Warhawks get ready to down Demon Deacons

Dakota Ratley

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ULM football will finally get the chance to play a meaningful game Thursday when they host Wake Forest.

The Warhawks are coming off a 6-6 season while Wake Forest completed a 4-8 campaign last year. ULM defeated the Demon Deacons 21-19 at Wake Forest last year.

Coach Todd Berry said that his team is ready to play, regardless of who the opponent is.

“We really don’t care if it’s Wake Forest or the North Monroe Peewee team, we’re going to show up and play the game,” Berry said.

ULM will be going against some new faces in the Wake Forest program. First-year head coach Dave Clawson now leads the Demon Deacons. Clawson previously coached at Bowling Green where he led the Falcons to three bowl games in five years. They won the Mid-American Conference last year after defeating the previously undefeated Northern Illinois Huskies.

Both teams will be replacing four-year starters at quarterback. However, ULM will start senior transfer Pete Thomas. Thomas has playing experience at both Colorado State and NC State. Wake Forest will start true freshman John Wolford.

The first game is always a challenge. Coach Berry said that it is always important to see how players will react. He said that some players don’t react well to the bright lights. 

One player that did not have that issue is linebacker Ray Stovall.

The senior brushed aside talks of the game being meaningful just because it is the beginning of his last season at ULM. He is instead just focusing on winning.

“It’s the next game so it’s the most important,” he said.

The school has high hopes for the season opener. ULM has pulled out all the stops, including calling for all fans to participate in the fiwrst ever “camo-out.” Coach Berry referenced the “white-out” against Baylor two years ago  when pointing out how much a good crowd can help the team and the program. 

“If we can create that environment again, it’ll help our football team win, but it will also continue to attract more fans and that attracts better recruits,” Berry said.

That game set the attendence record for Malone Stadium at 31,175. The Warhawks lost the game by the score of 47-45. 

The game will begin around 6 p.m. Free camouflage shirts will be given out at the door. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Willie Robertson from AE’s Duck Dynasty will  participate in the opening coin toss.