Tuesday, April 30, 2013

UAPB's Terron Armstead is the most intriguing and important rookie on the New Orleans Saints roster

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana  --  Left tackle is one of the few things the New Orleans Saints have gotten right over the years.

Even before Drew Brees and Sean Payton arrived, the Saints have manned the offense's second most important position with a standout blocker. It's largely been a position of strength for two decades.

Dating to 1994, the Saints have started a Pro Bowl-caliber player at left tackle every season. The lone exceptions were 2003, 2004 and 2005 when veteran Wayne Gandy was signed to bridge the gap between Kyle Turley and Jammal Brown. Before them, Hall of Famer Willie Roaf had the job. For the last three years, it's been in the capable, powerful hands of Jermon Bushrod. That foursome combined to make 15 Pro Bowls and nine All-Pro teams.

The run ended when Bushrod signed with the Chicago Bears in March free agency. His departure left the Saints with a yawning hole on their left flank, a situation that Saints coach Sean Payton admitted in March made him lose sleep.

Rule No. 1 in Payton's offense is protect Brees. It all starts there. The security Bushrod and Brown provided to Brees has been one of the least appreciated factors behind the offense's unprecedented prolificacy.

UAPB Golden Lions Wrap- Up Spring Practice with Black and Gold Game

PINE BLUFF, Arkansas  --  On Saturday, with the campus still buzzing from Terron Armstead's draft announcement, head coach Monte Coleman and his coaching staff closed out their 2013 spring drills with the annual Black and Gold game at Golden Lions Stadium.

With the marching Musical Machine of the Mid- South, M-4, and a host of Golden Lions fans in the stands, two squads comprised of current Golden Lions players took the field in a 80-plus play scrimmage. Red shirt junior quarterback Ben Anderson, who led the Golden Lions to the 2012 SWAC championship was the signal caller for the gold squad; while freshman Brandon Duncan was responsible for the black squad.

The Black Squad got on the score board first, as Duncan hit Joel Porchia on 25-yard fade pattern to the back pylon of the end zone to give the black squad the early lead. Sophomore kicker Tyler Strickland, who kicked the game winning field in the SWAC championship game, tacked on the PAT to make the score read 7-0.

After the black team caused a fumble, Strickland would knock down a field goal to push the black team's point to 10. The gold team offense moved to ball between the thirties but couldn't quite finish drives early in the game to match the productivity that black team offense was able to produce. With the ball back in tow and Duncan under center, the black team offense would reach pay dirt once again as Michael Wilson crossed the goal line from five yards out for a 17-0 lead.

Both squads would go into the intermission looking to regroup and pick up right where they left off. Coleman and his staff wanted to simulate real game time situations; so they played four 12-minute quarters with game officials.

Anderson seemed to be the Anderson of old, as he rambled off long scampers to move his gold squad down the field and put them in scoring position. Mid-way through the third quarter that's just what he did. On a delayed quarterback draw, Anderson scrambled up the middle form about ten yards out to give the gold team new life, with first score of the afternoon. Strickland handled all kicking duties and added the PAT for a 17-7 score.

After a black team interception, Anderson once again led the gold team on a comeback. This time he marched the team down the field to set up a first and ten situation from the 11 yard line. The gold team offense then took three shots at the end zone, before Strickland would be called upon for a field goal attempt, which was successful closing the black team's margin to seven.

The gold team defense held the black team offense to three and out, forcing a turnover on downs, but time would expire on the gold team's efforts. Anderson, with time running out took a shot at the back of the end zone only to have his receiver come down out of bounds as the clock read zero; giving the game its final, 17-10.

“I was pleased with enthusiasm of our players today. We saw some things we liked and some areas where we want to improve”, said Coleman. “We structured our camp to be a little tougher than normal because we wanted to push our kids. We don't want to be a one hit wonder. We are looking to defend our title and win many more.”


2013 NFL Draft: FAMU's Brandon Hepburn talks about being picked by Lions

Brandon Hepburn, #52 rulls down a USF Bull.
(Photo Courtesy: FAMU Athletics) 
DETROIT, Michigan  --  Below is a recap of what linebacker Brandon Hepburn had to say about being picked in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions on Saturday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On making the most of his time at Florida A&M: "Well, yeah, I actually came in as a tight end. I came in actually as a walk-on. I first played tight end and I redshirted the 2008 season. I came in and earned myself a scholarship that next semester, so that was a blessing. I did my best at the tight end position. I was a blocking tight end and the second tight end in our option. Then I moved to outside linebacker and started a few games in 2010. Moving into the 2011 season, I played primarily outside and also the inside linebacker during dime packages. Toward the end of the season I played mostly the inside backer in our 3-4 scheme. Moving into the 2012 season, I just cut loose, kind of put it all together and just tried to put my best foot forward. So, I believe my body kind of stands tall along with the things that God has been able to do with my life. I'm ecstatic to be a Detroit Lion and I'm ready to go to work."

On how the Lions are looking at him: "There are still some things I'm still figuring out. I'm still caught up in the ...

Four Alabama State Hornets To Get NFL Opportunity

MONTGOMERY, Alabama  --  Former Alabama State players Terren Jones, Kejuan Riley,  Saeed Lee and Greg Jenkins will get the opportunity to pursue an NFL career.

Jones has signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons, and will be joined in Atlanta by Riley and Lee, both of whom will get tryouts in rookie camp. Jenkins will have a tryout with the Raiders.

“It's a blessing,” Alabama State head coach Reggie Barlow said. “These four guys have been great players for the University. I'm proud of them. The opportunity is all they can ask for. Nigel Carr was given this same chance last year, and he made the best of it (with the eventual Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens). I'm confident all four of these gentlemen can play in the NFL. This is outstanding for our program to have four guys get an opportunity at the NFL level. I commend our coaches for doing a good job in recruiting these talented players and know they will represent us well.”

Jones (6-7, 320, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., played in the Raycom All-Star Game in January, was named to  six All-America team this offseason: Sheridan Broadcasting Network, The Sports Network, American Football Coaches Association, the Associated Press, Boxtorow.com, and College Sporting News.  In 2012, the three-time All-SWAC selection helped the Hornets gain more than 400 yards four times and score at least 30 points in six consecutive games. Alabama State rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season with a conference-best 31 rushing touchdowns.

“It's a huge blessing,” Jones said. “They didn't draft any linemen, so I knew I needed to jump on this opportunity. I look forward to the opportunity to compete.”

