Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Once headed for ODU, Richmond running back commits to Norfolk State

NORFOLK, Virginia -- After a mutual parting of the ways with Old Dominion, a 240-pound, all-region running back from Richmond said he will play football for Norfolk State.

Shedrick McCall, who rushed
for 2,280 yards and 38 touchdowns at L.C. Bird High in Chesterfield County last season, committed to ODU in June. However, his father, also named Shedrick McCall, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that ODU coaches and his son agreed he should go elsewhere.

McCall’s father said his son wants to remain a running back and doesn’t want to redshirt next season. ODU would not guarantee where he would play or that he won’t redshirt.

ODU returns every running back on its roster, and traditionally tries to redshirt all of its freshmen. The
Monarchs recruited McCall as a prospective H back and tight end.

McCall reopened his recruiting on Saturday and quickly drew offers from several schools, including Howard. But Sunday afternoon, he tweeted that he had committed to Norfolk State.


ASU still plays Grambling after SWAC schedule switch

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Alabama State doesn't have to face the team that handed it its worst loss in 54 years this upcoming season.

That’s a byproduct the SWAC going back to playing seven conference games.

So the Hornets won’t play Southern, which has won its last four against them that includes a 64-6 demolishing last season, but must face the defending SWAC champions again.

The Hornets drew Grambling as well as Prairie View and Texas Southern as their three SWAC West crossover games for the 2017 season. ASU plays Grambling and Prairie View at home, but has lost its last two against the Tigers and its last three against the Panthers.

Alabama State also plays at Texas Southern, which also defeated ASU last season. So that means ASU won’t play Southern and Arkansas Pine Bluff, a team it has defeated four straight years.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Martin playing in Portugal; latest UMES Hawk to go pro

PRINESS ANNE, Maryland -- Devin Martin didn’t know what or where Portugal was, but by last Wednesday he knew it was a country that had pro basketball, and some team was going to pay him to play there.

“I just knew that it was in Europe,” Martin said with a laugh. “I got the call from the coach and the president and they flew me in. They gave me the opportunity and I just took it.”

The former University of Maryland Eastern Shore guard has had an eventful past few days.

He signed his first pro contract, with Sampaense Basket, on Jan. 25. The next day, he traveled from his home in Baltimore to Coimbra, a city in Portugal.

By Sunday, he was playing in his first pro game. He played 16 minutes in his debut with Sampaense Basket, tallying nine points, four rebounds and three steals in the team’s second win of the season.

“It was a really quick process,” Martin said. “My coach didn’t want to run me too much, because I just got here and I’m still trying to adjust to the time difference, but it was good.”


Sunday, January 29, 2017

At Savannah State, ex-Hoya Horace Broadnax speeds things up

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When he was a player under legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., Horace Broadnax was a part of teams known for their ruthless defense. You had to earn points against those Hoyas — during their tournament run to the 1984 NCAA title, they allowed more than 50 just once, in the championship game against Houston, which had a pretty good center named Hakeem Olajuwon.

Those Hoyas also had a pretty good center in Patrick Ewing. Broadnax was the backup point guard, and thus was intimately familiar with Thompson’s defensive principles.

Broadnax would soon follow Thompson into coaching, leveraging those strict defensive tenets into three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference coach of the year awards, including most recently in 2011-12 at Savannah State, directing the Tigers to the National Invitational Tournament for the first time in program history.

This past offseason, Broadnax decided to scrap the defense-first approach, at least temporarily. In its place, he installed a frenetic attack built around spreading out an opponent and taking the quickest uncontested shot available, preferably a three-pointer in transition.

After what Broadnax described as a rough go to the start the season, his players have taken to the offensive overhaul in recent weeks, with Savannah State on a five-game winning streak. Included in that run was a 73-70 victory over Howard on Saturday at Burr Gymnasium to keep the Tigers (9-12, 6-2) in the hunt for the MEAC regular season title.


Tuskegee Golden Tigers 2016 Year in Review

Albany State Men’s Golf releases 2017 schedule

ALBANY, Georgia -- The first official men's golf season in Albany State history is ready to commence this spring. ASU head men's golf coach Gary Hilton released the 2017 schedule on Thursday. After generating the Golden Rams' first golf team, Hilton believes the six-match slate will be a memorable one for the institution.

"Building a team from scratch has definitely had its obstacles, but I believe we have put together a team of very hardworking players to start a successful program for the future," Hilton said. "We brought in three junior college players that have experience in college golf and three local players that will make an immediate impact.

