AP NEWS

LA Tech relished in Midnight Madness

August 1, 2017 GMT

Louisiana Tech’s football team officially began preparations for the 2017 season on Sunday as 100 players reported to campus for the start of fall camp.

The Bulldogs spent Sunday afternoon checking in and handling different administrative responsibilities associated with report day before work begins on the field.

“It is an exciting time right now getting ready for the new season,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “Football is in the air and everyone is talking about it. This is one of my favorite times of the year. You’ve got new faces and the development of the guys from a year ago, and then you start putting the 2017 football team together. We have a lot of questions, make no mistake about it. There are some strengths on this football team, which I think is part of what is creating a lot of excitement. With a young football team, we have some question marks to answer, but that is what August is all about.

“With the new calendar the NCAA has put out, we are reporting about a week earlier than we ever have, so camp is going to be longer, but we will have one-a-day practices for the entire camp.”

While Sunday afternoon and early evening consisted of paperwork, photos and team meetings for the Bulldogs, the first practice of fall camp will have a different feel than in years past.

“We are starting it a little bit different this year,” Holtz said. “We are going to get into midnight madness. Since we are not allowed to practice until Monday, we are going to begin practice at 12:01 a.m. in the stadium under the lights to create a little excitement and energy.”

Following Monday’s midnight practice, the Bulldogs will return to the field Tuesday morning to continue the first week of fall camp.

Louisiana Tech fans will have two opportunities to interact with the 2017 Bulldog football team prior to the start of the season as Holtz and Co. will participate in a pair of fan days.

Holtz and his Bulldogs will travel to Shreveport/Bossier City on Friday, Aug. 18 for the Freedom Fields Fan Fest starting at 4:15 p.m. Fans are invited to come out to the free event and watch a walk-through practice that begins at 4:30 p.m. Following the workout, the Bulldog players and coaches will sign autographs.

In addition to the practice and autograph session at Freedom Fields, fans will have an opportunity to buy official LA Tech merchandise, purchase season tickets, register their youngsters for the LA Tech Kids Club and interact with members of the spirit teams. Concessions and inflatables will both be on site.

The second fan fest is set for Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston as doors will open at 10:30 a.m. Members of the Bulldog football team and the Lady Techster volleyball team will participate in autograph sessions from 11 a.m. to noon.

Fans can have their photo taken with the Armed Forces Bowl trophy and youngsters can enjoy the inflatable bounce houses. LA Tech fans can also purchase season tickets while LA Tech Kids Club registration and pickup will be available. Official Tech merchandise will be available while members of the Tech spirit squads will also be in attendance. Concessions will be open although limited items (water, tea, popcorn) will be available.

Following the fan fest, the Bulldog football team will scrimmage at Joe Aillet Stadium while the Lady Techster volleyball team will scrimmage at the Thomas Assembly Center. Both are free and open to the general public.