Riley (6-2, 208, Wetumkpa, Ala.) was another consensus All-America selection: Sheridan Broadcasting Network, Sports Network, American Football Coaches Association, Boxtorow.com, and College Sporting News. Riley, who played in the 2013 East-West Shrine Game, completed his stellar career as Alabama State's career leader in both interceptions (21) and interception return yards (348). Riley, who led or tied for the conference lead in interceptions each of the final three years, finished his career with 231 tackles (145 solo) with four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He also averaged 22.3 yards on 15 kick returns and 7.5 yards on 28 punt returns during his career.

“This is a great chance for me to show I can compete with the best and show everybody I belong,” Riley said. “Going into this process, I felt all I needed was one opportunity. I'm going in with a chip on my shoulder and it's going to stay there.”

Lee (5-11, 160, SR, Miami, Fla.)was a two-year starter and four-year letterman for the Hornets, and finished his career 115 tackles (71 solo) with five interceptions, a pair of sacks and four fumble recoveries. Lee, along with Jones, played in the Raycom All-Star Game in January.

“It's a great blessing from God,” Lee said. “However, I haven't done anything yet. It's great to have my teammates there. Coming from the same school, we have the same chip on our shoulders to prove ourselves.”

Jenkins (6-1, 205, SR, Dade City, Fla.), who graduated from Alabama State earlier in December with a degree in criminal justice, finished his Hornet athletic career ranked sixth in total offense (4,003 yards) and eighth in passing yards (3,166). Jenkins, who played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and played both quarterback and wide receiver during the practice week and in the game, accounted for 35 touchdowns (20 passing/15 rushing) in winning 13 of 19 career starts while playing in 21 career games in two seasons with the Hornets. This past season, Jenkins set career highs in passing yards (1,691), rushing yards (507) and rushing touchdowns (eight) while passing for nine touchdowns.

“It's a blessing to have this opportunity,” Jenkins said, who will likely get his NFL opportunity at the receiver position. “I can't wait to get back on the field.”


Very Latest Update: HBCU's 2013 NFL Undrafted Free Agent Signings

Arizona Cardinals
Jamaal-Johnson Webb, OL, Alabama A&M    VIDEO
Padric Scott, DT, Florida A&M   VIDEO

Atlanta Falcons
Brandon Thurmond, OLB, Arkansas Pine-Bluff    VIDEO
Terren Jones, OL, Alabama State   VIDEO
Kejuan Riley, FS, Alabama State  VIDEO
Saeed Lee, CB, Alabama State

Baltimore Ravens
Roger Gaines, OT, Tennessee State 

Buffalo Bills
Keith Pough, LB, Howard    VIDEO
Vernon Kearney, CB, Lane College

Dallas Cowboys
Jakar Hamilton, FS, South Carolina State

Detroit Lions
Travis Tarpley, WR, Delaware State   VIDEO

Green Bay Packers
Jamal Giddens, LB, Norfolk State

Kansas City Chiefs
Kaderius Lacey, RB, Alabama A&M   VIDEO
Rico Richardson, WR, Jackson State    VIDEO

New Orleans Saints
Nathan Hoyte, RB, Albany State (Ga.)
Ronnie Tubbs, WR, Albany State (Ga.)

New York Giants
Justin Blash, DT, Albany State (Ga.)

New York Jets
KJ Stroud, WR, Bethune-Cookman   VIDEO

Oakland Raiders
Kentrell Harris, DE, Virginia Union DE  VIDEO
Greg Jenkins, QB/WR, Alabama State  VIDEO

San Francisco 49ers
Sherman Carter, OL, Tennessee State  VIDEO

Seattle Seahawks
Jajuan Harley, S, Tennessee State

St. Louis Rams
Joseph LeBeau, LB, Jackson State  VIDEO

Tennessee Titans
Travis Harvey, WR, Florida A&M    VIDEO

Updated: 6:59 a.m., 4/30/13  beepbeep

Monday, April 29, 2013

Alabama State picks up commitment from JUCO F Maurice Strong

SWAINSBORO, Georgia --  Alabama State basketball seems to have addressed one of its biggest areas of need the day before the NCAA's spring signing period begins.

With the departure of 6-foot-7 forward tandem seniors Phillip Crawford and Shawntez Patterson, the Hornets have added strength to their frontline---literally.

Tuesday morning, online reports surfaced that 6-6 JUCO power forward Maurice Strong had committed to Alabama State.

CB Hoops, an outlet out of Columbus, broke the news first via its Twitter account.

Strong averaged a double-double at Aiken Technical College as a sophomore, putting up 14.6 points while shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 10 rebounds in 27 games for a Knight's squad which finished a couple games below .500. at 13-15. Their season ended with a 78-74 loss to Cape Fear Community College in the first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 10 D-1 tournament.


Johnetta Harris-Perry Named TSU Women’s Basketball Coach

Johnetta Hayes-Perry
Head Women's Basketball Coach
Texas Southern University
HOUSTON, Texas  --  Texas Southern University Director of Athletics Dr. Charles McClelland has announced that current TSU associate head coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry has been named the next head women’s basketball coach at Texas Southern.

Hayes-Perry arrived to Texas Southern after a two year stint at UNC-Wilmington, where she spent two seasons as an assistant coach on former TSU head women’s basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dykes’ staff. At UNCW Hayes-Perry was a part of a staff that led the program to two 20 win seasons and two postseason appearances. This past season Hayes-Perry was instrumental in the Lady Tigers historic success as Texas Southern participated in the WNIT postseason for the first time in school history.

Texas Southern clinched the number one seed at the 2013 SWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament after winning the schools’ first regular season championship in school history. The Lady Tigers won 15 straight games dating from Jan. 4 to Feb. 28. The Lady Tigers also set new school records for consecutive wins (15) and overall wins during the regular season (20) during their 2012-13 campaign. Freshman Te’era Williams was named SWAC Freshman of the Year while fellow teammate Brianna Sidney was named to the All-SWAC Second Team.

“At the beginning of this process one of our main priorities was to maintain continuity within the program,” said McClelland. “We also wanted to solidify the current recruiting class. The hiring of Coach Hayes-Perry has given us the opportunity to fulfill those major goals of our search.”

Prior to coaching at UNC-Wilmington, Hayes-Perry spent time as an assistant coach at North Texas. In her two seasons in Denton, she played a pivotal role in the development of the Mean Green’s frontcourt as North Texas’ post players set numerous career-bests in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots in her time with the program. She also played a key role in the development of Jasmine Godbout, who became just the second player in program history to earn league Rookie-of-the-Year honors when she was named the Sun Belt’s top newcomer in 2009-10.