"We were waiting for several players to transfer in during the Christmas break before beginning our inaugural season. The schedule consists of six regular season tournaments and postseason, two of which will be against NCAA DI competition."

Albany State will open its historic season on Feb. 12-14 in Brunswick, Ga. The Golden Rams will participate in the College of Coastal Georgia Winter Invitational. ASU will then travel to Savannah, Ga. to compete in the Armstrong State University Invitational on Feb. 26-28.

In March, Albany State will contend in two matches in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. On March 5-7, ASU will vie in the Butler Collegiate Tournament before competing in the Bulldog Florida Invitational on March 8-9. The team will close out the month on March 27-29 in the University of North Alabama Invitational in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Albany State will host is first match with the Hurricane Invitational on April 2-4. The event will take place at the Doublegate Country Club in Albany, Ga.

After the regular season, the Golden Rams' golf team will continue it momentous run in the postseason. ASU will compete for is first SIAC championship on Monday, April 17-19. The site will be determined at a later date.

"When preparing the schedule, I wanted to set a precedent for the future of our program by playing a very difficult schedule against some of the best competition."


2/12-14/2017 College of Coastal Georgia Winter Invitational-Sea Island Golf Club Retreat Course Brunswick, Georgia

2/26/2017 Armstrong State University Invitational-Savannah Quarters CC Savannah, Georgia

3/5-7/2017 Butler Collegiate Tournament-Jacksonville Beach CC Jacksonville Beach, Florida

3/8-9/2017 Bulldog Florida Invitational-Windsor Parke GC Jacksonville, Beach, Florida

3/27-29/2017 University of North Alabama Division II Spring Review Ford City Alabama

4/2-4/2017 Hurricane Invitational-Doublegate CC Albany, Georgia

For more information regarding the Albany State men's golf program, contact Coach Hilton at (229) 317-6833 and james.hilton@asurams.edu.


Gold Rush fall to Dillard in Crosstown Classic

NEW ORLEANS — Jalen McGaughy's fifth consecutive double-double, 22 points and 12 rebounds, led NAIA No. 14 Dillard in a 104-71 men's basketball victory against Xavier University of Louisiana in the Crosstown Classic before 3,191 fans at XULA's Convocation Center.

McGaughy, a 6-foot-10 junior, also blocked eight shots, five in the first half, and had three steals. He made all three of his 3-point attempts and is 13-of-19 from behind the arc in his last six games.

The Gold Rush (7-13, 3-2 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) opened the game with consecutive 3-pointers and led 8-2 in the third minute. But the Bleu Devils (15-5, 6-0) answered with runs of 7-0, 9-0 and 12-0 to take a 48-28 halftime lead.

"Dillard beat us in transition, they beat us at the free-throw line, they beat us in rebounds," XULA coach Alfred Williams said. "We've got to keep working to get better."

Quinton Jackson scored 20 points, Demetric Austin 16, Dennis Hightower 12 and Patrick Thompson 10 for Dillard. Hightower and Montrey Thomas had eight assists apiece, and Jackson had seven.
Mike Williams scored 23 points and Jalen David 11 for the Gold Rush. XULA made 12 3-pointers, its most in a game since February 2008. Williams made four treys to match his career high, and Jerry Gibson made a career-best 3-of-3.

Dillard outshot XULA 54.4 to 30.4 percent from the floor and made 22-of-25 free throws to XULA's 17-of-21. The Bleu Devils had a 49-29 rebound advantage.

The winning margin was the largest in the longtime series since 1969. Dillard scored its biggest-ever victory margin against the Gold Rush at XULA. The previous best was 23 points in 1960.

Attendance was the second largest in the five-year history of the Convocation Center.

XULA will travel to NAIA No. 15 Talladega for a 7:30 p.m. GCAC game Monday. The Gold Rush and Philander Smith are tied for second in the conference, and Talladega is a half-game behind at 2-2.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


XU Singleton's 3 at the buzzer beats Lady Bleu Devils

NEW ORLEANS — Kelsee Singleton, a career 17-percent shooter from 3-point range for Xavier University of Louisiana prior to Saturday, beat those odds and Dillard with one memorable shot.

The fifth-year senior center swished a trey at the buzzer to give the Gold Nuggets a 68-66 women's basketball victory against the Lady Bleu Devils in the Crosstown Classic at XULA's Convocation Center.

On an inbounds play that started on the XULA baseline with 2.4 seconds remaining, Mikayla Bates passed to Singleton, who beat the clock with her second 3-pointer of the game — her fifth of the season — and her first winning shot for XULA (13-7, 4-1 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference).

"I was wide open on the wing and called for it," Singleton said, "and I just felt really confident when it left my hand."

