TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – On Friday morning the Indiana State Sycamores took the field at Memorial Stadium in preparation for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory. That’s due to the fact that ISU did not play a fall or spring season. By the time they take the field to host Eastern Illinois in the season opener, it will have been nearly two years since they’ve played a game.
Head coach Curt Mallory enters year five of his tenure for the Sycamores. He’s relying on veteran leaders to help set the tone for youngers players. “I told the older guys I had them stand up last night and I said you guys got to do a great job of leading and we’ve got a lot of young guys as well we’ve got a lot of older guys and so the older guys got to help the younger guys and we’re going to have a great camp,” Mallory said.
Two of the veterans he’s likely referring to are junior wide receiver Dante Hendrix who led the team in receiving with 653 yards two years ago. As well as senior defensive lineman Inoke Moala, who finished with three and a half sacks and 31 total tackles.
“We brought a lot of young guys in and I want to be someone where they can come to me if they’re having problems on or off the field I just want to be a leader to them like there’s many guys that were leaders to me so I just want to pass that along to them,” Hendrix said.
Added Inoke “It’s a blessing we’re grateful we haven’t played in about 20 months so we’re never going to take this game for granted come out here and compete practice hard for each other and look forward to the season,” Moala said.
Meanwhile the offensive line features Isaiah Edwards who will provide the necessary time for the pass game to flourish. He shared a team slogan that the guys take to heart. “1… 11… 1 so you know one individual 11 heartbeats and then we all come together as one and I think that’ll be our strongest thing is just the fact that we come together as a unit because we’ve got talent at every spot,” Edwards said.
Indiana State opens the season at home on Saturday August 28th against Eastern Illinois. That game is slated for a 6 pm kickoff.