Before her stint at North Texas, Hayes-Perry served as head coach at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, where she guided the NAIA program to 42 victories in her two seasons. Hayes-Perry led the Wildcats to a 29-7 record in 2007-08 and helped the school earn its first-ever national ranking as Wiley finished the campaign ranked No. 22 in the country. The 2007-08 Red River Athletic Conference Coach-of-the-Year, Hayes-Perry coached seven all-conference players and the RRAC Newcomer-of-the-Year in 2007-08. Hayes-Perry got her initial start in coaching serving as a graduate assistant at Prairie View A&M under Cooper-Dyke.

“We’re extremely excited about the future of the women’s basketball at Texas Southern with Coach Hayes-Perry at the helm of the program,” said McClelland. “She has significant experience coaching at the Division I level and she also brings with her head coaching experience. We feel that Coach Hayes-Perry undoubtedly provides us with the best option towards making Texas Southern a legitimate contender in the current landscape of women’s college basketball.”

During her playing days Hayes-Perry was a prolific defensive player and four-year letterwinner at Rice. She was a 2003 first-team All-WAC selection after leading the Owls in scoring, rebounds, blocked shots and field goal percentage. She ranked 16th in the nation that season in blocked shots per game, averaging 2.46 rejections per contest. Hayes-Perry is second all-time in blocked shots at Rice with 142 and ranks sixth in school history with a career rebounding average of 8.1 rpg per game.

“I would like to thank Texas Southern University President Dr. John Rudley, the TSU Board of Regents, and Director of Athletics Dr. Charles McClelland for giving me the opportunity to continue building a legacy here at Texas Southern,” said Hayes-Perry. “I’m really excited and I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Lady Tiger family. I truly feel that our program is headed in a positive direction and I feel like we’ll be able to compete at a high level in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.”

A native of Houston, Hayes-Perry got her head coaching start in 2004 at her alma mater, Sterling High School. In one season at Sterling, she won 22 games and advanced her team to the playoffs. She graduated from Rice in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology and has a Master’s Degree in education administration from Prairie View A&M. Hayes-Perry is married to Merceda Perry Jr. and the couple has a daughter Khloe’ Perry (1).

What They Are Saying About Johnetta Hayes-Perry

“With all that goes into being a coach at the Division I level, what most impresses me about Johnetta Hayes-Perry is her ability to place the integrity of the program, the welfare of the student-athletes, and the foresight of the university above all. Coach Hayes-Perry demonstrates on a daily basis that winning is a state of mind.”
-Cynthia Cooper-Dyke head coach at the University of Southern California (USC)

“Johnetta has been committed to coaching, is knowledgeable and has been eager to learn. She has put herself in various positions and always succeeded in those positions. She has been inquisitive about coaching and looks to expand her knowledge in all areas of this profession. I know that Johnetta is ready to lead the Texas Southern University women’s basketball program both on the court and off. Her ties to Texas make her a natural for recruiting in the state. Johnetta will continue to grow the program on the court, be a great role model for the young ladies that come through the program and a great representative for Texas Southern in the community.”
-Cristy McKinney former head coach at Rice University and Clemson University, currently assistant coach at Elon University


Ramon Flanigan Introduced As The Lincoln University Head Football Coach

Ramon Flanigan Was Introduced As The Lincoln University Head Football Coach
(Click photo to enlarge)
 LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA The Lincoln University officially introduced Ramon Flanigan, the former Division I offensive coordinator for Mississippi Valley State, as the new Lincoln Lions head football coach at a Monday press conference at the Student Union Building Theater.

Flanigan, who replaces Coach Olabaniji (O.J.) Abanishe after five seasons, is the second Lion head coach in its NCAA Division II era.

“The Lincoln University Lions have selected the perfect candidate in Coach Ramon Flanigan, and we are honored to have him as the leader of The Lincoln Lions Football Program,” said Dr. Robert R. Jennings, president of the University. “Coach Flanigan is both an experienced coach and former, record-setting Southern Methodist University quarterback and All-American.  I can think of no better combination in a coach to make our program consistent with our University's history, and that is, first.”

Director of Athletics Dianthia Ford-Kee echoed those sentiments.

“We welcome Coach Flanigan to The Lincoln University family,” Ford-Kee said. “I believe the search committee did an excellent job in identifying candidates they believed possessed the knowledge and work experience best suited for our program. He has experienced winning as a student, athlete and coach. We believe he will transfer his experiences to our program and move the program forward.”

Flanigan comes to Lincoln from a highly-decorated coaching career in NCAA Division I with Mississippi Valley State and the University of North Texas as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Prior to coming to Lincoln, Flanigan, who also assisted with academic and other administrative duties, worked three years for the Mississippi Valley State football program under head coach Karl Morgan.

“I am honored to be the head football coach at The Lincoln University,” Flanigan said. “The fact that the Administration thought enough of me as a person and as a coach to entrust their football program to me is very humbling.”

Meet Coach Ramon Flanigan/Lincoln Football Fact Sheet

 Before his stint at Mississippi Valley State, Flanigan spent the 2008 season as the wide receivers coach at Prestonwood Christian Academy and was the quarterbacks coach at Galveston Ball High School in 2009.

Before coaching at the high school level, Flanigan spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at the University of North Texas – five as the program's offensive coordinator. In his first season of directing the offense, Flanigan helped the Mean Green amass 3,699 total yards, which was at that time the highest total since 1994. In his second year, he improved the offense to 4,257 total yards of offense and a scoring average of 27.5 points per game, which was also the best for North Texas since 1994. During the 2004 campaign, Flanigan's offense posted more than 4,000 total yards of offense for the second time in school history. While serving as offensive coordinator under then head coach Darrell Dickey, North Texas won four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships and made four postseason bowl appearances.

Dickey, who is now the offensive coordinator at the University of Memphis, praised Flanigan for his hard work and success over the years.

“Lincoln University is getting an outstanding football coach in Ramon Flanigan,” Dickey said. “He possesses all the qualities and is a man of great character and integrity. Ramon leads by example and represents himself in a first-class manner.”

In six years as the quarterbacks coach at North Texas, Flanigan was responsible for the development of several young quarterbacks and was faced with a similar challenge in 2005. Scott Hall became a starter as a true freshman in 2001 and under Flanigan's direction, improved to lead the Mean Green to its first bowl game in 42 years the following season.

