For athletes everywhere the locker room is a sacred place. A place where they can relax and prepare before games or practice, unwind after a tough work out or just hang out with their teammates.
On Thursday, Northwestern State volleyball took a major step toward its locker room being all that and more.
“It’s very exciting and something we’ve been pushing towards for a few years,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “COVID kind of put things on hold for a bit but now we’ve hit the ground running. It’s something we feel the girls deserve and this is the first big push for us to get roughly half way to what we need and gets us closer to our goal.”
The Lady Demons received a donation, plus a matching addition, from Eric Boydstun and his company Phillips 66 that kick-started the project and drive to a revamped and improved volleyball locker room. The donation along with a few others has given the project half of the projected $50 thousand it needs for the complete overhaul.
Boydstun is the father of NSU sophomore setter Piper Boydstun who led the team with 8.33 assists per set in her first season as a Lady Demon in 2021.
“You support your kids where you can support them,” Boydstun said. “Piper has loved her time here at NSU and has three or four more years to go, so we wanted to do it for the entire team and the future of the program.
“They’re celebrating 50 years of Title IX this year and that’s opened up so many doors for women to play sports in college and high school. Team sports have meant so much to Piper and our family, allowing her to play at the collegiate level. That was her ultimate dream and she achieved it.”
Among the list of improvements for the locker room are new flooring, a new media center and lounge area, a new wall-length vanity, vinyl wraps that will feature photos of former NSU volleyball greats and 18 new lockers.
Boydstun’s new locker will be permanently dedicated to her grandfather, Dick “Papa” Winder, who was a football coach for more than 40 years in New Mexico and Texas including spending time as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech and quarterbacks coach at TCU.
“This is a great university and a great sports program and they’re improving facilities all around in all the sports,” Boydstun said. “That’ll just help with the overall character and culture of the programs and I challenge other parents, alumni, former players to give as much as they can. No gift is too small, and we’d like to get this done for them before the season starts and we appreciate all the support for NSU volleyball.”
“Really excited for the project for the volleyball program, the ladies currently on the team and the future Lady Demons,” said Assistant Athletic Director for Development Ryan Hall who is helping lead the fund-raising efforts. “We’re halfway to our goal. We’ve raised 25 thousand and we need 25 more to get it taken care of and I’m confident we’ll do that.
“I can’t thank lead donors, like Eric Boydstun and Tim Burrell, for leading the charge on these efforts. I encourage everyone that is able and willing to support this great project and we will have a women’s volleyball locker room before we know it. Fork ‘em Demons.”
PHOTO: Lauren Krupica, NSU Marketing