NSU football in Turpin: the full student experience


Colin Vedros

Students enjoy a full NSU football gameday experience, including the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band in their pregame and halftime shows, as well as performing in the away side stands during the game.

A cool Saturday morning breeze enters the turf field in Harry Turpin Stadium, a couple of hours after sunrise. It’s gameday at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, and fans await the calm before the festivities commence into a spectacular show for the Demon faithful.

At NSU, the excitement build-up starts hours before both teams enter the field and start their warmups. Tailgates, football and fireworks all center around a Demon home football game in Natchitoches.

NSU goes onto the field about three hours before kickoff to head into the fieldhouse and get set for their matchup. Both NSU and the visiting team then exit the field and prepare for the start of the game.

Students enjoy a warm welcome as the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band perform their pregame show before the game, their halftime show at the game’s middle and “stand tunes,” little bite-sized versions of popular tunes, in the away side stands during the game.

“I like my experience,” said Landon Stephens, junior business administration major. “We get to cheer on our friends, classmates and coaches.”

Stevens said some can get rowdy, but he loves how no one gets too hostile in the student section, named The Inferno and located on the visitors’ side of Turpin. Overall, Stevens said it gives him a sense of normalcy since the COVID-19 outbreak started.

In the press box, students working on extracurricular activities see the game through a different lens. Caroline Bland, senior sports media communications major, works with NSU athletics in sports information and tracks down statistics from the visiting team.

“My experience in the booth has been so fun,” Bland said. “I get to see the game from a higher view and I am working next to many different people who love the game just as much as I do.”

Students experience an atmosphere only Natchitoches can host, no matter the outcome of the game itself.

In a family setting, NSU’s prolific gameday schedule provides fun entertainment and exciting moments throughout the course of a Saturday in Turpin.

“Football games have really helped me to get plugged in and surrounded by great people in my environment,” said Abigail Whitam, sophomore digital broadcasting and media communications major. “The spirit in the air on game days is what makes NSU so great!”

Whether it’s a rivalry game or just a regular Demons home game, NSU students embrace the excitement of the entertainment with smiles all around and a clear persona of what Natchitoches can hold.

For the complete 2021 Demon football schedule, click here.