity to strap up and get to work.”
After a calendar year in which the Demons reported to fall camp in a socially distanced setting before the fall season ultimately was scuttled and a six-game spring season held in its place, Thursday provided a much more familiar feeling for the Demons – even if it meant the same, at-times monotonous preseason machinations.
“It feels a lot more natural, getting in the swing of things,” said Moore, a Navarro College product who is entering his fourth season with the Demons. “Since you’re young, you start football this time of the year. Now we’re doing it again. It’s exciting. We have a good mix of young and older guys, and the energy is high.”
While the Demons handled much of the preseason behind-the-scenes minutia Thursday, they are eager to begin the first full-squad preseason workouts, which begin at 9:15 a.m. Friday inside Turpin Stadium.
“This day, I don’t know if it gets any better,” fourth-year head coach Brad Laird said. “You’ve got all your guys coming back. I know we were all here in July, but you had a few days for everybody to get away. To bring everybody back and go through report day is exciting.
“As we all look for normalcy, we’re used to fall camp in August. It’s supposed to be 100 degrees on the turf on a Tuesday morning. That’s what fall camp is about.”
This year’s fall “camp” will be somewhat truncated as Northwestern State begins fall semester classes on Aug. 16, leaving 10 days from the first workout to the first day of classes.
“I don’t know how it will be,” Moore said of the shorter duration of camp. “Ask me at the end and I’ll probably have a different answer. I think the week-and-a-half will be good.”
Regardless of the length of time of camp and how the transition to a typical academic-athletic balancing act, the Demons veterans are aligned in their thinking.
“Camp is definitely a grueling time of year,” Price said. “A shortened camp might benefit us, but regardless, our objectives are the same. We’re working toward the same goal. Whether it’s in camp or if we are practicing and in class, we’re working toward that same goal.”
— Featured photo by Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services