GSU ready for TSU

A strike that lasted nearly a week by Grambling State University’s football team brought nationwide attention to the football program, especially with them forfeiting the game against rival Jackson State University (6-2, 6-0 SWAC).

With the team’s new interim coach Dennis Winston, the Tigers are now focused on their upcoming game against Texas Southern. Winston believes he was designated by the team to be the interim coach. Winston spoke about the player unrest. 

“I think they’ve touched people’s heart,” said Winston. “They’ve made people aware of things at the university, that’s what we need.” 

The past week was a very stressful one for Winston and when asked to describe it, he said, “Sleepless, I’ve spent most of the time worried about the kids.” The players ended their strike Monday and began practicing. The players were very happy to be back on the practice field. “They came out, they were energetic, they were ready to play,” stated Winston. 

Winston took the interim job after George Ragsdale was fired last week. He has been the defensive coordinator of the team all season. Winston is all about the players and maintains that as the reason he took the interim job.

“The one reason why I did take the interim job was because of the kids,” acknowledged Winston. 

Texas Southern (1-6, 1-5 SWAC) sits one game ahead of Grambling (0-8, 0-5 SWAC) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Winning the game would put Grambling in third place in the western division. With the nation paying attention to this game, it would be excellent for the Tigers to come out victorious.

“Everybody wants to see how the players are going to react after the situation that happened,” said Winston.

A win would be good for the Tigers right now “it would be one of the greatest things here to ever happen at Grambling State University,” Winston continued.  

Lack of depth has plagued Grambling’s defense all year. This is one of the reasons they have given up so many points, but Winston refuses to fall back on that excuse. 

“We don’t use excuses,” he said. “Excuses are for quitters, we aren’t quitters” 

The Tigers have four games left, two of them are at home. Grambling plays Texas Southern and Mississippi Valley at home while they play Arkansas -Pine Bluff and Southern away. The Tigers refused to the game against Jackson State last Saturday dropping them to 0-8. 

Winston remains optimistic about the opportunity the team has in the next four games.

 “We could get on a good winning streak right here,” said Winston. “We want to try to win all four of these last games, you always want to end on a winning note.” 

GSU will take on the Texas Southern Tigers Saturday at 2 p.m. in Eddie Robinson Stadium. This is also Grambling State University’s annual High School Day.