Monday, August 31, 2015

Aggies notebook: A&T names freshman Lamar Raynard starting QB

GREENSBORO, North Carolina — Lamar Raynard has been named the starting quarterback for N.C. A&T’s season-opening football game against Shaw on Saturday night at Aggie Stadium.

Raynard, a redshirt freshman from High Point, didn’t play a single down for the Aggies last season.

“He’s going to be nervous,” A&T coach Rod Broadway said Monday. “It’s natural to be nervous going into your first game. Hopefully he has enough support around him where we can calm him down and get him to play at the level we need him to play.”

Raynard was named the starter over incumbent senior Kwashaun Quick, who won’t start a season opener for the first time in his career.


Big Easy Blastoff produces many XU facility records

NEW ORLEANS — It was a record-setting two days at the Big Easy Blastoff, the season-opening women's volleyball tournament that Xavier University of Louisiana hosted.
By tournament's end, the six schools combined to set or tie 17 Convocation Center records in 10 matches. A few highlights:
•  Shahala Hawkins of NAIA No. 19 Wayland Baptist broke the facility record for kills in a match twice Friday. She had 24 in a victory against Mobile in the morning, then blasted 28 more in the afternoon in a victory against Faulkner. Both matches lasted four sets. Hawkins, a senior, was first-team NAIA All-America in 2014.
•  Hawkins produced a Convocation Center-record nine blocks Saturday in a sweep of Loyola. Her six blocks against Xavier matched the most by an XU opponent.

 •  Seven times the facility record for digs in a match was tied or broken, with Loyola's Breanna Stevenson earning the mark when she had 34 in the final match, a five-set Wolf Pack victory against Mississippi Valley State.

The Convocation Center opened in November 2012 and became the site of XU home matches in 2013. It was the first time that the Gold Nuggets played host to their own tournament.
Xavier didn't set any records, but senior CeCe Williams produced a pair of kill-dig double-doubles — as many as she produced her previous three seasons.
Next for the Gold Nuggets (2-2) will be four matches in the Mariner Invitational at Brunswick, Ga.

They'll play Friday against Bethel (Ind.) at 9 a.m. EDT and NAIA No. 20 Coastal Georgia at 1 p.m.

The Gold Nuggets' next home match will be their Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opener, 7 p.m. Sept. 7 against Talladega.
Here are all the Convocation Center records set or tied Friday and Saturday:

Kills:  28 — Shahala Hawkins, Wayland Baptist, vs. Faulkner
Attacks:  73 — Shahala Hawkins, Wayland Baptist, vs. Faulkner
Aces by an Opponent:  4 — Nicole Armstrong, Mobile, vs. Wayland Baptist
Aces by an XU Opponent:  3 — Nicole Armstrong, Mobile (tied mark)
Blocks:  9 — Shahala Hawkins, Wayland Baptist, vs. Loyola
Blocks by an XU Opponent:  6 — Shahala Hawkins, Wayland Baptist (tied mark)

Kills by an Opponent:  64 — Loyola vs. Mississippi Valley State
Kills by an XU Opponent:  61 — Mobile
Hitting Percentage by an XU Opponent:  .299 — Wayland Baptist
Attacks:  214 — Wayland Baptist vs. Faulkner
Aces:  9 — Faulkner vs. Mississippi Valley State and Mobile vs. Wayland Baptist
Aces by an XU Opponent:  7 — Mobile (tied mark)
Digs:  104 — Wayland Baptist vs. Faulkner
Blocks by an Opponent:  64 — Mississippi Valley State vs. Loyola
Blocks by an XU Opponent:  10 — Wayland Baptist
Most Errors by an Opponent:  51 — Loyola vs. Mississippi Valley State
Fewest Errors by an XU Opponent:  22 — Faulkner and Wayland Baptist

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

NSU Football Coach Ready For New Season Team Displays New Uniforms At Media Day

NORFOLK, Virginia  -- Members of the NSU football team proudly displayed their new uniforms for the 2015 season during Media Day at Price Stadium on Sunday (August 23). Gone are the bright yellow helmets from the past few seasons as they have been replaced by solid green helmets with a gold stripe down the center. The Spartans’ new head coach, Latrell Scott, answered some questions from the New Journal and Guide about the upcoming season.

