Thursday, July 31, 2014

B-CU football begins preparation for another MEAC title run

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida  -- Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins can be high-strung and excitable on the football field, but he was calm and collected earlier this week as he and his staff completed final preparations for the team's preseason camp.

For Jenkins, it was business as usual.

“I'm kind of used to it,” he said. “You have to stay on an even keel and focus in on what you want to accomplish. You don't want to get too high or too low.”

Despite losing eight defensive starters and two of its most accomplished offensive players over the past four seasons, B-CU was picked last week to win its fourth MEAC title in five years.

SWAC Football 2014 Season Preview

DALLAS, Texas  -- The winds of change howled fiercely following the 2013 SWAC football season, claiming three of the conference’s top coaches and creating a high level of anticipation as the 2014 season approaches.

Doug Williams, the most recognizable name among SWAC coaches – and the conference’s most successful coach with five championships during his nine-year tenure at Grambling State – Anthony Jones, the dean of SWAC coaches with 12 seasons at Alabama A&M where he led the Bulldogs to five championship game appearances and won the 2006 title, and Rick Comegy, the elder statesmen among college coaches with 23 seasons on the sidelines, including the last eight at Jackson State, where he guided the Tigers to a 55-35 record, won the 2008 SWAC crown and made back-to-back appearances in the title game in 2012 and ’13, are all gone Also out is Karl Morgan, whose 8-35 record in four years at Mississippi Valley State belies the stride the Delta Devils made.

Roderick Fobbs has taken over at Grambling, James Spady is the new man in charge at Alabama A&M; Harold Jackson has returned to his alma mater and is the head man at Jackson State, while Comegy moved from Jackson to the Mississippi Delta to run the program at Mississippi Valley.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Xavier Gold Rush sign six more for 2014-15 recruiting class

Chris Adams

Chris Adams

Malik Harrison

Malik Harrison
    Langston Adams

Langston Adams

Erwin Simmons

Erwin Simmons
    Devante Bailey

Devante Bailey

Alex Xavier

Alex Xavier

NEW ORLEANS — Coach Joseph Moses on Wednesday announced six more signings to Xavier University of Louisiana's men's track and field recruiting class. Newcomers signed to scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year were:

       •  Chris Adams, a hurdler from Richardson, Texas, and Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas.
     •  Langston Adams, a long from Baton Rouge, La., and Christian Life Academy.
     •  Devante Bailey, a long sprinter from Baton Rouge and Southern Lab High School.
     •  Malik Harrison, a horizontal jumper from Baton Rouge and Christian Life.
     •  Erwin Simmons, a hurdler from St. James, La., and St. James High School.
     •  Alex Xavier, a hurdler and sprinter from Naples, Fla., and Golden Gate High School and a transfer from Warner (Fla.) University.

Bailey, Harrison and Simmons will be freshmen at Xavier. Chris Adams and Langston Adams, who
are not related, will be sophomores — they were biology/pre-medical majors at XU in 2013-14 — and Xavier will be a junior. Bailey will major in business marketing, Harrison will be a chemistry/pre-pharmacy major, and Simmons will be part of XU's dual-degree engineering program, studying physics and mechanical engineering.
Chris Adams finished third in the 110-meter hurdles in Class 5A at the 2013 Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools state meet. His best times are 14.9 seconds for the 110 hurdles and 40.8 for the 300 hurdles. He was a standout in basketball, averaging 16 points per game as a senior with a high game of 27 points. At Xavier he was runner-up in the voting for Mr. Freshman.

Langston Adams was a member of Christian Life's 400 relay team which placed fourth at the 2013 Class 1A state meet. He also was a regional qualifier in the long jump. Adams was first-team all-district as a football middle linebacker his senior year and made the second team as a junior.

Bailey was a member of Southern Lab's 800 and 1,600 relay teams which finished first at the 1A state meet this year, and he was a member of the Kittens' state runner-up 400 relay team. He helped Southern Lab finish second at state in the 1,600 relay in 2012, and he was a starter in basketball as a junior and a senior.
Harrison was a district champion this year in the triple jump for Christian Life. His best marks were 43 feet, 11 inches in the triple jump and 19-6 in the long jump. As a senior in football, he accounted for 1,623 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns in 10 regular-season games.

 Simmons was a district champion in the 110 hurdles this year and helped St. James finish second in the district meet. His best time in the 110 hurdles was 15.32. He was voted his team's track MVP in 2014 and was the track MVP at Lutcher's Bulldog Invitational after winning the 110 and 300 hurdles and anchoring the winning 800 relay squad.

