By Rogers W. Loche III, NSU Demon football senior, 2011
When I first encountered Northwestern State University and the Natchitoches area, I didn’t initially realize the impact this place would have on my personal and professional life trajectory. See, I was a 19-year-old kid transferring from the University of Mississippi to play football for the NSU Demons. Upon my arrival, I was a bit regretful due to the fact I was giving up the bright lights of SEC competition and everything that came with it. However, through many experiences, I discovered the beauty hidden inside Natchitoches and Demon Football.
It’s my belief that there’s a learning opportunity available in everyday life. Although true, a person must possess an open mind to the experience in order to obtain a valuable lesson from it. I obtained a humbling lesson during my first day of practice. As I put on my cleats and strapped my shoulder pads, I said to myself, “These boys ain’t got nothing on me!”
A bit cocky for me to have had this thought? Sure it was. I was convinced that my skill-set was greater due to the level of competition I was coming from. Let me tell you, this thought didn’t last very long.
Shortly after team stretch and warm-ups, I heard the words “SUDDEN CHANGE” rip through the air.
The linebackers coach yelled, “Get in there, Loche!,” and without hesitation, I buckled my chinstrap and charged onto the field. I quickly went through my progressions and took off like a missile! My eyes widened as I quickly approached the tailback. My adrenaline skyrocketed as I knew I was about to make an everlasting impression. At full speed, I was prepared to make a form tackle and then… “BOOM!” I was pancaked by an offensive tackle. When I rolled over, I saw this huge shadow and the person said, “Welcome to the Southland Conference!” It was Demetress Bell, who at the end of that season, went in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills.
I called this a “rude-awakening experience” and I said to myself, “These boys can ball!” I quickly became aware of the tradition, passion, and culture that encompasses Demon Football. The culture of the unwavering work ethic passed down from former NSU greats was the platform I used to tackle not only football, but my personal and professional life as well.
Photos courtsey of NSU