HAMMOND, La. -- The biggest football game in Southeastern Louisiana University's history kicks off Saturday afternoon.
But today, the school and the community got ready for all of the big time benefits the attention could bring.
“Touchdown” was yelled during a pick-up football game among students Friday morning, and it’s something they hope to hear a lot of tomorrow as their Lions aim to grab their first, in a long time, outright Southland Conference championship and a spot in the FCS playoffs.
The students are loud and proud about their excitement.
"I'm really excited that I get to be a student at Southeastern when all of this is going on, just to be here to see it all," said junior Victoria McCarson.
The school isn't being shy about the benefits, off the field, that this game could bring. University leaders anticipate the regional and national exposure will increase enrollment and interest in the school, which will likely result in more financial support being sent their way.
SLU Athletics Director Jay Artigues said, "The student body experience they are having at Southeastern now because of the success of the athletics is something they will remember down the road, which is important as alumni."
The game isn't just a big deal for this school or the students, it's very important for this community as well.
The support is shown for all to see at La Carreta's in Hammond because the owner, and the community, make sure to let the Lions know they're loved. And it pays.
"All of the staff will be wearing Southeastern this weekend, especially tomorrow with the big game,” sais Nicole Anthony, the manager, “and hopefully we have a great crowd coming from the other school, as well as our school"
The slogan "Our town, Our team" will be on full display for what many hope will be a Lions victory for the record books and the bank books.
The school’s soccer team also recently secured a championship title and is competing in the NCAA tournament tonight. Kickoff for the football game is 3 p.m. Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.