Xavier, a native of Haiti, placed 14th for Warner in the 110 hurdles at the 2013 NAIA National Outdoor Championships and was a two-time athlete of the week in The Sun Conference that year. This past season he was The Sun's 110 hurdles champion and was fifth in the 400 hurdles. His best time in the 110 hurdles is 14.46.
The previously announced Gold Rush signee was Joseph Moses III, a sprinter from Baton Rouge.
Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Peele and Jordan Join TSU Men's Basketball Staff

Photo Courtesy Tennessee State University Athletics
NASHVILLE, Tennessee  -- Tennessee State men’s basketball coach Dana Ford announced the hiring of assistants Randy Peele and Pierre Jordan on Wednesday.

Peele becomes Ford’s associate head coach after 29 years of coaching experience at seven different universities including Saint Michael’s, Tennessee-Martin, Campbell, UNCG, Winthrop, Virginia Tech and most recently, Georgia Southern.
Peele coached at UNCG between 1995 and 1999, taking the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament in his first year with 20 wins. He also spent five seasons at Winthrop, and when head coach Gregg Marshall left for a position at Wichita State, Peele was promoted to lead the Eagles where he won the Big South Regular Season and Tournament Championship during the 2007-08 season. Winthrop also won the league’s tournament in 2009-10 for his third appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
“We are very fortunate to add someone with the pedigree, loyalty and expertise of Randy to our program. Having led three teams to the NCAA tournament as a head coach he has an understanding of the type of student athletes that we must recruit, coach and mentor in order to get our program to the level that we all aspire,” Ford said.
Ford also raided Georgia Southern for Jordan, who will serve as another of the team’s assistant coaches this season. Jordan will work with the guards and his job duties include recruiting, player development, scouting and academic assistance.
Jordan played basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Florida State and Georgia Tech from 2008 to 2013. He was named to the Academic Honor Roll each of his two years at Tech and was a member of three NCAA Tournament teams at Florida State, helping the Seminoles advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and the championship game of the ACC Tournament for the first time in school history in 2009.
He graduated from FSU in three years and a summer session, earning his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary social studies.
“Pierre comes to us highly recommended by many in the basketball circles across the country. He is a young energetic coach who does a great job of relating to today's student athlete.  He has been around basketball his entire life as the son of one of the premier AAU coaches in the Southeast region,” Ford said.

GCAC tourney champion Nuggets sign 4 for 2014-15

Eliqua Brooks

Eliqua Brooks

Ireyon Keith

Ireyon Keith
    Trana Hopkins

Trana Hopkins

Donyeah Mayfield

Donyeah Mayfield

NEW ORLEANS — Coach Bo Browder on Wednesday announced that four have signed women's basketball scholarships with Xavier University of Louisiana. Newcomers signed to scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year were:
• Eliqua Brooks, a 5-foot-8 guard/forward from Upper Marlboro, Md., Wise High School and Angelina College.
• Trana Hopkins, a 5-6 guard from Marietta, Ga., Marietta High School and Chattahoochee Valley Community College.
• Ireyon Keith, a 5-7 guard/forward from Tickfaw, La., and Independence High School.
• Donyeah Mayfield, a 5-11 forward from Vicksburg, Miss., and Vicksburg High School and a transfer from the University of South Alabama.
Brooks, Hopkins and Mayfield will be juniors at Xavier. Keith will be a freshman.
Brooks averaged 8.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game as a freshman at Angelina and concluded her sophomore season with a 25-point performance in the quarterfinals of the Region XIV tournament. She averaged 20.2 points as a second-team all-metro senior at Wise — she scored 40 in one game — and helped the Lady Pumas finish second in the Class 4A state tournament each of her final two seasons.
Hopkins averaged nine points, 4.8 assists and 2.4 steals this past season to help Chattahoochee Valley win the Alabama Community College Conference North Division and reach the semifinals of the state tournament. She ranked second in the ACCC in assists per game and fourth in steals per game.
Keith averaged 24 points this past season for Independence and scored 28 in a first-round upset of 10th-seeded E.D. White in the Class 3A state playoffs. She was a four-time all-district selection and was honorable-mention all-state as a senior. Keith also excels in track and field; she recorded multiple top-4 finishes at the LHSAA outdoor state meet and has best marks of 36 feet, 6 inches in the triple jump and 17-7 1/2 in the long jump.
"Ireyon can do everything," Independence basketball coach Kovi Dillon said. "She's a good rebounder, scorer and defender. She's aggressive. She'll play hard from beginning to end. She's a leader."
Mayfield redshirted at South Alabama in 2013-14 after transferring from Tennessee State, where she averaged 2.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 10 minutes in 38 games over two seasons. Mayfield was a two-time Vicksburg Post newspaper Player of the Year and averaged 15.8 points and 12 rebounds as a senior. Mayfield's game highs at Vicksburg included 33 points and 22 rebounds.
Brooks will major in mass communications at Xavier. Hopkins and Keith will major in health sciences, and Mayfield will major in psychology.
Xavier's Gold Nuggets were 24-10 in 2013-14, won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament for the fourth time in five years and reached the second round of the NAIA Division I National Championship for the third time in four years.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Albany State has stars to replace on defense