Bates' assist was her career-high seventh of the game.

Singleton's basket was one of two 3-pointers in the closing moments. With 8.2 seconds remaining, Alyssa Washington swished a three from the top of the key to give Dillard (12-6, 4-2) a 66-65 lead.

On Xavier's final possession, Adriiana Jackson nearly clinched a victory for Dillard with a back-tip as XULA guard Brittany Jackson frantically dribbled up court. But the loose ball rolled out of bounds in the corner next to the XULA bench, and the referees ruled that Dillard last touched the ball. One more opportunity awaited the Gold Nuggets.

"Dillard left Kelsee open for two seconds, and that's all she needed," XULA coach Bo Browder said. "I was happy to see Kelsee knock down that shot. She's a first-class young lady, a hard worker, and she's a senior. Seniors are supposed to make those kinds of plays for you."

XULA, winning for the seventh time in eight games and the seventh straight time at home, also got career highs of 17 points from Ireyon Keith and 13 from Jalyn HodgeJayla Nichols and Maya Trench scored eight points apiece, with Nichols grabbing a team-best eight rebounds and Trench producing a game-high four steals to become the first XULA freshman in eight seasons to reach 50.

Jackson scored a season-high 22 points for Dillard — she was 7-of-8 from the floor — Keona Favis and Shaelynn Moore scored 11 apiece, and Washington had nine points and nine rebounds. Moore and Washington entered averaging a combined 31.7 points per game, and Browder said he was proud of his defense for holding those two below their averages.

"It wasn't our best game," Browder said, "but it showed that we had played a lot of tough games this year. We weren't giving in."

XULA replaced Dillard as the GCAC's second-place team. If the Gold Nuggets can win Monday at Talladega, they'll ascend to first place by a half-game over the Lady Tornadoes.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


Hilton named first men's golf coach in ASU history

ALBANY, Georgia -- Gary Hilton is entering his first season as the head men's golf coach at Albany State University, which will be the program's inaugural season. Previously, Hilton led the Darton State College men's golf program from 2013-2016.

Hilton is also a former Darton State College golfer. He played for the Cavaliers from 2000-2002 and was a two-time team captain. During his playing days, Hilton helped begin the long winning streak of 15 straight Region XVII Golf Championships. He was on the school's first team to qualify for the NJCAA National Championships and was an all-region selection during his sophomore year. Hilton continued his collegiate golf career at Georgia Southwestern State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

During his tenure as Darton head coach, Hilton guided the Cavalier golf program to 13 tournament wins, including three Region XVII Championships and the 2014 District IV Championship. Hilton was named Region XVII Coach of the Year in all three of his seasons at Darton State College and District Coach of the year in 2014 during his first season at the helm.
In his first three seasons, Hilton's Cavalier golf teams finished the seasons nationally-ranked.

Hilton's program also produced student-athletes who were successful both academically and athletically. He coached three PING All-Americans, nine All-Region XVII selections & two national all-academic selections. Under Hilton's guidance, the Cavalier golf team continually sent student-athletes to the four-year colleges and universities at Division I, II, and II and NAIA levels.


West Virginia State University Names John Pennington Head Football Coach

INSTITUTE, West Virginia — After a nationwide search, West Virginia State University (WVSU) today (1/27/17) announced the hiring of John Pennington as the school's new Head Football Coach.

Pennington has served as the Yellow Jackets' Offensive Coordinator for the past two seasons and was the offensive line and special teams coach in 2010. He has been the interim head coach since December.

"I am appreciative that John Pennington will take the lead as the Head Coach for the Yellow Jackets football team," said WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins. "His leadership as offensive coordinator and history within athletics will provide a direct impact to our student-athletes as they excel in football, but also in the classroom."

Under Pennington's direction, WVSU moved from next to last in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) in total offense in 2014 to third in 2016. The Yellow Jackets led the conference in passing in 2015 and were second in 2016 when starting quarterback Matt Kinnick missed several games due to an injury.

WVSU averaged 13.1 points per game in 2014 and saw that increase to 30.5 in Pennington's first season as offensive coordinator.

"I'm extremely honored and grateful to be the next Head Football Coach at West Virginia State," Pennington said. "I want to thank President Jenkins, Nate Burton, and the search committee for giving me this great opportunity." 

A Charleston native, Pennington was a star football and baseball player at George Washington High School and played wide receiver for West Virginia University.

 "Since becoming the Interim Head Coach, I have been blown away by the pride and passion of our alumni, faculty, and fans," he said. "We are going to build a Championship Program that develops young men into extraordinary leaders." 