Flanigan was just one of 10 coaches selected to participate in the NCAA's inaugural Expert Coaching Program in June 2004. The program was created for ethnic minority football coaches with at least six years experience to help in the development of minority coaches. He was chosen again in 2005. He also participated in the NFL Minority Internship Program, spending time with the Green Bay Packers.

“He has a rich background,” Floyd Keith, the former Executive Director for the Black Coaches Association, said. “He has coached in Division I and has FCS experience. He is a bright individual and will do an outstanding job at Lincoln.”

Flanigan, a 1997 graduate of Southern Methodist University, led the Mustangs to a 6-5 record, the school's first winning season since 1986. He concluded his SMU career as the school's career leader in total offense with 7,437 yards and as the school's fourth all-time leading passer with 5,640 yards. He is the only player in SMU history to pass for 5,500 or more yards and rush for at least 1,500 yards. He had 30 career passing touchdowns and 27 career-rushing touchdowns for a school record 57 touchdowns produced.

He made his collegiate debut as a true freshman in 1992, but received a red-shirt after partially tearing a thumb ligament against North Texas and missed the final nine games of the season. In 1994, Flanigan was one of 11 players in the country selected to the College Football Association All-American Team. He was a second-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference pick that season after finishing 13th in the nation in total offense (237.1 yards per game). When he has finished his playing career, he proceeded to complete his academic tenure at SMU with a bachelor's degree in Economics with Financial Applications.

Flanigan graduated from Rider High School in Wichita Falls in 1992 after leading Rider to consecutive city championships.


By Brian Howard, Sports Information & Media Specialist

FAMU Rattlers to the NFL: Hepburn Drafted While Teammates Agree To Terms

Courtesy: FAMU Athletics

TALLAHASSEE, Florida  --  One of the most anticipated athletic sports drafts annually is the National Football League’s collegiate draft.  In recent years, it has taken on the pomp and circumstance of two days of broadcasting in prime time, from one of the most historic venues in all of entertainment, Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  The dream of virtually every football player at every amateur level is to have your name called on that stage, indicating your ascension to the top of the sport.

The reality of it is less than one percent of all football players ever get to reach that pinnacle in their careers.  This year was especially difficult for players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), as just two were selected over the seven rounds.   In the third round, Terron Armstead of the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff was selected as the 13th pick in that round.  Armstead was a standout lineman who stands a menacing 6’5” and weighs 306 pounds.  He was a three-time first-team All-SWAC selection and became the first SWAC payer since 2011 to be drafted.

The other player selected was FAMU’s Brandon Hepburn, who turned heads in just two years of playing full-time.  With not much football-playing experience, he walked on to the Rattler squad.  He credits coach George Small with instilling positivity in him on the football field, and position coach Earl Homes with helping him to develop into a standout football player.

Hepburn’s ascent to this point has been remarkable.  He is a model student-athlete, acquiring his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 2012, and began the MBA program at the FAMU School of Business and Industry while playing his stellar senior season.  A testament to his well-rounded nature is his selection to the Allstate Good Works team.  This unit is comprised of all the football players in Division I, II and III.  Selected for his play on the field, performance in the classroom and dedication to community service, Hepburn is the first HBCU player to earn that award.

In the seventh round of this year’s draft, general manager Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Schwartz made the choice to grab Hepburn.  His selection was a major step in his realization that he could play on the next level.  The pressure of the NFL Draft had gotten to Hepburn as it was seemingly slipping away.  But then the call came, and since then it has been chaotic to say the least.

Shortly after the draft concluded, Padric Scott got a call from the Arizona Cardinals and Travis Harvey got a call from the Tennessee Titans.  Scott, who started his collegiate career at Stanford University, returned to Tallahassee, because “it felt like the right place to be,” Scott said.  Harvey was hampered by injuries and eligibility issues that prevented NFL teams from having bigger highlight reels to evaluate his talent.  Harvey did have a tape with a spectacular 75-yard catch and run for touchdown over Oklahoma this season.  One of the best things an HBCU player can do to get noticed, is to play well against FBS teams.

We had the opportunity to speak with the three players headed for the NFL rookie camps and asked them all the same questions.

BRANDON HEPBURN: Drafted 7th Round, Detroit Lions

QUESTION: Where were you when you got the call?

I was at home in New York with my family sitting on the couch watching the draft.  Toward the middle of the seventh round, I got antsy.  I was wondering if it was better to get drafted or decide where I wanted to go in free agency.  God has a way of working things out.  I feel honored and blessed at the same time.

Q: How are you feeling right now?

I’m feeling ready to work. Along with my position, there is not a lot of job security.  I have to put my best foot forward and be an asset to the organization in order to make the team.  Making the team starts with an opportunity, that part is done.  Now it’s up to me to prove that I can play on this level and make the squad.

Q: What’s next for you?

I have rookie minicamp in a week.  Currently, I am waiting on my itinerary.  I have to visit Detroit and get a footing as I begin camp there. It’s going to be a process.  Training camp is in July and then preseason leads into regular season.  It doesn’t stop, once the ball gets rolling, there no time to catch your breath, you have to be ready to roll with the cycle.

Q: Has it fully sunk in that you have an opportunity to play in the NFL?

Not yet.  I think it might when I hit the field and hit somebody, but right now it hasn’t.

Q:  What would you like to say to the FAMU family?

I would like to definitely thank them for the entire process.  FAMU made a man out of me.  I would like to thank everybody from the sports information department who helped to promote me, to Mrs. (Faydre) Hawkins-Brown and Ms (Sheila) Martin.  My position coach and defensive coordinator Coach (Earl) Holmes.  I also want to thank Coach (Jimmie) Tyson for having a sound effect on my life. I know he isn’t there anymore, but we connected.   Coach Small guided me, like a godfather.  Of course I want to thank Coach (Joe) Taylor for trusting me as a captain and being the head coach.  I definitely want to thank my professors and the entire chemistry department.  All my co-neighbors who spent late nights in study groups to get it done.  I can’t forget the students from all those group projects in S.B.I. I’m glad I got to finish my undergraduate degree and get started on my master’s degree.  I’m looking forward to getting down to it on the field an make all FAMUans proud.

PADRIC SCOTT:  Undrafted, Arizona Cardinals

QUESTION: Where were you when you got the call?

I was sitting in my parents’ (Dr. Ed & Pamela Scott) living room with the family.  When I got the call we all started shouting.  Dad was feeling great, to see the excitement in their faces made me feel good.  I don’t know if I’ll ever outgrow the satisfaction of making my parents proud.  To see emotion made feel really proud.

