TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (Mar. 24) --- Northeastern State opened spring football drills Tuesday with a spirited workout at Doc Wadley Stadium/Gable Field.
Director of Athletics, Jeff Konya, also announced today the RiverHawks will add the University of North Dakota to its football schedule in 2010. UND is a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member, locatedin Grand Forks, N.D. The game is slated for Sept. 18, 2010.
“Upgrading schedules in all sports is going to be a priority at Northeastern State,” said Konya. “You are who you play. North Dakota gives us the opportunity to expose our football student-athletes to a different level of competition in an area where the Native American influence is as great as it is in Oklahoma. It’s just a natural fit.”
Kenny Evans, who embarks on his second season as head coach of the RiverHawks, believes the North Dakota game could pay huge dividends for his squad. Afterall, he coached at North Texas and Louisiana Tech,both NCAA Division I schools.
“The addition of North Dakota to our schedule, and the recent expansion of the Lone Star Conference, increases our visibility and shows the commitment to athletics at Northeastern State,” said Evans.“Scheduling an NCAA-I opponent each year, beginning in 2010, will be a significant challenge for our program and a tremendous experience for our student-athletes.
“North Dakota was a perennial NCAA-II national power in football before they made the jump to Division I. They have great facilities, but more importantly, it will test our student-athletes and give us agauge on how we need to improve.”
NCAA regulations offer 15 practice opportunities over 29 consecutive calendar days for spring football practice. The RiverHawks return several starters on both sides of the ball. However, much of the spring season will be a learning process for both the players and coaching staff. During the off-season, Evans hired two new coaches,Brad Cornelsen and Beau Davidson. Cornelsen will be in charge of the Northeastern State offense and Davidson will coach the defensive line.
Northeastern State will culminate spring drills with its annual Green & White Scrimmage on Saturday, Apr. 18, at 3:30 p.m. in Broken Arrow
With the addition of North Dakota to Northeastern State's schedule, we will update our list of non-conference games (with final AFCA rankings) for LSC teams. It now includes #2 Northwest Missouri (ACU), #4 Grand Valley State (WT), #7 Delta State (TAMK), #8 Pittsburg State (UCO), #13 Central Washington (WT), #22 Nebraska-Omaha (ECU), IAA North Dakota (NSU), IAA Texas State (ASU), IAA Southeastern Louisiana (TAMC), and Incarnate Word (MSU, ECU, ENMU).