ALBANY, Georgia  -- Albany State’s football team will take the practice field next month with several goals in mind.

First, they’d like to win the SIAC again. The 2013 Rams did just that with five straight victories and a 17-14 win over Miles College in the conference championship game. But because they started 1-4, they missed the Division II playoffs.

Getting past the SIAC and into the national playoffs will be difficult. Even though they return quarterback Frank Rivers, there are holes to fill on both sides of the ball. On defense, the Rams are now without star safety Dexter Moody.

“The name of the game at Albany State is defense,” head coach Mike White said at SIAC’s media day. “We’ve got a lot of guys that we’ve got to replace on that side of the football.”


Walker Departs ECSU After 12 Seasons For Grambling State

After a thirteen seasons at ECSU,
Shawn Walker has resigned as
 the men's basketball coach to
assume the head coach position
at Grambling State
ELIZABETH CITY, North Carolina --  Elizabeth City State University basketball coach Shawn Walker has announced his resignation to accept the head coach position at Grambling State University (Grambling, Louisiana).

"Our department and university family wishes Coach Walker the very best as he transitions to Division I Basketball", states ECSU Athletic Director J. Lin Dawson. We appreciated his commitment to ECSU and the legacy he built. He is a solid individual who understands that the platform of Athletics provides a tremendous avenue to impact the community, and in particularly, the youth. 

Shawn will be a major asset to Grambling. He brings a successful coaching résumé, vision, stability, and a strong work ethic that is contagious.

" A search for a new basketball coach is underway and will be announced in the coming weeks.

"With student-athletes returning to campus in a couple of weeks, we must put this process on speed- dial. Our student-athletes deserve a well-rounded coach that is the right fit. Emotions fly high when a head coach leaves a program, says Dawson. "Stability is a premium factor is deciding the next leader."

Walker compiled a 196-172 record in thirteen seasons at Elizabeth City State. He coached the Lady Vikings during the 2001-2002 season and the following year took over the men's program where his teams made three trips to the CIAA title game capturing the title in 2007 ECSU's, first championship in 26 years. He was named CIAA Coach of the Year in 2008 and coached two CIAA Players of the Year Anthony Hilliard (2007, 2008) and Angelo Sharpless (2012).


Holmes poise to try two Florida A&M QB scenario

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- While anyone of the four FAMU quarterbacks that begin competing in pre-season camp could emerge as starter, coach Earl Holmes apparently is willing to try a two-quarterback scenario if that's what it comes down to.

"I don't rule anything out as far as a two-quarterback system," Holmes said. "I'm a firm believer that the best guy will step up. That's between (Damien) Fleming, Carson Royal, as well as Shazzon Mumphrey and Brian Blackburn."

Fleming, the Rattlers' starter for the past two seasons, ended last year on the sidelines with a foot injury. He missed the entire spring while recovering after surger

During his absence, Royal started the last two games. He followed that by leading the offense in the Orange and Green game, showing flashes of being a leader.


WSSU's Chase Powell To Transfer To Hampton

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  -- The Winston-Salem State University Rams have announced that wide receiver/kick returner, Chase Powell, is leaving the program to transfer to Hampton University.

Powell (So, 5-8, 175, Upper Marlboro, MD/Wide HS), had 64 pass receptions for 770 and seven touchdowns in 2013, all team highs for the Rams. He also led WSSU in kickoff returns with 13 returns for 231 yards (17.8 avg). Powell was the 2013 CIAA Offensive Rookie of the Year, as well as making the all-rookie team in the CIAA as a kick returner. He was named 2014 Preseason All-CIAA at wide receiver last week at the CIAA Football Media Day.

"I am very happy for him (Powell) that he's a decision maker in his life", says WSSU first year head coach Kienus Boulware. "He knows what he wants and is doing what's best for himself and his family. When you bring the family situation into the picture, then my prayers go out to him. We wish him nothing but the best", added Boulware.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Coaches expecting a tough battle in this year’s annual rivalry game

COLUMBIA, South Carolina  — S.C. State head coach Buddy Pough and Benedict’s coach James Woody had a chance to talk a little football at the annual Palmetto Capital City Classic’s Kick-off Press Conference Tuesday at the Columbia Convention Center.

