NATCHITOCHES – When Northwestern State welcomes Lamar to Turpin Stadium for both schools’ 2017 Southland Conference football opener Saturday evening, NSU student-athletes will collect donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The NSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council is teaming with the university’s Greek community through the NSU PanHellenic Council to collect cash donations Saturday evening for Hurricane Harvey relief. The contributions made will be split between aid to Lamar students, faculty and staff to be distributed by the Lamar SAAC, and support for victims in the Houston metroplex through J.J. Watt’s YouCaring.com Hurricane Harvey initiative.
The Demons host the Cardinals in a 6 p.m. matchup Saturday that will be carried statewide and beyond by Cox Sports Television. NSU has $5 general admission tickets available for the game, available at NSUTickets.com or at the ticket office in the NSU Athletic Fieldhouse, or by calling 318-357-4268. They will be available on game day.
The Beaumont area was among the hardest-hit by Harvey. The storm and its aftermath prevented the Cardinals football team from any substantial practice time at home before Lamar opened its season with a lopsided defeat Sept. 2 at North Texas.
Among the many NSU students who are from Hurricane Harvey-impacted areas in southeast Texas and the Houston metro area, three are Beaumont natives who play football for the Demons. Brothers Andrew and Christian Bluiett, and fellow NSU lineman Dustin Burns, all are graduates of West Brook High School
“Fortunately my family was blessed to not have damage to our house, but the city and community was very affected,” said Christian Bluiett, a sophomore defensive lineman. “People are still suffering. I have plenty of friends whose families lost houses, cars and more. It’s been a tough time.
“I know a lot of people are doing great things, and everybody in the community is helping each other. A lot of positives are coming out of the big negative.”
Bluiett was gratified to hear that the NSU SAAC has undertaken plans to accept donations for hurricane relief during Saturday evening’s contest.
“It’s awesome to know that while we’re playing our game, fans in the stands can donate to help hurricane victims in Beaumont, and Houston,” said Bluiett. “People from all over are uniting to help and that is very encouraging.”
The Demon football team, along with the other 10 Southland Conference squads, is wearing blue helmet decals expressing support for those impacted by the storm. The Southland Conference made a $100,000 contribution to the American Red Cross for storm relief efforts. Ten of 13 Southland members were impacted to some degree by the hurricane and tropical storm.
The Cardinals won last year’s football contest in Beaumont, 32-31, scoring two touchdowns in the final 1:43 to stun the Demons, who had controlled play most of the night.