NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The remainder of the Northwestern State season was canceled after the tragic death of Demons junior Ronnie Caldwell.
Several players have been outspoken about their desire to finish the season.
Starting quarterback Tyler Vander Waal and tight end Travon Jones believe Caldwell would want the team to continue playing.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, I know Ronnie would want us to go out and compete,” said Jones. “He was a big leader on the team and the main thing we stressed was finishing.”
“Ronnie would want us to play. That’s why we played Southeastern,” said Vander Waal. “We talked about it after his passing, play for Ronnie, honor Ronnie, that’s what Ronnie would want us to do.”
Caldwell was a team leader who wasn’t afraid to put in the extra work. In fact Caldwell always went the extra mile, doing an extra two reps above what the coaching staff expected.
“Every time he did his reps he finished plus two,” said Jones. “I don’t see no other way than to finish the season plus two.”
“He wouldn’t want us to quit, Ronnie wasn’t a quitter,” said Vander Waal. “I personally didn’t know Ronnie the best but I knew he wasn’t a quitter.”
Vander Waal is clear in his want to finish the season in honor of Caldwell and he doesn’t feel like ending the season early does that.
“It’s funny because coach Laird talked about honoring Ronnie a lot and then to quit is not honoring Ronnie at all,” Vander Waal said.