Hall of Fame Coach Willie Jeffries, executive director of PCCC, introduced the participating teams and their respective athletic directors and coaches to the media and the public.
Besides the usual jokes and jabs, both coaches took the time to take a more serious approach to the August 30, season opener between the Tigers and Bulldogs at Charles W. Johnson Stadium.
“It will be a challenge for us,” Woody said. “It’s going to take a great football game to beat those guys, but I feel real good about our chances. If we slow the game down, capitalize on some mistakes, and hopefully we can pull a victory out.”

Mack, NCCU not backing down from challenge

NORFOLK, Virginia  --  Jerry Mack might be a new kid on the block, but he’s not backing down from anyone. Neither is his team.
That was the message Mack relayed last Friday at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Football Media Luncheon in Norfolk, Va.
N.C. Central was picked to finish eighth in the conference, a ranking that perturbed Mack, one of four new coaches in the MEAC. Bethune-Cookman was picked to win its third straight conference title.
“We are second to no one and will not back down to anyone,” the NCCU coach said. “We want to be the best in the conference and one of the top FCS teams in the country. And there is only one way to do that, and that’s the right way.”

FAMU looking for redemption despite tough schedule

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- His statement was cliché, but it is how Earl Holmes choses to explain whether this will be a season of redemption for his FAMU football team.

"Put it this way," Holmes said, as the countdown begins to the start of practice next week. "Time will tell what's at stake as far as what the critics might say. We are going to take it one game at a time."

Remember, the Rattlers finished Holmes' first season as a head coach with a 3-9 record. That put Holmes, just in his second season as a head coach, under the gun.

But he seems to understand why even some of the diehards seem a little impatient.

"As far as redeeming, I feel it's time for us to make a statement," Holmes said." But there are a lot of variables; injury bug and all that stuff.


Florida Classic still set for Citrus Bowl

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Worry not fans of FAMU and Bethune Cookman football teams.

That's the assurance that came from the office of Orlando's Mayor Buddy Dyer on Tuesday, responding to concerns that renovation of the Citrus Bowl might force the Florida Classic to another venue.

"It's halfway completed and on track to be ready to host FAMU and B-CU for the Florida Classic," Dyer's spokesperson Heather Fagan told the Democrat Tuesday. "It will be game-ready that day."

The annual season-ending rivalry game between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman is scheduled to take place Nov. 22.

"It will be a great experience for the fans," Fagan said.

LIVE CAM:   Construction Cam - Citrus Bowl Stadium Reconstruction ...


ASU defensive tackle Derrick Billups can be SWAC's best

MONTGOMERY, Alabama  -- Derrick Billups can be the most dominating defensive player in the Southwestern Athletic Conference this season.

That's the attitude he has. And that's the attitude he should have, according to his coach.

"I think he should," Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow said. "I think if he doesn't, then he would not have lived up to his ability. He just has to do it.

"I believe he has the ability to play in the NFL and he has to set the tone for us every day, in practice as well as in the game. We're going to demand that from him. I think he needs to be that. He has the ability to do it."


Monday, July 28, 2014

JSU Baseball stadium for Farish Street? It’s possible

JACKSON, Mississippi — The City of Jackson, Jackson State University and Tim Bennett, owner of Overtime Sports, may begin talks in the next few weeks on the feasibility of building a baseball stadium for JSU in the Historic Farish Street District.

“This is just in the observation stages,” said Bennett, who was the force behind moving the Mississippi Braves to Pearl 10 years ago and moving the Huntsville Stars to Biloxi for next season.

“We’re taking a look at the potential for a stadium. The next step is to sit down with the mayor (Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber) and discuss entering into an agreement to do feasibility and economic impact stories.”

“Jackson State is agreeable to taking a look at this opportunity, but there are no firm commitments in place.”
The Jackson State baseball program won the SWAC Championship this year and participated in the Division I post-season, which included a victory over highly regarded Louisiana Lafayette.


A&T to open football practice Saturday

GREENSBORO, North Carolina  -- The A&T football team will return to the field for its first official practice at 9 a.m. Saturday on the practice field behind the Bryan Fitness and Wellness Center on campus.

A&T will hold a 2½-hour practice in preparation for a 12-game 2014 schedule. Twenty-nine days later the Aggies will open the season in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 31 at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, Fla. A&T’s home opener is at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 against FCS playoff quarterfinalist Coastal Carolina at Aggie Stadium.

