January 4th A-State Football Bowl Blog: Tom Castilaw & Kelcie McCray

JONESBORO (ASU) – This is the first entry in a daily blog with Arkansas State senior center Tom Castilaw and senior safety Kelcie McCray that is being featured this week on AStateRedWolves.com, the official Web site of ASU Athletics, leading up to the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Arkansas State fans can now keep up with the Red Wolves through a player's perspective during their time in Mobile, Ala.

Both Castilaw and McCray will give their thoughts at the end of each day, Jan. 4-7, about both their personal and the team's experiences with practices and other various events associated with the bowl game.  The blog will be found on both the home page and football page of AStateRedWolves.com.


Tom Castilaw

What a season for the team! What a season for the school! What a season for Jonesboro! You know the whole city has had a good time along with the team when a proclamation is given by the mayor to the football team. I was blessed to be a part of that last night at the city council meeting. I keep thinking about how cool it is that a group of young men can have  an impact on a city and even more than that on a state. Tradition is being built here and success is becoming a staple in this state, at this school and on this football team. We're proud to play for everyone who claims stAte and together we are one NATION. AstateNation. I'm excited for this bowl game to show all of the viewers on ESPN who the RED Wolves are and what we stand for. We are winners. We love work. We love challenges. We play as a pack. We understand that the strength of the wolf is in the PACK and the strength of the PACK is in the wolf. And with all of the fans at the stadium, the ones watching, the ones who support the program and the ones who brag about stAte, together we are the PACK. And our strength is in each other.

How can you not be excited when there are so many people lining the streets of the town as you pull out on a Wednesday morning at 7:30am? They are the PACK. The bus ride was long but it's funny how fast it goes by when the challenge is at hand. The time is now and I'm ready. I get fired up when I dwell on Sunday night. I get that anticipation that makes you want to just scream and not sit still. That excitement that makes you see yourself dominating on the field and puts you right on the field on Sunday in your mind when you close your eyes. This is one of the things we have been playing for all season.

We arrived at the hotel around 4 p.m. I love seeing the red and black colors pour off of the buses and swarm the hotel elevators like we swarm the field when we get ready for pregame. We are the PACK. After having some downtime in the hotel we went and had some dinner at a welcome event for both teams. I can tell we are going to eat good while we are down here. I'm glad we get to see the other team before the game and have some mingle time with them and respect each others' achievements. I think it creates more competition knowing that you are both playing for something important and that both teams are worthy of being here. I can't help but feel like those are our colors though haha. We are red and black. In fact I haven't seen another team with the same exact colors as us. However, we are still the PACK and we are going to play with the intense passion that got us here.

It is going to be fun. I'm glad to be here. It's crazy to me that I am getting this opportunity to be on this team still. I'm a 6th year senior and if it were not for my medical redshirt I would not be playing and would not have had this experience. It is a gift and I will treat it as such. It reminds me of the gift God gave us in His son. I will worship Him this week and in this game with my brothers on the team because of the many gifts He has given us, first and foremost the gift of His son.

I'm looking forward to Sunday. I'm looking forward to enjoying the town of Mobile while I'm here and am actually going to walk around down town with some teammates as soon as I finish writing this. While we plan on enjoying ourselves here, this trip is about business......... and that business is to win Sunday.

I'm excited to see the rest of the PACK as they come in town the next few days leading to the game. HOOOWWWWLLL.

Kelcie McCray

We want to thank all the ASU fans, our band and our cheerleaders for a great send off this morning as we started our trip to Mobile!  It was a great way to start the trip and the support we received this morning and this season has been amazing.

I had a great welcome dinner with my teammates and Northern Illinois at Ladd-Peebles Stadium tonight.  The team is staying at a great hotel and everyone in Mobile has been very welcoming.  It feels good to be Sun Belt Conference champs!

I can't wait to see the rest of the Red Wolf Nation come down to Mobile.  Now I'm headed out with my teammates for the rest of the evening.