Football — Report day setup differs, Demons’ mission remains unchanged

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William Hooper (right) signs in as athletic trainer Ashley Leggett (left) watches Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Jason Pugh/NSU Sports Information

Much like the past five months, report day was a bit unusual for the Northwestern State football team.

 

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The 108 Demons who reported to campus Tuesday swapped the familiarity of their first-day routine for a new schedule with much different settings.

 

Instead of being ushered into the Ready Room in the NSU Fieldhouse, the Demons filed into spacious Prather Coliseum to hear from a litany of speakers during the first day of fall camp.

 

Because of the COVID-19/novel coronavirus pandemic, routines have been cast aside and a new sense of “normalcy” pervades.

 

To a man, the Demon coaching staff called it the most unique reporting day in which any of them had participated.

 

“It is (unique), but we haven’t had one of these in 144 days,” third-year head coach Brad Laird said of the full-fledged team meeting. “Our guys did a great job transitioning to the virtual meetings that to be able to have one and spread out, it was very unique. It’s always exciting to get this group back together, and we’re ready to move forward.”

 

After a morning of headshots and lunch, the team reported to Prather for its 3:30 team meeting that ushered in an afternoon full of orientation-type activities.

 

Although this year’s fall camp comes with unique circumstances, it did not change the feelings that permeated the roster.

 

“It was really different with everyone wearing masks,” junior defensive lineman Rashuad Powell said. “We’re just trying to stay locked in. We’re not worried about what’s next. We have the same mission, the same goal – trying to win a conference championship and turn this program back around. I’m eager to find out what we’re doing tonight and eager to get out there and play.”

 

The Demons open fall camp with split workouts Wednesday afternoon.