The Aggies were 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the MEAC last season. The Aggies return five starters on offense and four players on defense. The Aggies have four preseason first-team All-MEAC players: reigning MEAC rookie of the year running back Tarik Cohen, fifth-year offensive lineman William Ray Robinson III, senior wide receiver Desmond Lawrence and fifth-year linebacker D’Vonte Grant.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference aims to end FCS playoff drought

NORFOLK, Virginia  --  Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins has a simple strategy for snapping the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's lengthy playoff losing streak: play better.
"We haven't played good enough football in the playoffs, and that's why we came out on the down side," Jenkins said last week at the MEAC's preseason football media day in Norfolk. "It's time to put it all together.
"The opportunities have presented themselves and we just have not produced," he said. "It's time for this program and other programs who are getting opportunities to get past the point of not being able to win a playoff game. It's time to make it happen."
MEAC teams have lost 17 consecutive playoff games dating to 1999. Florida A&M recorded the league's last playoff win, over Troy State in the 1999 quarterfinals. Since 2000, seven different schools have lost a total of 16 playoff games.
The MEAC is the only one of ...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tuskegee talking national titles, not Turkey Day Classic

MONTGOMERY, Alabama --Tuskegee senior quarterback Justin Nared enjoyed playing against Alabama State in the Turkey Day Classic, but he doesn't miss the annual game.

He and Golden Tigers are focused on a different prize -- winning a national championship.

"Without playing the Turkey Day Classic, the atmosphere with the team and around the guys is we can be national champions versus HBCU champions or Turkey Day Classic champions," he said. "We have the opportunity to be (NCAA) Division II national champions. That's been preached about, talked about. Being Division I national champions and we have the opportunity to do that now. "


FAMU staff change moves Holmes back to defensive coordinator

NORFOLK, Virginia -- Earl Holmes’ football staff will be a little smaller this season, but he said he has already rearranged the duties of his assistants to make up for being short-handed.

Holmes finds himself having to make the changes because of cuts by athletics director Kellen Winslow in an effort to save money in his department. The cuts cost Holmes his defensive line coach George Small and tight ends assistant Brian Gilmore their jobs.

In the reshuffling, linebackers coach Levan Kirkland will coach the defensive line, while Holmes returns to being defensive coordinator. He held the position before becoming head coach last year.

Edwin Pata will continue with the offensive line and tight ends. Receivers coach Ernie Mills will help Pata with the tight ends, Holmes said.


Smaller college football teams in second-and-short situation

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — They'd like to get paid, too.

With all the talk about paying Division I-A college football players and power leagues that are seeking more autonomy to provide full cost-of-attendance and other benefits, athletes at Division I-AA schools like Alabama State and Division II schools like Tuskegee also want to share in the wealth.

"It sucks," Alabama State senior defensive tackle Derrick Billups said. "I feel like we deserve money, but I don't really complain about it. It would help out a whole lot if student-athletes received money because it's tough in college. All our parents aren't blessed financially."

The "Big Five" proposal of the 65 schools in the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 to provide full cost-of-attendance, medical care and insurance as well as to fund trips for family members to visit athletes is up for a final vote next month. NCAA I-AA and D-II programs may never receive those benefits, but Southern coach Dawson Odums described a way to address the needs of players at their level.


Hampton picked seventh in MEAC, aims to prove skeptics wrong

NORFOLK, Virginia  --  Miles Grooms likes the vibe around the Hampton University football program. New coaching staff, new faces, guys hungry after several seasons in the MEAC muddle.

"Our approach to the game is different," the Pirates' all-conference defensive end said. "The way we prepare, the way we work out. Everything is different. And it's better. We're all working harder. We're listening to the coaches. The young guys are listening to the leaders, following their lead. I think it's going to be a major turnaround this season."

Grooms and versatile offensive yardage machine Jorrian Washington were HU's representatives at Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football media day Friday, where the league's coaches and sports information personnel picked the Pirates seventh in the preseason poll.


Bowie State's Lee, Brown, Diaz-Aviles and McDaniel Voted Preseason All-CIAA

(L to R /Top to Bottom) Khari Lee, Keith Brown,
Mario Diaz-Aviles and Anthony McDaniel
DURHAM, North Carolina -- The Bowie State University football team has been predicted to finish 6th in the CIAA and 3rd in the Northern Division according to the 2014 conference preseason poll, which was released during the league's football press conference at the Durham Convention Center.

