- Ronald Oswalt
RUSTON, La. – With the 2019 season one month away, the Louisiana Tech football team officially reported to campus for the start of fall camp on Thursday afternoon ahead of the team’s first official fall practice, slated for Friday morning at 9 a.m.
The Bulldogs spent Thursday afternoon checking in and handling an assortment of administrative responsibilities associated with report day before the team hits the practice fields on Friday in preparation for the season opener at No. 10 Texas on August 31st.
“Report day is a day across the country full of new faces with high expectations and dreams for what teams want to accomplish in the 2019 season, and that’s what makes college athletics so special,” head coach Skip Holtz said in his annual report day press conference. “It’s an exciting time for our program right now. We had just over 100 players report and will have some more administrative and team meetings later tonight before opening up our first practice tomorrow morning.”
“2019 is no different than many others. There’s a lot of excitement, energy and enthusiasm, but as a coach there always comes challenges with a new season. Every team has a life expectancy of one year and this year is no different. We were hit with some really good players that will need to be replaced this season. On top of that, we’ve got a lot of new faces on our coaching staff that we’ll need to help build our football team.”
The majority of Thursday afternoon and evening consisted of just over 100 football student-athletes completing paperwork, taking photos, participating in video shoots and gathering for team meetings. Starting Friday, the Bulldogs will practice for the next five mornings before taking a day off next Wednesday.
“We talked about some of the challenges, but there’s also an awful lot to be excited about,” Holtz added. “We return a quarterback room in its entirety for one of the first times since I’ve been here. We not only have J’Mar Smith returning for his senior season, but also Westin Elliott is going into his third year as a backup, coming off his redshirt year. Aaron Allen is also coming off his redshirt and will be eligible to play. We’ve also got tremendous competition in the running back room.”
“I am incredibly optimistic. There are a lot of things that play in our favor, but also a lot of challenges. I can’t wait for the guys to get in here so we can get into meetings and get out on the grass tomorrow morning.”
In addition to fall practices, Louisiana Tech fans will have an opportunity to interact with the 2019 Bulldog football team on Saturday, Aug. 17 as head coach Skip Holtz and Co. will participate in the annual fan fest in Ruston.
Doors to the Thomas Assembly Center will open at 12:30 p.m. with the free event slated to last until 2 p.m. The Lady Techster soccer and volleyball teams will also be in attendance as players and coaches from both programs will sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
Bulldog fans will also have the opportunity to take their picture with the Hawaii Bowl trophy and youngsters can enjoy the inflatable bounce houses and various games. Official Tech merchandise through the Barnes and Nobles Bookstore will be on sale while members of the Tech spirit squads will join Champ and Tech XXII for the event.
Skip Holtz Report Day Press Conference Audio: soundcloud.com/latechathletics/skip-holtz-report-day-presser
Season and single-game tickets will be on sale at the event along with the opportunity for parents to register their boys and girls for the LA Tech Kids Club (Kids Club pickup will also be available for those fans who have already purchased the membership). The LA Tech Kids Club membership is $62 for the year and includes admission to every home regular season sporting event for 2019-20.
Prior to the fan fest, the Bulldog football team will scrimmage at Joe Aillet Stadium starting at 9 a.m. and fans are invited to watch. The Club Level of the Davison Athletics Complex and the suites in the press box will be closed for the scrimmage. Fans are asked to enter the gates on the west side of the stadium for the scrimmage.
Season tickets and mini-plans for Bulldog football are still currently on sale and can be purchased by calling 318-257-3631 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. or by logging onto LATechSports.com/tickets.
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.