Grambling to play in Circle City Classic

By Scott Hotard

Advocate sportswriter

GRAMBLING — The Grambling football team will face Alcorn State on Oct. 12 in the Circle City Classic at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The appearance will make Grambling the only HBCU to play in the game in four decades. Grambling previously made appearances in 1984, 1990 and 2000.

The Tigers participated in the first Circle City Classic in 1984 —a 48-36 loss to Mississippi Valley State.

Tickets for the game will officially go on sale April 1, but pre-sale tickets are available immediately by calling the Indiana Black Expo box office at (317) 925-2702 or by completing the pre-sale ticket order form and faxing it to the IBE box office at (317) 925-4734.

The Grambling ticket office will also have tickets for sale. For more information, go to

Louisiana Tech

BULLDOGS DON PADS: In Ruston, Louisiana Tech donned pads for the first time this spring and practiced for two hours Monday.

The coaching staff continued to stress fundamentals as big plays were turned in by Kenneth Dixon, Hunter Lee and Richie Casey.

“We had some good things and we had some bad things,” coach Skip Holtz said. “Our offense got on a little bit of a run and where we were able to move the ball. But every positive has a negative in the spring. Our offense made some plays but it was against our defense.”

Tech is looking to replace four starting offensive linemen lost to graduation. The fifth starter, Matt Shepperd, is being held out of contact this spring as he recovers from back surgery.

The team finished the two-hour session with a 3-on-3 tackling drill.

Tech returns to practice on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and Friday at 4 p.m.

Northwestern State

DEMONS TO OPEN SPRING DRILLS:In Natchitoches, Northwestern State opens its first spring practice under new coach Jay Thomas on Tuesday, including seven of 15 practices in the next nine days. After the university’s spring break, the Demons resume drills pointing toward the 24th Annual Joe Delaney Bowl Spring Game on April 20 in Turpin Stadium.

Weekday workouts begin at 3 p.m. with scrimmages set for Wednesday, March 27 and Saturday, April 11. Two Saturday sessions — this weekend and April 11 — begin at 9 a.m. The Delaney Bowl will kick off at 1 p.m.

“Our number one goal is evaluation time. We want to be fair in opportunities to evaluate every young man on the field, while we’re installing our new offense, a new defense and a new kicking plan,” said Thomas, who took over in December with six years of head coaching experience at Nicholls State.