Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CIAA football shifting power

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- Change has arrived for CIAA football.

The league has five new coaches and undergoing a shift in power from the South Division to the North, where Bowie State and Virginia Union both earned berths in the Division II playoffs last year. Three Southern Division schools are undergoing dramatic changes as cross-town rivals Shaw and St. Augustine’s reboot with new coaches and Fayetteville State turned to rival Winston-Salem for its new coach, Richard Hayes.

Here’s some of the storylines for 2016:

• Johnson C. Smith’s second year under coach Kermit Blount. The Golden Bulls (4-6) overcame a slow start with a three-game win streak that put them within a game of .500. The key to moving up the pecking order is more consistency on offense, which JCSU lacked last year with freshman quarterbacks Jordan Lane and Harold Herbin sharing the duties. Lane emerged from spring drills as the starter with a full practice period under offensive coordinator Tory Woodbury.

“The order is much quicker, much smoother,” sophomore center Jordan Shaw said during spring drills. “People know their assignment a whole lot more, studying the film. Everything is put together a lot better.”


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