The Bulldogs return 42 lettermen including 14 starters from last year's squad. Bowie State finished the 2013 campaign with a 5-5 overall record and 3-4 record in the CIAA.

Seniors Khari Lee (TE - Baltimore, Md.), Keith Brown (RB – Temple Hills, Md.), Mario Diaz-Aviles (PK – Washington, D.C.) and Anthony McDaniel (DL – Fort Washington, Md.) were selected to the 2014 All-CIAA Preseason Team. The conference Predicted Order of Finish and Preseason Team are voted on by the CIAA Football Coaches Association.

For the third consecutive year, the defending CIAA Champions of Winston-Salem State University were selected to finish as the top team in the conference in 2014 followed by Fayetteville State University, Virginia State University, Shaw University and Elizabeth City State University made up the top five teams. Bowie State was voted as the sixth overall ranked team in the conference followed by Johnson C. Smith University, Chowan University, Saint Augustine's University, Virginia Union University, Livingstone College and Lincoln (Pa.).

Bowie State will open up the season on September 6th, hosting the Saint Anselm College Hawks of Manchester, N.H. at 1 pm. St. Anselm is a member of the Northeast-10 Conference and finished the 2013 season with an overall record of 2-9 (1-7 in the conference). The Bulldogs captured a 42-28 victory in last years' season opener on the Hawks home field.


Shaw picked third, St. Aug's fifth in CIAA football

DURHAM, North Carolina -- Winston-Salem State was picked to win the South Division and Virginia State was picked to win the North at the CIAA football media day Thursday in Durham.

In the South Division, Fayetteville State was picked second, Shaw third and St. Augustine’s fifth.

Winston-Salem State has won the past two titles. Shaw won it in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Winston-Salem State has a new head coach in former defensive coordinator Kienus Boulware but Boulware will have 18 starters back. One of those is All-CIAA quarterback Rudy Johnson, a senior.

Shaw, coached by Robert Massey, was 6-4 last season and closed with a 32-14 win over St. Augustine’s has a defensive line Massey says is “the best defensive line in the country.”


Football: Fisher to be preferred walk-on at Winston-Salem State

NEW BERN, North Carolina  --  Felix Fisher didn’t know if he’d get his shot of playing football in college. Then Winston-Salem State called.

The former New Bern defensive back was hoping to continue his playing career. Then, one morning, the coaches at Winston-Salem State left a message, offering him a spot as a preferred walk-on.
Fisher jumped at the chance.

“I just have to go there and show them what I can do. They are giving me this opportunity to show my skills,” Fisher said.

Fisher was accepted into the college and took a visit in April. It wasn’t until recently when he received the good news.


Alabama State establishes new football classic

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Alabama State University and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Alabama announced the establishment of the Prince Hall Masons Americanism Football Classic Tuesday at the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom.

The two-year agreement was signed by Alabama State University President Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd and Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Alabama Grandmaster Corey D. Hawkins, Sr., Esq. KYGCH, 33°. This year's game will feature the Hornets hosting Texas Southern on Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. In 2015, Alabama State will host Grambling State on Sept. 19 at the New ASU Stadium.

"We are certainly excited to establish a third classic for Alabama State University," said Dr. Boyd of this new classic which joins the existing State Farm Magic City Classic and the Turkey Day Classic. "We are excited that when you (the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Alabama) did reach out for a partner, not only in football, but in enhancing the lives of our young people, and especially our young men, you chose Alabama State. It is important that we always acknowledge that our students are student athletes, they are students first. We want them to be champions in the classroom as well as champions on the field. In partnering with you, they will see role models and examples of excellence in the community.  You will help them understand what it takes to be real men in their community, and to be real men who continue to give back and are productive citizens in the world."

The mission of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama is to continue the legacy of making good men better through fraternal brotherhood, to aid and assist widows, orphans, and distressed men, and to contribute to the community through service, scholarship, charity and training. Among the goals and benefits of this new classic football game will be the establishment of scholarships for Alabama State students.

"I look at this as a great opportunity as Black men to be role models to young men going to school trying to better themselves," Grandmaster Hawkins said. "Part of our mission statement is to present scholarships. This is an outstanding way for us to do so. We have to be more involved in our children's lives. In order to be a man, you must see a man, and I think this is an outstanding opportunity. I am thankful to Alabama State University for allowing us to partner with you. It's a blessing to have a school that's willing to do such."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

FAMU upperclassmen plan to lead turnaround

NORFOLK, Virginia -- The onus is on head football coach Earl Holmes to turnaround the FAMU football program, but senior defensive back Terry Johnson insisted that it's up to him and the other upperclassmen to make this a winning season.

