Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Bulldogs back at it

Tech football team holding voluntary conditioning workouts
Sunday, June 14, 2020
Article Image Alt Text

Leader photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT

Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz met with the media Thursday afternoon to talk about the first week of his team’s voluntary conditioning workouts.

People attending Thursday’s Louisiana Tech football press conference were socially distanced, but that didn’t prevent the room from filling with almost palpable excitement.

And after beginning conditioning workouts last week despite strict COVID-19 guidelines, Tech head coach Skip Holtz and Bulldogs Kody Russey and Ezekiel Barnett seemed confident things are being properly handled and hopeful that the 2020 football season will take place.

Holtz said he was pleased with the way his team has handled things since Tech shut down in mid-March, sending students home to complete spring quarter classes online.

“We ended the quarter with a 2.97 GPA, which is the highest GPA this team has had. They did a great job academically. … I was proud of the way they stayed in touch with each other. They reached out, and they worked while they were gone. So I think that as much as nobody wanted to be away for the three months, the way they handled it makes me really proud.”

Russey, a senior offensive lineman, remained in Ruston during the shutdown instead of going home to Burleson, Texas.

He said being away from his teammates and the game of football during that time has given him a great appreciation for everything he has.

“You take it for granted being together so much. Everybody went home in quarantine and I was like, ‘Man, I miss those guys,’” Russey said. “They’re my friends and they’re all I hang out with. It was just me at the house. I was getting bored, I cleaned the house like 10 times.”

Barnett, a senior linebacker who also remained in Ruston during the break agreed, saying he felt a part of him was missing during the shutdown.

“Just being away from everybody, the locker room, really truly, it was about being around the guys,” Barnett said. “That was really what we missed. The different personalities, conversations we have in the locker room, the joking around, that’s really what you miss.”

Media members were told before the press conference began that NCAA regulations prevent the players and Holtz from talking specifics about the voluntary workouts themselves.

Barnett said he doesn’t believe not having spring workouts and now going though the strictly-regulated conditioning workouts will hurt the Bulldogs in the long run.

“We have time,” Barnett said. “Not going through spring, you can look at it as it hurt us but there’s always a positive in everything. We didn’t have any injuries this spring. Everybody’s healthy right now and that’s a positive. We as a defense, with the Zoom calls, we’re trying to do the best we can and the coaches were trying to do the best they could to help us adjust and make it as normal as possible.”