The Northwestern State Demons at Nicholls Colonels football game on Saturday has been canceled, the school announced on Thursday.
The game was canceled following the passing of Northwestern State junior safety Ronnie Caldwell early Thursday morning.
“The Northwestern State family has suffered a tremendous loss,” NSU head football coach Brad Laird said. “Ronnie Caldwell was a young man who had a bright future ahead of him on or off the football field. He was our voice in the locker room. When Ronnie spoke, others listened. The respect our football team had for Ronnie was evident. He did not play a snap this year because of an injury, but his voice resonated with every member of our team from the first player to the 115th on our roster.
“Our hearts are broken and ache for Ronnie’s family and friends. His loss will be felt here at Northwestern State, in Natchitoches and in his home. We will treasure the time we spent with Ronnie and the memories we made, and we will hold him and his family in our hearts as we attempt to move forward in the days and weeks ahead.”
Caldwell died from injuries suffered after he was shot multiple times, according to the Natchitoches Police Department in Natchitoches, La. Caldwell, who hails from Austin, Texas, was 21 years old.
Caldwell had not yet played this season after suffering an injury in fall camp. Last season, he appeared in all 11 games and started 10, finishing seventh on the team in tackles.
“We are stunned and saddened by the sudden loss of Ronnie Caldwell,” NSU Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian said. “Ronnie was a devoted teammate, friend, brother and son. His teammates, coaches and staff members who had the pleasure of knowing Ronnie will remember his ever-present smile and the way he could light up any room when he walked in. Words truly cannot express the heartache we feel for Ronnie, his family, his teammates and our university community.”
Per the school, decisions on playing the remaining games on their schedule “…will be made as the season progresses.” Northwestern State’s next scheduled contest is Saturday Oct. 21 at home against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions.
As a result of the cancellation, Nicholls’ next game will be Saturday, Oct. 21 when they travel to face the Texas A&M-Commerce Lions. The game will kickoff at 4:30pm ET and it will be streamed live via ESPN+.