They could only do it by being responsible as leaders, Johnson told reporters Friday at the MEAC kickoff at the Marriott Waterside.

"It starts with leadership and accountability," said Johnson, a product of Rickards High School. "If we have the younger players looking up to us they will follow our lead.

"Every leader was a follower. I was a follower and I looked up to the older guys and did what they did. It made me the person that I am today."

FAMU finished last season with a disappointing 3-9 record, considering the hype surrounding Holmes debut as a head coach. At least five of their games were decided by a touchdown or fewer points, something that Holmes attributed to mistakes by his young team.


MEAC: Five SSU players earn preseason league honors

NORFOLK, Virginia  -- Yes, Savannah State’s football team has something to play for during the 2014 season, Tigers second-year coach Earnest Wilson said Friday after the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason football luncheon in Norfolk, Va.
SSU (1-11 in 2013) isn’t eligible for postseason play because penalties from a poor Academic Progress Rate released in the spring and the Tigers weren’t included in the league’s preseason poll voting.
But ...
“If we beat everyone in the MEAC, who’s the champion?” Wilson said.
Bethune-Cookman was the favorite in the voting of league coaches and sports information directors followed by South Carolina State, North Carolina A&T, Howard, Delaware State, Norfolk State, Hampton, North Carolina State and Morgan State.

SWAC media day: SU Jaguars put 6 on all-conference teams

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama Southern re-emerged as a dominant program in Southwestern Athletic Conference football last season by going 9-4 and winning the conference title by topping Jackson State 34-27 in double overtime.
All that success has the Jaguars on everyone’s minds. As the 2014 season nears, they put six players on the preseason all-conference teams, announced Friday, and they’re the favorite to win the SWAC West Division.
Junior receiver Willie Quinn and junior offensive lineman Anthony Mosley received first-team nods. Sophomore running back Lenard Tillery, senior offensive lineman Zach Brown, senior linebacker Daniel Brown and senior defensive lineman Arthur Miley were voted to the second team. Quinn also was honored as a second-team return specialist.

Rabalais: The ring’s the thing for Southern, which will aim for another

  The Southern Jaguars don’t need a target on the back of their powder blues for opponents to aim at.
Just triangulate on the ring.
Southern’s rings from last season’s SWAC championship rank pretty high on the bling meter. They’re so massive that you had to think Jaguars football players Brian McCain and Arthur Miley, who accompanied coach Dawson Odums to SWAC media day here Friday, got in the equivalent of their daily offseason weight work just toting these things around.
Despite the constant silver reminders, the Jaguars are focused — shades on to protect against the sun’s glare off those rings — on the future.

SU's Avery Johnson, others headed into Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame

NEW ORLEANS  -- At one point in his young life, Avery Johnson wasn’t good enough to crack the starting lineup at St. Augustine High.

“I was kind of a 30-point guy,” Johnson told The Advocate last year. “When we were up by 30, I would have an opportunity to go in the game and play a little bit.”

The diminutive backup had his number called when St. Aug’s starting point guard was suspended from the team during the 1983 state playoffs.

Off Johnson went, helping the Purple Knights complete a 35-0 season and win the Class 4A title.
That was followed, of course, by an illustrious career at Southern and 16 playing seasons in the NBA, where he later coached the Spurs and Nets.
He will be one of five persons entering the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame on Aug. 2.

Friday, July 25, 2014

B-CU football picked by MEAC to defend conference title

NORFOLK, Virginia The Bethune-Cookman University football team was picked to defend its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title on Friday.

B-CU had 487 votes to top South Carolina State (457) and North Carolina A&T (338).

B-CU senior offensive center Andrew Edouard was named to the all-MEAC preseason first team.

Teammates LeBrandon Richardson and Marquis Drayton were selected to the preseason first team on defense.

Quarterback Quentin Williams and senior defensive lineman Rony Barrow made the all-MEAC preseason second team.


