RUSTON, La. – With the kickoff just over three months away, Louisiana Tech and Grambling State were on the same side of the field Tuesday morning as student-athletes from both football programs spent time at MedCamps of Louisiana and the Boys and Girls Club of Ruston.
More than 20 players from the two programs – separated by just four miles – spent the morning interacting with youngsters of all ages in a show of unity and community service.
Tech and Grambling State are scheduled to face each other on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Joe Aillet Stadium in only the second meeting ever between the two programs, the first in Lincoln Parish.
Caleb Seney, Executive Director of MedCamps, said that the impact that the student-athletes from both school’s make on the campers – even in just a short time – is invaluable.
“MedCamps is a volunteer based organization,” said Seney, who is in his 21st year of affiliation with the non-profit organization. “We depend heavily on people donating their time. What is really cool about today is the Tech and Grambling athletes coming out here.”
Located at Camp Alabama in Sibley, La., the mission of MedCamps of Louisiana is to improve the health and wellness of people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities through unique recreational and educational camping experiences.
“Athletes are just heroes,” said Seney. “Whether they like it or accept it or not, they are heroes to kids. Even our campers. They look up to these guys. They want to be like them. They automatically command their attention and respect and we are grateful that they are coming out here and investing in our campers’ lives.”
The student-athletes that interacted with almost 30 campers at MedCamps (age 6 to 10) helped them with their morning activities, including zip lining, paint ball, archery, arts and crafts and more.
“It means a lot to us,” said Tech running back Bobby Holly. “And I think it means just as much to them. Coming out here and seeing these kids smiling and laughing and playing, it makes me feel like I’m a kid again. That’s what it is all about; seeing these kids smiling and playing and having fun.”
Holly said joining forces with his counterparts at Grambling State made the day even more meaningful.
“Even though we are going to meet on the field (in September), I think it is important that we get out here together and serve our community,” he said. “We just want to get together to do a good thing for this community.”
Former Louisiana Tech linebacker Eldonta Osborne who serves as chief professional officer for the Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana reiterated how important it is for youngsters to interact with their role models.
“Because these are two hometown universities for these kids, it makes it that much more special for them to get to interact with these players who they’ve heard about and watched play growing up,” said Osborne. “To get to hang out and spend time with them is huge.
“It doesn’t matter what position they play, whether they start, or whether they’re freshmen or seniors – it’s the fact that they took time out of their days to come spend time with these kids. To see these two universities come together to serve the community like this sets a great example for our youth.”
The mission for the Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana is to provide youth in the area a safe supervised environment where they can develop into positive productive members of society.
“I know they’ll say things to encourage these kids and hopefully inspire them to one day go out and do great things – not just athletically, but in academics and in life.”
Fans can still buy tickets/table to the Kickoff Luncheon set for Wednesday (June 5) at noon at the Ruston Civic Center. All proceeds from tables and individual tickets sold to the luncheon will go directly to the two local charities, while food will be provided by Origin Bank.
Tickets for the Kickoff Luncheon on June 5 are on sale now and cost $40 each or $250 for a table of eight. Fans can purchase tickets to the luncheon online at LATechSports.com/tickets or by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631.
Fans can purchase season tickets online at LATechSports.com/tickets or by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631. Single-game tickets for Louisiana Tech's home opener versus Grambling State are on sale with prices starting as low as $10 in the month of June.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow Louisiana Tech on social media at @LATechFB (Twitter), /LATechFootball (Facebook) and @LATechFB (Instagram) or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.