For the first time in nearly two years, Northeastern State University is getting ready to play a football game.
Head coach J.J Eckert says this Saturday, the wait is over.
“I can’t even explain how exciting that is to know that you finally get a chance after how many days it is…that you got a game in your schedule and you get to go hook it up and go play,” Eckert said
Northeastern State’s 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic, but they’ve kept busy. Defensive back Bryce Brown, a transfer from Oklahoma State, says he’s ready to lace up the pads under the bright lights.
“My last true game where I actually started was probably in high school, so I’m ready,” Brown said.
Northeastern State has not played an official game in 656 days. But Eckert is not worried about any rust. He says they try to make every practice feel like a game day.
“We’re a fast tempo practice group and we’re always trying to keep moving,” Eckert said.
NSU’s last season was a slump, going 0-11 in 2019. Eckert says he’s confident the team will get things back on track. Eckert says he’s not a numbers guy; he’s an effort guy. He says his philosophy is taking it one game and one snap at a time. And if they stay the course, he says the sky is the limit for the Riverhawks.
“Our goal is to be 1-0 each week,” Eckert said. “If we can find a way to be 1-0 each week, obviously that puts us on the track that we’re trying to get to.”
NSU is set to face Emporia State at home in Tahlequah.