RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On Saturday, 12 N.C. State senior football players will run out of the Carter-Finley tunnel one final time.
One at a time, the seniors will jog to the 50-yard line where head coach Dave Doeren will give an embrace.
In years past that would be followed by a hug from mom and dad as well a girlfriend, brother or sister possibly.
But not this year.
Not in 2020.
Parents are not allowed on the field, so after each player is announced the group will gather in front of the statue in the endzone for a group picture with parents.
The festivities may take on a different look, but Senior Day will be just as important as ever.
“It’s a day that as a coach I take very personal for them,” said Doeren of his senior players. “In their home stadium, it’s their last time out together. Last time through the tunnel a series of lasts.”
Even though the seniors have an opportunity to return for another season due to the pandemic, they say they’ll approach Senior Day as if it will be their last game at home.
“I’m looking forward to it,” admitted guard Joe Sculthorpe. “I’m looking forward to the chance at playing at Carter Finley Stadium one last time.
The 2020 class may be small in numbers but it’s certainly not lacking academically.
Eight of the twelve seniors have already graduated.
The other four are on track to join them.
“It definitely feels great to graduate,” said tight end Cary Angeline. “N.C. State is a great university and I’m grateful for the opportunity to come here.
“Being a transfer student I want to thank coach Doeren, it’s definitely been great here so far.”
Doeren has repeatedly stated how much fun he’s had coaching this team, led by a group of seniors who have helped turn around a program coming off a 4-8 campaign.
“It’s a special group,” Doeren said. “I remember my senior day as a player. We want to honor them and do our best for them as they leave our program.”
And most likely a tear will be shed on a day that will be remembered forever.
“It’s something I will probably be talking about the rest of my life, telling my kids and grandkids all about that,” said Sculthorpe. “Hopefully I can end it off with a sweet victory to enjoy with my teammates.”
N.C. State hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday, kickoff is set for 4 p.m.
The Wolfpack seniors have an opportunity to make school history on Saturday.
With a win over the Yellow Jackets, the Wolfpack will have earned their seventh ACC win of the year – a feat never before accomplished by a State team.
N.C. State hasn’t won at home against Tech since 2000 – when Philip Rivers was a freshman and head coach Chuck Amato was in his first year at the helm.
2020 N.C. State seniors
Louis Acceus, LB
Cary Angeline, TE
Dylan Autenrieth, TE
Emeka Emezie, WR
Chris Ingram, CB
Daniel Joseph, DE
Val Martin, DE
Tyrone Riley, OT
Thomas Ruocchio, TE
Joe Sculthorpe, OG
Matthew Wagner, DB
Justin Witt, OT
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