Q: How are you feeling right now?

Ahhh, Like I’m dreaming.  It really feels like I’m dreaming. God is so good.  My dad said “The Cardinals run a 4-3,” and I said God yes. He put me in this position and it really shows that hard work pays off.  It’s still crazy.  We went out last night and people were congratulating me and I still didn’t feel like they were talking to me.  To be able to represent FAMU and set a path for someone to follow is indescribable.

Q: What’s next for you?

I’m going to spend time with the people I love here.  I fly out on May 9, to report and do my do physical.  From there it’s rookie camp. The Arizona coaches told me to pack a big bag for about a month and a half.  After rookie camp, I will be active in all organized team activities (OTAs) and that’s my opportunity to kill it.  I’ll leave Tallahassee, a town that I’ve been at for so long, and go to Phoenix and wreck shop.

Q: Has it fully sunk in that you have an opportunity to play in the NFL?

It’s so surreal. Waking up to tell myself, but I can’t quite come to the realization.  My grandmother today made me have a reality. She usually asks me if I need some money.  I told her no, I have a job now.  I officially have a job, and it’s in the NFL. I will give it all I have to represent FAMU and all HBCUs.  It’s such a special feeling…a special moment.  When I get on that plane to Arizona, I’m sure it will finally sink in.

Q: What would you like to say to the FAMU family?

First and foremost thank you.  It’s been a blessing to be at FAMU.  Going to the west coast for college and coming back here where I feel wanted was just great.  Coach (George) Small my position coach was like a guiding light.  Pretty much all these faces in Tallahassee, I’ve known my whole life.  I feel they were watching me and I couldn’t disappoint them.  People want to talk bad about my school, when there is so much good going on.  The media often overlooks the good.  I want to make the 53 man roster so bad.  And when they introduce me, I can say with pride that I am from THE Florida A&M University and all our people can celebrate and be proud of all the good things that come from our university.  It is great to be a  part of three young men having the opportunity that less than one percent of football players have.

TRAVIS HARVEY: Undrafted, Tennessee Titans

QUESTION: Where were you when you got the call?

I was at home at my apartment in Tallahassee.  I was by myself at the time I got the call.  I wasn’t doing anything spectacular, but I was very pleased to get the call.

Q: How are you feeling right now?

I’m excited that everything I went through paid off.  It was rough getting to this point.  I had more downs than ups to get here, but it was all worth it now.

Q: What’s next for you?
I go to rookie minicamp on May 9th.  I’m going to get ready for that and make the best impression possible and make the team.

Q: Has it fully sunk in that you have an opportunity to play in the NFL?

I don’t think it has yet.  I think it will kick when I’m finally about to travel to Tennessee.  It will be interesting that I already played in their stadium this year when we played Tennessee State in the John Merritt Classic. I kinda got a feel of  what it’s like to play in that stadium already and I’ll try to use that to my advantage anytime possible.



ECSU Athletic Awards: Eure unexpected winner

ELIZABETH CITY, North Carolina  --  Elizabeth City State is well aware that its bowling team is just as competitive as any other sport on campus.

The awareness has shown in the school’s annual awards banquet, where ECSU named its second-straight bowler, Paneisha Eure, as its female athlete of the year.

In a ceremony that had the usual standout suspects of the season receive plenty of hardware — All-American Brad Davis (football) and CIAA Player of the Year Angelo Sharpless (basketball) shared the men’s top athlete honor — it was Eure that best delighted the crowd at the Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center on Saturday night.

“When Chancellor (Willie) Gilchrist was ...

Fort Valley State Blue and Gold Game

FORT VALLEY, Georgia  --  The wildcats are set to return to the SIAC championship this season.  They held the annual Blue and Gold Scrimmage on Saturday, so fans could get their first glimpse of the 2013-14 squad.

There was a solid turn out for the spring game.  Defense appeared to dominate the day, stopping the offense just short of a first down on many plays.  They even scored a touchdown from a recovered fumble on a quarterback sack.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

V.I.'s Barry gets full scholarship, chance to shine at Jackson State

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands  --  As a high school senior, Tamisha Barry watched as her teammates on St. Croix Educational Complex's volleyball team received athletic scholarships to universities in the United States.

It took her a little while, but Barry finally got that scholarship of her own, having just earned a full ride to play at Jackson State University, a Division I college in Jackson, Miss.

For at least a little while, it looked liked the day might never come.

"She kind of got left behind and couldn't get a scholarship," recalled Complex coach Ophelia Jackson, who has been coaching Barry since she was in seventh grade. "So I said you have to stay with me and work hard."

For the next several months Barry - who graduated from Educational Complex in 2012 - did just that, training with her longtime coach and refining her game with St. Croix's Youth Volleyball Club team.

It wasn't until January 2013, after resubmitting her college applications and game tapes, that Barry had an opportunity play collegiate volleyball, thanks to Jackson State University Lady Tigers head coach Rose Washington, who also grew up on St. Croix.


A Great Day for Alcorn Men's Basketball

LORMAN, Mississippi --  The Alcorn State Men's basketball program announces its' 2013 signing class. Head Coach Luther Riley is ecstatic about his signees and has quoted that his new crop is going to make an immediate impact for the 2013-14 season.

Riley introduces seven new faces to the Alcorn family. Two of the recruits who stand out are Dandy Dozen's Rakeem Lehaman and Marquis Vance. Mr. Basketball from 2009, Shaunessey Smith will also make his way down to the “Reservation” to join the Braves this season.

Rakeem Lehaman/6'4-170/Greenwood, MS/Amanda Elzy High
Lehaman is a 6-4, 170 a two-time Mississippi Dandy Dozen and All-State First Team select. He led Amanda Elzy to back-to-back 4A State Championships in 2012 and 2013.

Marquis Vance/6'7-220/Tchula, MS/SV Marshall
Vance is a 6-7, 220 forward two-time Mississippi Dandy Dozen and All-State select. In 2012, Vance help guide SV Marshall to a 2A State Championship

Isaiah Hill/6'11-270/Indianpolis, IN/Winfrey Academy
Hill is a 6-11, 270 pound center who is very versatile. Hill was ranked No. 91 by ESPN among all centers in the country.

Decarlos Holmes/6'9-230/Millington, TN/Millington Central
Holmes is a 6-9, 230 forward who was selected as one of the top forwards in Memphis by the Commercial's Appeal.

