NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – To allow team members, students, and faculty time to mourn the death of Ronnie Caldwell, Jr. the Northwestern State University Demon football team has canceled its scheduled game against Nicholls State on Saturday.
The 21-year-old transferred to NSU from Tyler Junior College at the end of the 2021 football season and was as good on the field as he was in the classroom according to information published on the NSU Demons website.
Caldwell was named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll which recognizes student-athletes who attain at least a 3.0 GPA during the semester of their competition.
An injury sidelined Caldwell preventing him from seeing any on-field action this season but Demons Head Coach Brad Laird said, “his voice resonated with every member of our team from the first player to the 115th on our roster.” Laird said Caldwell traveled with the team throughout the 2023 season serving as a “de facto defensive assistant coach.”
NSU’s release concluded with a question mark as to whether or not the remainder of the season will be played, “Decisions around the season’s remaining football games will be made as the season progresses.”
The issue of gun violence is becoming more prevalent in the city of Natchitoches and Mayor Ronnie Williams penned an open letter expressing heartbreak for the Caldwell family and others who have this type of profound loss. Williams also asserted the city’s steadfast commitment to addressing the issue.
“The City of Natchitoches mourns the loss of Ronnie Caldwell, Jr. I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and all those who knew and loved this young man.
In the wake of this devastating loss, let us celebrate his life and the incredible impact he had as a member of the Northwestern State University Football team on the coaching staff, his teammates, and the University. This is a heartbreaking moment that affects not only his immediate family and friends, but also the entire Natchitoches community. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you navigate this profound loss.
While I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I know he touched so many lives in unique and meaningful ways, leaving cherished memories that will last a lifetime. These memories will keep his spirit alive in our hearts.
In the memory of Ronnie Caldwell, Jr. and others who have lost their lives to gun violence, the City of Natchitoches remains dedicated to preventing further tragedies. Let us unite and work towards a safer and more peaceful future for our beloved City. Please know that the Natchitoches Police Department is working diligently to bring the person responsible for Ronnie’s death to justice.”
With deepest sympathies,
Mayor Ronnie Williams, Jr.