While the Southwestern Athletic Conference may be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, conference schools have moved athletic competitions to the spring due to ongoing pandemic concerns.
Fans are understandably disappointed about the absence of G-Men from the field.
Former GSU running back Martez Carter said although there will be no football in the fall, the pandemic provides a great opportunity for players to become better athletes and a better team.
Widely known for being one of the most exciting players in the SWAC Conference, Carter flourished during his time at Grambling.
Carter entered the NFL in 2018 as a member of the Saints. In 2019 he was on the Washington Football Team roster. He had plans to play for the Green Bay Packers, which were derailed by an injury.
This spring he played in the XFL for the Los Angeles Xtreme before the league collapsed under the weight of the pandemic.
Just like many others, Carter had plans to attend what games his time allowed, but feels the best decision was made in cancellation of the season due to concerns surrounding Covid.
“I planned on going to all the big games, some home games, away games if I could, and definitely homecoming!” Carter said. “But it’s good to see the safety of student-athletes is a top priority, and not about ticket sales, and school exposures.”
According to the official SWAC website, all 10 SWAC schools have schedules for the upcoming 2021 spring football season; which kicks off the weekend of Feb. 27.
Five league games are scheduled to be played on that date with Grambling being one of those teams, as they face Prairie View A&M for the annual State Fair Classic in Dallas.
Rumors are circulating that teams will have the option to drop stats for the spring if they had a bad season and start fresh in the fall.
“[I]f that’s true, it’s still good for the players to have gained that playing time, film footage, experience, exposure, and the opportunity to mesh as a team,” Carter said.
Recently Carter attended a Grambling football practice and had a chance to get on the field to talk and work with some of the current running-backs; encouraging them and providing a few tips for success on the field.
Carter said he knows it means so much to the athletes to be able to play but encourages the team to look at a spring roster in a positive light.
He will also use this down time from the outbreak to heal and regain strength as he tore his achilles tendon in his right leg just weeks before beginning to practice for the Packers.
Carter’s recovery time is said to be between five to 10 months, but he is confident that he will be field ready more quickly.
Just like Carter, other Grambling fans are eager to see their beloved G-Men hit the field.
But many believe it is worth it to wait a few more months for Grambling football.
The leaves have begun to fall, and soon the frost will bite. Then the flowers will begin to bloom, and the air will soon smell of GSU football as we have all been anticipating.
For an official GSU Spring 2021 Football schedule, visit www.swac.org.