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Photo by: Shaii Gatlin
August 31, 2017
The Nicholls State University football team will kick off its 2017 season at John. L. Guidry stadium against McNeese State University today, August 31 at 7 p.m.
Last fall, the Colonels fell to the Cowboys in a 38-13 loss in Lake Charles. The Colonels have not succeeded in beating this particular Southland Conference rival in the last eight match-ups.
The Cowboys have dominated the overall series against the Colonels 30-11, and the last time Nicholls beat McNeese in Guidry Stadium was in 2005; the year Nicholls won its first and only Southland Conference championship.
Head Coach Tim Rebowe said in order to get off to a good start, the team must focus on one game at a time.
“If we can find a way to win this game and be at the top of the conference, we can go play our two non-conference games and then get right back into the conference schedule,” Rebowe said. “It’s a one-game schedule, and that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Rebowe also mentioned getting the opportunity to compete on their home field with new turf, a new scoreboard and a freshly cleaned stadium will help promote fans to come out and pack the stands.
Junior defensive back Joel Dullary said he has gained a better understanding of the historic rivalry between Nicholls and McNeese over his past three football seasons as a Colonel.
“This rivalry is something not only I look forward to, but also the whole team because we know this is an in-state opponent that we have a history of playing against,” Dullary said. “Having the opportunity to open up with them as our first opponent of the 2017 football season is honestly more exciting than playing a non-conference opponent.”
While the rivalry between the Colonels and the Cowboys runs deep within the Southland Conference, some players among the two opposing teams share roots that run even deeper. Dullary and McNeese State’s quarterback, junior James Tabary, both attended Holy Cross High School in New Orleans where they suited up as teammates instead of rivals.
“During our time at Holy Cross over the years, we got really close and became really good friends and stayed in touch all through college,” Dullary said. “This will be the first opportunity I’ve had to go up against one of my high school teammates. I honestly think it is a rewarding experience simply because there are not that many people that get to go out and compete in the game of football against their high school teammates.”
Dullary said this will be a special game for not only himself but for everyone who gets to be a part of it.
“This is an event that I will never forget for the rest of my life just knowing I was able to compete against one of my good friends,” Dullary said. “With everything Coach Rebowe has done to improve the stadium, the fans are just as excited as we are.”