Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana game moved up for slain player's funeral

Updated Oct. 16, 2023 5:01 p.m. ET

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) — Northwestern State’s home game against Southeastern Louisiana has been moved to this Thursday night so that the contest won't conflict with a wake and funeral services for recently slain Demons defensive back Ronnie Caldwell.

Officials from both schools agreed to change the game time from Saturday after learning services for Caldwell were scheduled on Friday and Saturday in Austin, Texas. The new game time allows Northwestern State coaches and players to attend.

Caldwell was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds by Natchitoches police officers who responded shortly after 1 a.m. last Thursday to a report of a shooting at an apartment complex near campus. The coroner’s office pronounced Caldwell dead at the scene.

Police Cpl. John Greely has said no arrests have been made in connection with the case.


The university had canceled last Saturday’s football game at Nicholls State.

Caldwell played safety for the Demons after transferring from Tyler Junior College following the 2021 football season. In 2022, he appeared in all 11 games, starting 10, and finished seventh on the team in tackles.

He had yet to play in a game this fall because of a preseason injury. Still, he traveled with the team, serving as a de facto defensive assistant coach and communicating with coaches up in the press box via headset during games, the university said in a statement.

“Ronnie Caldwell was a young man who had a bright future ahead of him on or off the football field,” coach Brad Laird said in a statement. “He was our voice in the locker room. When Ronnie spoke, others listened.”


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