“GSU, always making history.” Those were the words of KGRM-FM station manager Joyce Evans, who presided during a joint Grambling State-Louisiana Tech press conference Wednesday in the Doris Robinson Banquet Room of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum.
The subject of the press conference was the Port City Classic.
“The first Port City Classic. How about that?” Evans said.
The historic football game is not only the first time that Louisiana Tech and Grambling State will face each other on the gridiron, it is also Tech head football coach Sonny Dykes’ debut.
“It makes sense to look to our closest neighbors to spark competition,” said GSU Athletic Director J. Lin Dawson.
He said it took about a year of planning and preparation to make the game a reality.
Dykes said the game can establish a pattern for future athletic, academic and social cooperation between the two universities.
Dawson said GSU and Tech are “fairly equal partners throughout the dealings of this game,” noting that the sharing of revenues can be used as an example for other universities.
If 30,000 tickets or more are sold, sizable revenue will be generated for both schools, Dawson said.
The athletic director praised Rod Broadway, GSU’s head football coach. Dawson said Broadway is a fine coach who emphasizes winning championships, graduating players and developing leaders.
Broadway expressed appreciation for his players. “Our kids will stand up and fight because that’s the kind of character they have,” he said.
“I think I have the best job in Black college football,” said Broadway.
The game will feature freshman quarterback Anthony Carruthers, but the G-Men will be without Christian Anthony, the All-American defensive end who was sidelined after suffering chest pains after a recent practice.
“Christian is doing much better,” Broadway said. “He is very blessed . He is attending class and being a regular student.”
While the press conference had its serious moments, levity was the general order of the day. The presidents of the two universities, Dr. Frank Pogue of GSU and Dr. Daniel Reneau of Louisiana Tech, bantered throughout the meeting.
The Grambling State president shared an anecdote about a conversation he had with a Louisiana Tech football player who recognized him. Dr. Pogue said the player told him, “I do want you to win, but don’t tell anybody.”
Both presidents made note of the historic nature of not just the game, but also the site where the press conference was being held.
“I have the privilege of standing here,” said Dr. Reneau, expressing his thoughts on what a special man GSU’s late, great football coach Eddie G. Robinson was. Dr. Reneau also lauded Dr. Pogue as “a gentleman and a scholar” who is “doing a great job.”
“This is more than a football game,” said Dr. Pogue. “It’s going to do a lot for our spirit.”
“Regardless of the outcome, we are both winners,” he said.