The 2023 Southeastern Louisiana Lions at Northwestern State Demons football game has been moved to Thursday, both schools have announced.
The contest, originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21, will now be played on Thursday, Oct. 19 at NSU’s Harry Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches, La. The game will kickoff at 8:00pm ET / 7:00pm CT and will be streamed live via ESPN+.
The game was moved following the passing of Northwestern State junior safety Ronnie Caldwell last Thursday. The decision to move this contest came after Northwestern State learned that the wake and funeral services for Caldwell will be held on Friday and Saturday in Austin, Texas. Moving the game will allow the Northwestern State players to attend the services.
On Friday, Caldwell’s roommate, 27-year old John McIntosh, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance. It is not currently known if the arrest is connected with Caldwell’s death.
Following Caldwell’s death, Northwestern State’s head coach and athletics director both released statements.
“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.”
“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.”