New Journal and Guide: What type of offense will the NSU fans see this season? Will it be exciting with reverses and trick plays?

Coach Scott: We are going to do whatever it takes to score. What is exciting to the fans may not always work. We do have some unique formations and play designs that should help us get into the end zone.

NJG: NSU kicker Cameron Marouf is one of the better kickers in the MEAC. Will NSU go by the motto: ‘3-points adds up’ and send Cameron out to kick a field goal rather than go for it on fourth down?

Coach Scott: I think we have found Cameron’s ...


Pough confident S.C. State ready to go despite suspensions

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina -- S.C. State head football coach Buddy Pough is excited about starting the 2015 season before a national audience on ESPN in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday.

He’s not so excited about being without four suspended players stemming from an on-field brawl between the Bulldogs and Norfolk State players in a game last November. Those players include starting senior tailback and preseason second-team All-MEAC selection Jalen “Scoot” Simmons, along with his 1,162 yards rushing and nine touchdowns last season.

Along with Simmons being relegated to standing on the sideline for one game, other suspended Bulldogs include redshirt senior defensive lineman James Settles, red-shirt sophomore defensive end Gregtavious Newell and sophomore quarterback-turned-wide receiver Calvin Giles-McCray (who just had hand surgery and will miss more time).

“I guess it’s time for us to ...


Miles football preview: Golden Bears trying to keep pace with Tuskegee in SIAC West race

FAIRFIELD, Alabama -- Miles College has posted four consecutive winning seasons, but the Golden Bears from Fairfield have some catching up to do not only in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, but in their own state.

Downstate rival Tuskegee has won the SIAC championship in two of the last three years, and is the overwhelming preseason favorite to do so again in 2015. Miles — which last won the SIAC in 2011 — was picked second by league coaches in the West Division, behind the Golden Tigers.

Miles has finished 6-4 in back-to-back seasons, missing out on a second straight berth in the SIAC championship game when it lost 48-33 to Tuskegee in the regular-season finale. Reginald Ruffin's Golden Bears are 27-16 the last four seasons, but have not reached the NCAA Division II playoffs since 2012.

The Golden Bears won't do so in 2015 either, whether they win the SIAC or not. Miles has chosen to play this year in the annual Turkey Day Classic Nov. 21 against Alabama State in Montgomery, a move that disqualifies the Golden Bears from the playoffs (but not the SIAC championship game).


Tuskegee, Stillman season preview: SIAC contenders facing different challenges

TUSKEGEE, Alabama -- A year after winning the SIAC championship, Tuskegee was unanimously picked to win the conference's Western Division. Hold your horses, 10th-year head coach Willie Slater says.

"Sounds like the high expectations (belong to) the ones who did the polls," Slater said of the league's coaches. "I'm a little concerned because we're going to be young in some areas that are very important areas."

Leading receiver Marquel Gardner and returning offensive tackle Kelvin Shelton were preseason All-SIAC honorees on offense. Linebacker Jewel Ratliff, defensive end Julian Morgan and safety Michael Robinson earned defensive honors.

Ratliff had 8.5 sacks and three interceptions from his defensive end position. Morgan had 13.5 tackles, 9.5 for loss.

Linebacker Osband Thompson, defensive end Darian Hall and defensive back Cedric Huff also return to spark the defense.


5 Rutgers things to know Monday: Game-planning for Norfolk State (VIDEO)

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey -- The Rutgers football coaching staff shouldn't be unfamiliar with Norfolk State, having game-planned for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference squad as recently as 2013.

But that was a Norfolk State coaching staff under the direction of Pete Adrian, who retired last November following 10 seasons at the helm of the NCAA Division I-AA program.

Latrell Scott was appointed in his place, becoming the 17th head coaching in Norfolk State in mid-December.

Scott arrived after a successful two-year stint as the head coach of Virginia State University, a Division II program that compiled a 19-4 record and two Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Northern Division regular-season titles in his two seasons on the sideline.