State on the Southland: Conference schedules back to normal in 2022 for football season
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KALB) - The 2022 Southland Media Conference kicked off on July 20 in Lake Charles at the L’Auberge Casino Resort. The teams were ready to take the stage and talk about their goals for the season along with what to look out for when they step on the field.
The Southland Conference Media Day took a turn for the better this year. Around the same time last year, the conference had been stripped of five teams, four of which went to the Western Athletic Conference.
For this season, there are eight teams in the conference and a new commissioner who is ready to make the Southland Conference the right destination for all the teams.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the conference, and every team was in attendance for media day.
“Today, we are going to celebrate the eight teams that are getting on the gridiron and kinda go at it with the spirit and show that together, we will rise,” said Southland Conference Commissioner Christ Grant. “The Southland Conference will remain strong, and we are going to be the best FCS conference that we can be, and I think the sky is the limit. We aren’t done yet.”
There are a few new additions to the conference this season, such as Texas A&M-Commerce joining and making the jump from being a Division II school to Division I. Lamar University is back in the picture, and the University of the Incarnate Word decided to stay just three weeks before media day.
“We can go to the market; we don’t have to go discover the oil,” said Grant. “We just have to put it out there and show the world that you can be successful right here, and we just need to tell our story.”
With Lamar University coming back into the conference and Texas A&M-Commerce joining, the theme of media day and the Southland Conference was defining who they are. The Northwestern State University Demons are looking to do the same this season.
The Demons have been a part of the conference for 35 years and are happy to see growth from last season.
“If you look back eight months ago,” said NSU head football coach Brad Laird. “The things that were out there about the Southland Conference may not have been very positive, but that core group I think stuck together, and it showed what the conference is about. It is about sticking together.”
“We have six out of the eight full-time coaches that are new, and 30 new players that are new,” continued Laird. “When you have Southland Conference Media Day, it is always exciting because you know fall camp is right around the corner.”
As each team stepped onto the stage, the mindset of stepping on the field inches closer. There are new teams, a new commissioner and new schedules. The Southland Conference is ready to take on the upcoming season.
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