Trey Brown/6'8-215/Brandon, MS/East Mississippi
Brown, a Brandon, MS native who led his team to back-to-back State Championship appearances, and signed with Tennessee Chattanooga out of high school. He is unique and has a great shooting touch at 6-8.

Shaunessey Smith/6'6-220/Macon, MS/Mississippi State
One of the best players to ever come through the State of Mississippi, highly-touted Smith had a stellar career at Noxubee County and was a two-time Mississippi Dandy Dozen select and was Mr. Basketball (Runner-Up).


Gold Team Defeats Black 24-14 to End ASU Spring Practice

MONTGOMERY, Alabama .— Isaiah Crowell and Malcolm Cyrus each scored a rushing touchdown and Myles Everett caught a scoring pass to lead the Gold Team to a 24-14 win over the Black Team bringing Alabama State's spring practice to a close.

“This was really a great day,” Head Coach Reggie Barlow said. “We had great weather and we appreciate the fans coming out and they were great. The spring game is an opportunity for these guys to go out and compete and have a good time. Of course we had 14 practices prior to this game to evaluate them on so today we kept them healthy and there were some guys that made some big plays.”

Playing before an estimated crowd of over 5,000, Crowell had 45 yards on nine carries, but none more exciting than his 35 yard run on the first play of the scrimmage, but an interception by Darius Knox of the Black Team halted the scoring threat.

Neither team scored in the first quarter, but the Gold Team added a 35 yard field goal from Bobby Wenzig with 10:20 left in the second quarter and a Malcolm Cyrus three yard scoring run giving the Gold team 10 first half points.

Wrapped around the two Gold Team scores was the Black's lone score of the first half, a four yard touchdown pass from Arsenio Favor to Zach Meadows. The two teams took a short halftime break with the Gold Team leading 10-7.

In the second half Crowell started the scoring on a two yard plunge with 8:45 left in the third quarter for a 17-7 lead. The Black Team came right back down the field to cut the lead to 17-14 on a five yard scoring run from Jahaad Coleman.

The Gold Team ended the scoring when Myles Everett took a short pass from Arsenio Favor, broke a tackle and scampered 29 yards for the final score with 3:56 left in the game.

Favor and Duhart played quarterback for both teams. Favors finished five-for-nine passing for the Gold team, throwing for 130 yards and the score. For the Black team Favors completed four-of-five for 12 yards and another score.

Duhart hit four of his eight passing attempts for the Gold Team for 48 yards and an interception. He completed his only attempt for the Black Squad for four yards.

Sam Gibson had a solid outing with all of his playing time coming for the Black Team. He completed nine of his 11 attempts for 99 yards and an interception.

“I wanted to keep it pretty equal for those guys and give them (Duhart and Favor) an opportunity to play for both squads,” Barlow said. “I though both of them did a good job of running the team and moving the ball down the field. I thought Sam (Gibson) did a good job. He had the Black team playing really fast their at one time and led them down the field. It will be some good film to grade these guys on and all three guys have really done some good things this spring and we are encouraged by that.”

Defensively for the Gold team, Chris Terry had five tackles, including one tackle for lost yardage (-3 yards) and a game-high three sacks (-15 yards).

Melvin Davis added an interception and Deandre Rashada had a fumble recovery and a pass broken up for the Gold's defense.

“We had some guys running around and doing some good things on defense like Maurice Tate,” Barlow said. “Overall we were pleased with what they did today.”

The rushing leaders for the Black team were Rodney Cross who finished with 23 yards on six carries. Coleman had 10 yards on three carries, which included the scoring run.

Kevin Bass was the leading receiver for the Black Team with a 37 yard reception for his only catch. Zack Meadows had only one catch but it was the four yard touchdown reception.

Brandon Slater and Edward Mosley led the Black Team's defense with five tackles each. Mosley also forced a fumble which he recovered. Knox had the interception to stop the first drive of the game and DeMarques Taylor added two sacks.

The Hornets are scheduled to open the 2013 season when they host in-state rival Jacksonville State University on Saturday, August 31 at 5 p.m. 


Stillman defends SIAC baseball title

OZARK, Alabama  --  Stillman College won the SIAC Baseball Tournament for the sixth time in seven years after defeating Tuskegee University 12-6 on Saturday.

The Tigers (30-14) scored six runs in the fourth inning and negated a comeback attempt by Tuskegee by adding another six runs in the final innings. Fernando Tanaka finished with three hits, three RBIs, including a solo home run, to lead Stillman.

Tyler Vails came on in relief, pitching three innings to pick up the win. Tanaka faced four Tuskegee batters to pick up the save.

Tanaka was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament and was named to the All-Tournament team along with pitchers Vails and Kyle McNorton.

Tuskegee, making its first appearance in the SIAC championship game since winning its last tournament in 1989, left 15 men on base, including ending two innings with the bases loaded.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Get to know Brandon Hepburn: Detroit Lions add biochemist-linebacker to the mix with final pick

Brandon Hepburn
Detroit Lions
(Courtesy FAMU Athletics)
DETROIT, Michigan  --  With the 245th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions selected linebacker Brandon Hepburn out of Florida A&M University.

Hepburn is 6-foot-2, 240-pounds. He had 86 tackles (9.5 for a loss), 5.5 sacks, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble as a senior.

Here's a little bit more on Hepburn:

The path from Division I-AA walk-on to being selected in the NFL draft has been "a process", according to Brandon Hepburn. It was an uphill battle from the start.

  • In April, Hepburn presented the results of his findings for a cure for cancer to an international audience at the American Chemical Society conference in San Diego, Calif. 

  • Hepburn redshirted in 2008. In 2009, he mostly was relegated to special teams duties and had 13 tackles on the year. The following year, Hepburn played in all 11 games, recording 63 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. In his final season, Hepburn racked up 86 tackles, 5.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, and one forced fumble


    SU Board of Supervisors approve Roman Banks’ contract

    (Courtesy Southern University Athletics)
    BATON ROUGE, Louisiana  --  A little more than a week after Southern University announced it had come to terms with men’s basketball coach Roman Banks on a contract extension, the agreement became official Friday when the SU System Board of Supervisors approved the new deal for the coach.

    Banks, whose original Southern contract was set to expire after the 2013-14 season, has a new five-year deal that will have him making $165,000 per season in base salary.

    Banks could make in excess of $200,000 by triggering a number of performance-based incentives included in the contract.

    The extension comes on the heels of Banks leading Southern to its first NCAA tournament in seven years and a scare of No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the first round. Banks was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s co-coach of the year after the Jaguars posted a 23-10 overall mark, finished second in the SWAC’s regular season and won the SWAC tournament title.


