The Northwestern State/Independence Bowl Kickoff Luncheon, sponsored by John and Lynne Manno, will be held that date after a one-year absence brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event begins at 11:45 a.m., two days ahead of the Demons’ season opener at North Texas.
Cost for the all-inclusive lunch is $20 and includes salad, a plated meal and dessert. Reservations are being accepted by contacting the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl office at 318-221-0712. Attendees are asked to bring cash or check to the event.
“This is one of the events that every year signals the approaching start of football season, which is always an exciting time on campus and among the alumni base,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke. “The Independence Bowl is appreciated for again hosting this gathering as some of NSU’s staunchest supporters live in the Shreveport-Bossier market and no doubt will be in attendance. It will be good to connect with them and for them to hear coach Laird’s outlook on the 2021 season.”
The event, which features Burke, Demon football coach Brad Laird and Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Executive Director Missy Setters, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Burke and Laird will preview the 2021 Northwestern State season, which features five home games, while Setters will give updates on the 45th Independence Bowl, set for Dec. 18 this year. The game will pit BYU against a representative from Conference USA.
“We value our relationship with the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl and thank them for their continued support of this event,” Laird said. “The Shreveport-Bossier City area is full of Northwestern State alumni, and this luncheon has been such an important part of kicking off Demon football seasons for a quarter century. It’s always special to be part of the kickoff luncheon with our friends from the Independence Bowl.”
The longstanding relationship between the Demons and the bowl game is encapsulated in the leadership of both groups.
“The inaugural luncheon in 1996 was one of my first events as a member of the Independence Bowl staff, so like Mr. Burke, this event holds a special place in my heart,” Setters said. “A lot of great people who have been heavily involved in Northwestern State football have helped make the Independence Bowl into what it has become and still help to this day, so we are proud to do our part in helping kick off the NSU football season every year.”
Photo/Graphic: Candler Harris/Northwestern State Atheltics
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