NEW ORLEANS, LA (ASTATEREDWOLVES.COM) – The Arkansas State football team continued its 2015 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl festivities Thursday with trips to the National World War II Museum, Media Day Luncheon, and Children's Hospital of New Orleans before concluding the day with a practice session at the Saints' practice facility late in the afternoon.
The day for the Red Wolves began with a trip to the National World War II Museum in downtown New Orleans. The whole team and coaching staff attended the venue, which featured several exhibits on different campaigns during the war. There were also interactive videos and several vehicles, uniforms, and weapons from the time period to see. The tour ended with a 40-minute video about the war that was a hit amongst all in attendance.
The Media Day Luncheon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was next on the agenda as head coach Blake Anderson along with seniors Fredi Knighten, Darion Griswold, Rocky Hayes, and Robert Mondie were all made available to a large number of media members in attendance. Many of the questions posed focused on the bowl experience and the team's approach to taking on Louisiana Tech.
"We had a lot of fun the day we got here and we had a good day yesterday," Anderson said. "The team has enjoyed it and they worked hard to get here so they deserve it."
"You try to slow Louisiana Tech and control the game to some degree, especially limiting the big plays," added Anderson. "They have the benefit of a quarterback and running back that are both really good at what they do. I feel like there are a lot of similarities between our offenses. They have a quarterback that can run, good running backs, and they are willing to throw the ball over the top. It's something we kind of see on a daily basis, but it's going to come down to who's playing really sound and solid defense."
The last bowl function of the day before the team's practice was visiting children at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans where several members of the team, and A-State mascots Howl and Scarlet took time to visit with several of the patients and their families. The group also signed posters and handed out A-State and New Orleans Bowl memorabilia and gifts.
Director of Player Personnel Dave Roberson was joined by Darveon Brown, Javier Carbonell, Tajhea Chambers, Justin Clifton, Cameron Davis, Dalton Ford, T.J. Harris, Avery Johnson, Jamal Jones, and Donovan Ransom for the unique experience and community service project associated with the New Orleans Bowl.
"It's a great experience to just come and see what these kids are going through," Brown said. "It was a pretty touching feeling and it's emotional. It's great to always give back to the community and it's great to see the smiles on the kids' faces. I just like brightening up anyone's day so it was a good experience for me and the rest of us."
The team went through another practice at the Saints' facility to close its day. The team has a walkthrough and team picture Friday morning at 8 a.m. at the Superdome. The team bowl luncheon is also set for tomorrow with former NFL wide receiver Tim Brown as the keynote speaker. There is also a concert tomorrow night at Champion Square with the REO Speed Wagon as the headliner.
A-State will carry the nation's fourth longest winning streak into its game against Louisiana Tech, which will be making its first ever appearance in the New Orleans Bowl. The Bulldogs are making back-to-back bowl trips for just the second time in school history after finishing the 2015 regular season in second place in Conference USA's West Division.
Arkansas State fans are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets for the New Orleans Bowl through the A-State Ticket Office to directly support the Red Wolves' bowl trip and to ensure they receive priority seating within the designated Arkansas State area.
All remaining upper and lower reserved locations are $43, while Arkansas State University student tickets are $20 each. Students must have a valid student ID and purchase tickets directly from the A-State Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center's lower red entrance. $63 tickets are already sold out. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting the A-State Ticket Office in person, by calling 870-972-2781, or online by visiting AStateRedWolves.com/BowlCentral.
A table will be set up in the Marriott New Orleans Hotel from 1-5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday for fans to pick up tickets and purchase tickets. The Will Call location at the Superdome will be Gate B on the southeast side and will be set up starting at 3 p.m. Saturday.
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