    Decatur To Host SWAC Softball Championship May 8-11

    DECATUR, Georgia  --  The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has announced Wilson Morgan Softball Complex in Decatur, Ala., will be the site of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 SWAC Softball Championship Tournament. The Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Decatur’s Parks and Recreation Department will host the event for over 200 athletes and coaches, along with their families, traveling from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

    The 2,000-seat facility will serve as host venue for the 13 game double-elimination tournaments May 8-11, 2013, May 7-10, 2014, and May 6-9, 2015. The top eight teams in the SWAC East and West Divisions qualify for the championship tournament and teams are seeded based on regular season results among the conference programs.

    Daily admission is $6/adult and $3/child and weekend passes are $20/adult and $10/child. Parking is free. Wilson Morgan Softball Complex features six lighted fields, centrally located concessions, quad, press box and batting cages. Each field has a clay infield and beautiful grass, maintained by electronically controlled underground irrigation systems. Located at 300 Beltline Road, the facility can seat over 2,000 spectators with additional seating available. For more information on Wilson Morgan Softball Complex, visit www.decaturparks.com.


    Howard University Bison signs heralded basketball player

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  --  Howard University announces the signing of JT Miller to a national letter of intent. Miller is a 6-3, 190-pound talented guard from Clinton, NC, who brings impressive credentials to the Hilltop. At Mount Zion Academy this past season, Miller averaged over 26 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists per game while leading his team to a 19-14 record and the USA National Prep championship.

    Before coming to Mount Zion, Miller starred at Clinton High School where he scored over 1,800 points in his career and was named to the all-state team his senior season.

    "TJ gives us a guard with the rare combination of size, outside scoring ability and the explosiveness to play above the rim," said an excited Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "His leadership abilities, work ethic and family values stood out to me as much as his exceptional talents on the court. We are excited to add him to a great group of newcomers for 2013-14."

    Added Rick Lewis from Phenom Hoop Report, "The undeniable adjective that attaches itself to Miller's game is explosive. Without question, Miller is a big time athlete who plays above the rim."

    After mulling over several offers from Divison 1 programs including LaSalle, St. Joseph's and Florida Gulf Coast. Miller selected Howard University to showcase his talents and pursue his education.

    "After visiting Howard twice, learning the rich history of the University and developing a personal relationship with Coach Nickelberry, I knew that Howard was the place for me, " said Miller. "I fell in love with the school, the people and the basketball program immediately. I realized that there was no school better for me to flourish academically and athletically. A degree from Howard on my resume sticks out like no other and would be a great accomplishment."

    Miller joins an outstanding group of newcomers that include James Daniel III, Damon Collins, Kofi Andoh, Keon Hill, Marcel Boyd and James Carlton.

    • A 5-11 guard, Daniel was the state of Virginia Tri-Player of the Year from Phoebus High School in Hampton, VA.
    • Collins is a 6-5 forward who played at nationally renown Prime Prep.
    • Ando, a 6-3 guard, was a Washington Post honorable mention selection from CH Flowers High School.
    • A 5-7 point guard from Riverdale Baptist, Hill sat out with an injury and will be a red-shirt freshman this coming season.
    • Boyd is a 6-10 center who prepped at Mack Academy this past season after having an outstanding career at Gwynn Park; and
    • Carlton is a talented 6-8 forward from Winterville, NC, who sat out last season after transferring from the College of Charleston.
    "These newcomers allowed us to address some of our needs which was depth, athleticism and scoring ability inside and out."


    VSU leader: End ‘outdated rituals’

    ETTRICK, Virginia  --  Marvell Edmondson and Jauwan Holmes were “young men of promise, young men of potential” whose legacy can serve to help end the type of behavior that led to their deaths, Virginia State University President Keith Miller said Friday.

    “Outdated rituals performed in the name of brotherly love have no place in building a better world,” Miller told about 500 people at a memorial service in the VSU gymnasium.

    “As an institution, as a community, we will not tolerate this behavior,” Miller said. “We must learn the lessons of Jauwan and Marvell to ensure that these young men’s deaths were not in vain.”

    The two freshmen drowned April 20 as they tried to cross the Appomattox River on river rocks as part of an initiation for an unsanctioned social club called Men of Honor. Chesterfield County police on Friday confirmed through the medical examiner’s office that the cause of death was drowning.

    Four men, including two VSU students, have been charged with hazing in the deaths.

    Miller urged the mourners to “walk the walk, not just talk the talk. We must be the sermon, not just speak the sermon.”


    FSU Womens Basketball to host Skills Camp and Summer Shootout

    FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina -- The 2013 CIAA Southern Division Champions Fayetteville State women's basketball program will be holding two camps this summer in Felton J. Capel Arena. The Second Annual Lady Broncos Basketball Fundamentals & Skills Camp will be held from June 18-20. A Summer Shootout at the Broncos Corral will follow on June 22.

    The Fundamentals and Skills Camp is open to girls from third grade up to rising seniors in high school. The three-day camp will last from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Campers will receive quality instruction from both college coaches and student-athletes. 2013 CIAA Player of the Year Kristen Hanzer and local standout Shuanda "Shaq" Ashford (E.E. Smith) will be on hand to assist with the camp. The two are currently pursuing WNBA opportunities.

    The cost of the camp is $75; which includes lunch. Campers will also receive a camp T-shirt and certificate. Discounts are available for returnees and family groups with two or more participants at $60 each.

    The Summer Shootout at the Bronco Corral will take place at both Capel Arena and Lilly Gymnasium on the FSU campus. The cost of the shootout is $175 for a team; guarantee of three games. A $50 non-refundable deposit must be made by Wednesday, May 1. Teams must have a minimum of seven players and provide their own jerseys and warm-up balls. Every player participating will have to complete a waiver form.

    For more information, contact Assistant Coach Tyreece Brown by phone at (910) 672-2564 or e-mail at trbrown02@broncos.uncfsu.edu; or Head Coach Eva Patterson-Heath by phone at (910) 672-1513 or e-mail at epatters@uncfsu.edu.


    Friday, April 26, 2013

    New Orleans Saints select Arkansas-Pine Bluff tackle Terron Armstead in third round

    Terron Armstead
    NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana  --  Maybe New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton can sleep a little easier on Friday night. The Saints selected Arkansas-Pine Bluff tackle Terron Armstead with the team's third-round pick, No. 75 overall. The Saints drafted Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro with their first-round pick.

