Football looks past homecoming distractions
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Homecoming, Football

Football looks past homecoming distractions

Published 9/27/17


Zach Cobler

TNE Writer

Homecoming brings an excitement to college campuses as the college football season carries on. The excitement grows the closer schools get to their homecoming. Homecoming comes with a variety of activities that students are encouraged to engage in. These activities all propose distractions for the college football players as they try to focus on the game. This is no different for the NSU players. 

The RiverHawks will have to focus on the task at hand as they face Missouri Western State the week of homecoming. The Griffons will come in looking to disrupt the festivities of homecoming as they try to get the win. Missouri Western State started their season 1-1. In the 2016-17 season, the RiverHawks lost to the Griffons 45-14. NSU will aim to exact revenge by looking past all the distractions and staying focused on the task at hand. 

“We want to try to stay away from the distractions,” said Josh Lattimer, NSU football defensive coordinator. “We want to be involved, but we want the players to stay smart.” 

NSU has struggled to find their feet early in the season. The RiverHawks started the season 0-2. While the RiverHawks have struggled early on, they are confident they will overcome the setbacks they have faced as they have better chemistry this year.

“We are in a better place than last year,” said Jaylen Hall, senior defensive back from Chino, Calif. “This team has jelled a lot better than last year.” 

While on paper the game looks to be a good match up for the RiverHawks, history is not on NSU’s side. Since joining the MIAA in 2012 the RiverHawks have not beaten Missouri Western State. 

“We just have to out work them,” said Ukoh Essang, sophomore linebacker from Arlington, Texas. “We have not gotten wins against some of the top teams in the MIAA, and we just have to put in the work. We need to eliminate our mental mistakes.”

The Griffons will be under the helm of first year coach Matt Williamson. Williamson was previously a defensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin. While in charge at SFA, Williamson led the Lumberjacks to become one of the top scoring and rushing defenses in the Southland Conference. 

“Their new coach is a defensive guy,” said Lattimer. “He has played and coached in the MIAA so he knows the league.” 

The NSU football players will try to concentrate on the game as the school celebrates homecoming’s activities. 

“We try not to get caught up in all the activities for homecoming,” said Hall. “We are just trying to stay focused and win the game. We want to have energy and give the fans something exciting to cheer about.” 

The RiverHawk football players may stay away from the distractions of homecoming, but they still know the importance of the game. They will look to perform at a higher level in front of alumni. 

“We feel pressure in every game,” said Essang. “There is always pressure to perform, and homecoming adds a little more pressure just because of who is in attendance. We haven’t won on homecoming in a couple of years. It would be nice to get the result for the alumni.” 

The RiverHawks play Missouri Western State at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Doc Wadley Stadium. The game follows NSU’s annual homecoming parade, which starts at 10 a.m. The homecoming tailgate starts at 11 a.m.

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