McNeese Hosts Second-Annual Victory Day at Cowboy Stadium

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 7:46 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - When Gary Goff was hired as the next head coach of the McNeese football team prior to the 2022 season, one thing he brought with him was ‘Victory Day’ a day for the Cowboys to take a break from practice and to focus on something maybe a little more important; to help those who are less fortunate.

Victory Day is a day where children who are cognitively, and physically impaired are able to play football, cheer, and participate in gameday activities at Cowboy Stadium, and as Coach Goff explains, it’s one of his favorite days every year.

“It’s just a great event, it’s really good to give back to the community, it’s priceless seeing these children with the smiles on their faces, their families watching them score a touchdown, and their name being called out over the PA system. It’s just a lot of fun it really is. This is what it’s all about, giving children an opportunity to experience something they wouldn’t be able to take part in otherwise, and I’m really proud of our players, they’re having a lot of fun with these children and giving them a great experience.”

2022 was the first time the event had been held in Lake Charles and then Cowboys wide receiver and quarterback Walker Wood described the day saying “I’m probably having more fun than these kids, giving them these opportunities, and just celebrating them,” and one year later, the same remains true as new McNeese quarterback Nate Glantz, who transferred to McNeese from Iowa State said it was a great night.

“This is everything, I think as you grow up and get older, you understand that you’re very fortunate to be in the position that you’re in, and you understand that some others are not. I’ve done things like this in the past and it always just reminds me to be very thankful, be understanding that you should wake up and understand how thankful you are, and everyone is just as important as you. So doing these events, being out here with the people of Lake Charles, and kids like Rider right here, I mean I’ve got a friend for life right here, so it’s been awesome and this experience truly has been amazing,” said Glantz.

The Cowboys truly are fulfilling dreams for children to have the opportunity to participate in something they wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise, and for Victory Day participant Aidan Mulligan, it was just that: a dream come true.

“This is the best time of my life,” said Mulligan.

“It’s been Aidan’s dream his whole life, his big brother plays football, his friends play football, but he has a VP Shunt in his brain, and so he’s not ever been able to play football. It’s been his dream, and to see the joy on his face right now, and when he ran and did the play and everything, I bawled, I’m not going to lie.”

In addition to being able to experience what it’s like to be a Cowboy on gameday, Victory Day participants were invited to come back to Cowboy Stadium to see the McNeese Cowboys on a gameday, as they were given two tickets to a 2023 McNeese Football home game, plus a medal commemorating the day.