    Payton has mentioned several times since returning to the Saints in late January that left

    tackle will be an open competition. Armstead will likely compete with Charles Brown and Jason Smith for the left tackle job.

    Armstead (6-5, 306) crushed the NFL Scouting Combine with the best marks for a tackle in the 40-yard dash (4.71 seconds), vertical leap (34 1/2 inches) and broad jump (112 inches. He also ripped off 31 repetitions of 225 pounds.

    NFL.com's scouting overview on Armstead said ...


    4 Charged in Virginia State University Hazing Death, Student Still Missing

    PETERSBURG, Virginia  --  Four men have been charged after allegedly hazing two Virginia State University students by making them walk into the Appomattox River, resulting in the drowning death of at least one of the students.

    The body of Marvell Edmonson, 19, was recovered from the river Monday.

    Search-and-rescue teams are still searching for a second student, Jauwan M. Holmes, who disappeared during the group's outing in the early morning hours on Saturday, according to the Chesterfield County, Va., police.

    The outing consisted of seven males wading through the Appomattox River for initiation into the group Men of Honor, a social club not sanctioned by the Petersburg, Va., university, police said.

    Around 1:30 a.m., Saturday, Holmes and Edmonson were carried downstream by the river, and other members of the group called 911 for help, police said. Rescue teams combed the river for signs of the two men throughout the weekend.



    Virginia State student deaths renew debate over hazing abuse

    PETERSBURG, Virginia  --  The apparent hazing death of two Virginia State University (VSU) students has renewed the debate over universities’ responsibility to combat hazing abuse.

    In Virginia's Chesterfield County, police have charged four men, including two VSU students, with hazing after two students drowned in the Appomattox River on April 20 as part of an initiation rite for the social club Men of Honor, which is not a school-sanctioned group. One suspect is still at large.

    Seven VSU students reportedly tried to use a “human chain” to cross the rushing rapids of the rain-swollen Appomattox River around midnight Sunday. A witness told local NBC affiliate WAVY that the water level rose to their chests, and the current swept away freshmen Marvell Edmondson and Jauwan Holmes. The evening was reportedly the culmination of a week-long pledging and hazing process for the group.

    Police recovered Mr. Edmondson's body on Monday and are still looking for Mr. Holmes.

    Historically black colleges and universities like VSU have struggled with a long tradition of hazing centered on physical abuse. But recent tragedies, including the November 2011 death of Robert Champion, a drum major in Florida A&M University’s celebrated marching band, have brought national attention to the issue, ratcheting up pressure for schools to take stronger action to discourage the practice.


    Paine College Lions to hold Football Tryouts

    AUGUSTA, Georgia  --  The Paine College Football program will be holding open football tryouts, for all 2013 high school graduates, as well as players ready for fall enrollment, and current Paine College students, Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Lucy C. Laney High School football stadium.

    Registration will begin at 10:00 AM at the football field, with drills to start immediately after.

    Proof of a current physical is required, and there is a $10.00 registration fee for the tryout. Download registration form here.

    Players will need to be in workout clothes, cleats, and gloves.

    For more information, contact Coach Greg Ruffin at 706-821-8498 or via email at gruffin@paine.edu.


    Lincoln Blue Tigers holds spring scrimmage

    JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri  --  One concern rose above the rest for Lincoln head football coach Mike Jones.

    “Stay healthy,” the second-year head man said following the Blue Tigers’ annual spring game Saturday afternoon at Dwight T. Reed Stadium. “Most spring games, it’s more for the fans than it is for us. You worry about somebody getting hurt the last practice.”

    Lincoln appeared to stay injury-free during the two-hour program of team drills and a controlled-situation scrimmage.

    “I think it went OK,” Jones said. “We have a lot of guys that we kept out of practice. (Last season’s starting quarterback) Jake (Morris) only took about 10 snaps and then we had the young guys go. We were up and down.”

    The Gray team (offense) faced off against the Blue team (defense) in a variety of different situations: two-minute drill, from midfield, deep in both their own and opposing territory, red zone and first-and-goal, among others.

    “The first time we ran hurry-up, we ...


    Ram Ramblings: WSSU ends another good season with athletics banquet

    William "Bill"Hayes
    Director of Athletics

    WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --  Winston-Salem State put the finishing touches on another outstanding athletics season with an awards banquet earlier this week at the Benton Convention Center.

    The Rams completed their third season back in the CIAA and once again took home conference titles in football, baseball and men’s tennis.

    In the three years that WSSU has been back in the CIAA the school has combined to win 14 conference titles.

    In winning the men’s CIAA tennis title this spring it broke an eight-year run that Shaw had on the title.

    Athletics Director Bill Hayes was pleased with the success of all the programs.


    MVSU football player killed, 3 others injured in wreck

    LEFLORE COUNTY, Mississippi  --  A Mississippi Valley State University football player died and another player was seriously injured following a one-vehicle accident Thursday night in Leflore County.

    Kevin Monzon, 19, a junior from Crystal Springs and the placekicker for the Delta Devils, died at the scene, a MVSU statement says. Monzon was the driver, according to a statement from the school.

    Marcus Thompson, a junior from Houston, Texas, was airlifted to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson for treatment.

    Other passengers Rogers “Kevin” James Jr., a junior from Evans, Ga., and Joseph Hardnett, a sophomore from Chicago, were treated for minor injuries at Greenwood-Leflore Hospital.


    Bluefield State Men’s Tennis to Host NCAA Atlantic Region No. 1 Tournament

    BLUEFIELD, West Virginia  After winning their second consecutive WVIAC Conference Tournament Sunday, the No. 1 regionally ranked Bluefield State men’s tennis team was awarded Tuesday with a number one seed in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament Preliminary Round Sunday and Monday.

    The Big Blues host Kutztown University and Shaw University, who are the No. 4 and No. 5 seed respectively. The Golden Bears and Bears play Sunday at 11 a.m. at Bluefield City Courts.

    Monday, Bluefield State plays the winner between Kutztown and Shaw at 11 a.m.

    If weather affects the matches, the contests will be moved to Virginia Tech Tennis Center. All matches are free admission.

    In the other Atlantic Regional Tournament Preliminary Round, University of Charleston, the No. 2 seed hosts No. 3 seed West Va. Wesleyan, No. 6 seed Shepherd and Winston-Salem State.
    No. 7

    The winners of each preliminary tournament advance to the round of 16 at the NCAA Division II National Championship in Surprise, Arizona.