Tennessee State Football Tickets Still on Sale

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  -- Season and single game tickets for the 2014 Tennessee State football campaign are still on sale. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling the TSU Ticket Office (615-963-ROAR).
The reigning Black College National Champions open the season on Saturday, August 30 against Edward Waters College in the 16th annual John A. Merritt Classic.
TSU returns to Hale Stadium to face Tennessee Tech on Sept. 20 before taking on Florida A&M for Homecoming, Sept. 27.
In October, the Tigers will host Jacksonville State (10/11) and UT Martin (10/18) with the final home contest coming against Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 1.
Last season, TSU finished with a record of 10-4 and advanced to the second round of the FCS Playoffs.
The Tigers are coming off of their first postseason victory since 1986 and return the bulk of a defense that ranked sixth nationally in yards per game (296.9).
Season tickets are $90 and season parking passes are $30. The season parking package will include the three contests at LP Field.  The Hale Stadium games will be $5 cash only for every contest.
Ticket Information
SEASON TICKET BROCHURE (First time season ticket holders)
Season Ticket Price - $90
TSU Faculty/Staff Price - $80
Young Alumni/Kids 12 and under - $60 (Must be listed among TSU graduates from 2010-2014 are eligible/ Must specify at time of purchase)
2014 Football Single Game Tickets
Single Game Tickets at LP Field – Range from $15 - $40
Single Game Ticket at Hale Stadium - $15
** Tickets increase by $5 on game day**

Six Rattlers Named To MEAC Preseason All-Star Team

NORFOLK, Virginia – Six Florida A&M University football players were named to the Preseason All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team during the MEAC Football Media Luncheon here Friday afternoon at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel.
The preseason All-MEAC team, selected by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors, featured FAMU with four second team selections, sophomore guard Keonte Cash (Miami, Florida), senior defensive back Devontae “Terry” Johnson (Tallahassee, Florida), redshirt sophomore Patrick Aiken (Pembroke Pines, Florida) and senior kicker Chase Varnadore (Tallahassee, Florida).
The two third team selections from FAMU included senior quarterback Damien Fleming (Jacksonville, Florida) and senior offensive lineman Ryan Templeton (Chicago, Illinois).
FAMU was well represented by a contingent of personalities which included athletic director Kellen Winslow, Sr., head football coach Earl Holmes, and star players Chase Varnadore and Devontae “Terry” Johnson.
All four gentlemen were run through a battery of interviews with media outlets from around the conference during a Media Day session prior to the Noon Coaches’ Luncheon.
A pair of seniors snagged the Preseason Player of the Year honors, as Howard quarterback Greg McGhee, the league leader in both passing and total offense, was the Offensive Player of the Year, while Norfolk State All-America linebacker Lynden Trail, was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year.
South Carolina State led all league schools with 10 preseason all-star selections, tying defending champion Bethune-Cookman (7 selections) for the most first-team picks: four (4).
Norfolk State was second in the number of overall selections with eight (8), followed by Bethune-Cookman and MorganState with seven (7) apiece.
The league’s coaches and SIDs also weighed in on the coming football title chase, picking Bethune-Cookman to defend their 2013 title, garnering 487 points. South Carolina State (457 points) was second, followed by North Carolina A&T (338) and Howard University (309).
2014 MEAC Predicted Order of Finish
# School (Points)
1-Bethune-Cookman (487)
2-South Carolina State (457)
3-North Carolina A&T (318)
4-Howard University (309)
5-Delaware State (229)
6-Norfolk State (225)
7-Hampton (200)
8-North Carolina Central (187)
9-Morgan State (148)
**FAMU and SavannahState are ineligible for the conference title due to an NCAA postseason ban over the Academic Progress Rate (APR).


Thursday, July 24, 2014

WSSU picked to win Southern Division

DURHAM, North Carolina -- Winston-Salem State, the two-time defending CIAA champion and three-time defending Southern Division champion, has been selected as the top team again in its division.

The Rams, who have not lost a CIAA game in the last three seasons, were selected as the top team by the preseason CIAA coaches’ poll that was released this afternoon.
Following the Rams in the Southern Division are Fayetteville State, Elizabeth City State, Johnson C. Smith, St. Augustine’s and Livingstone.
The top team in the Northern Division was Virginia State, the defending division champion.
Following Virginia State were Elizabeth City State, Bowie State, Chowan, Virginia Union and Lincoln.
Coach Kienus Boulware of the Rams, who is in his first season, said earlier this week that he’s looking forward to the season starting.

Miles College football game with Benedict College changed for national TV

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama  -- The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football game between Miles College and Benedict College has been selected for a CBS Sports Network national television broadcast. The game has been moved to 7 p.m. Central on Thursday, Oct. 2, as part of the NCAA Division II Football Game of the Week television package.

The Golden Bears and Tigers were originally scheduled to play on Saturday, Oct. 4, at Albert J. Sloan-Alumni Stadium in Fairfield.

"Playing on CBS Sports Network is a great opportunity for Miles College and our football program especially when it comes to playing in front of a national television audience", said Golden Bears head coach Reginald Ruffin said in a prepared statement. "It's big for our institution to have an opportunity to be showcased in markets all of the country."