"I am blessed to be able to stay home, raise my family here, and have a positive impact on the community I was raised in.  Go State!"

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at West Virginia Wesleyan in 2005. Pennington then spent two seasons in Montgomery coaching defensive backs, offensive linemen, and ran the strength and conditioning program.

Pennington has also served as the Offensive Coordinator and Associate Head Coach of the semi-pro West Virginia Lightning football team based in Charleston. During his time with the Lightning, the team won two United States Football Association championships.

From February 2011 until coming to Institute he had been on the staff at Concord University. There he held a variety of positions including Special Teams Coordinator, Head Strength Coach, Wide Receivers Coach and Director of Football Operations.

"I am looking forward to seeing what our young men can accomplish on the field, in the classroom, and in the community under Coach Pennington," WVSU Athletic Director Nate Burton said. "After a nationwide search it became obvious that he was the right person for the job."

The Yellow Jackets posted a 3-8 record in 2016 but ended the season winning their final two games. The program returns eight starters on offense and 10 on defense for the 2017 season.

Among the offensive players who can return are record-setting quarterback Matt Kinnick, top receiver Quinton Gray, and leading rushers Juwan Etheredge and Dionta Brown. The defensive leaders coming back include linebacker Trent Williamson, defensive back Kevin Coffie, and linebacker Kaylan Striggle.

Pennington resides in Charleston with his wife Andrea and their children, Nolan, 5, Levi, 2, and newborn Ava.

Pennington replaces Jon Anderson, who returned to the University oSioux Falls as the Head Football Coach.  Anderson came to WVSU from Sioux Falls, where he served as Defensive Coordinator.
Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook and Twitter @WVStateU.


Carter, DSU set for rough football slate vs. W. Va., Fla. State

DOVER, Delaware — Kenny Carter knows exactly what he’s getting into.

He’s the one who put this schedule together, after all.

So one year after getting crushed 79-0 by Missouri — a game in which 10 minutes were taken off the clock in the second half because it was so lopsided — the Delaware State football team is doubling down in 2017.

This year the Hornets are going to face two major-college programs.

On Sept. 16, DelState — which went 0-11 in 2016 — will play at West Virginia. Then, on Nov. 18, the Hornets will finish the season with a game at Florida State.

Both teams finished last year ranked in the top-20 in the national polls.

“I’m excited about it,” said Carter, who is entering his third season as DSU’s coach. “I like the way we have it structured. You always want to play up a level as much as you can. It doesn’t matter what our record was last year. We had a lot of young players who will be good players and this is a way to test them.”


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Howard University football to face UNLV in 2017 season opener

Howard Bison On the Road September 16 as new Head Coach Mike London faces his former team the Richmond Spiders.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The UNLV football team will open the 2017 season against Howard University on Sept. 2 at Sam Boyd Stadium, the university announced Tuesday.

“We’re excited to face a program with a long history and proud tradition,” UNLV coach Tony Sanchez said. “They have a new coaching staff so I know they’ll be fired up and so will we, and we’re excited to open the year at home.”

It’s the first meeting between UNLV and Howard, a historically black college (HBCU) in Washington, D.C. The Bisons are led by first-year coach Mike London, a former head coach at Virginia.

This is the second season of a three-year partnership between UNLV and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to have the Rebels open against a HBCU opponent. Last season, UNLV defeated Jackson State 63-13.

“Last year’s first game in this partnership with the LVCVA saw Jackson State come in for a memorable season opener that drew a lot of new fans to our stadium, and we know that Howard University will do the same this fall,” UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said. “This series does a great job in helping the LVCVA promote our community and program, and we can’t wait to kick off the season against the Bisons.”

Howard’s “Showtime” marching band will make the trip to Las Vegas and will “appear at another event in the community as well as at the stadium for a halftime show.”


Honda Battle of the Bands 2017 Showcase Rocks Atlanta

Wilson Central's Ray Coggins commits to TSU

LEBANON, Tennessee -- Wilson Central senior defensive back Ray Coggins has committed to play football at Tennessee State University.

Coggins announced his decision via Twitter on Wednesday morning, posting from his account, “It’s been a long and tough journey but I finally found a place to call home at Tennessee State University.”

Coggins, who had previously committed to Eastern Kentucky in early July, is a three-star prospect and the state’s 48th-ranked prospect according to 247Sports.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Coggins tallied 22 tackles and an interception as a senior last season, helping lead the Wildcats to an 8-3 record — their best regular-season finish since 2011.


XU Wednesday doubleheader with William Carey canceled

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana and William Carey University have mutally agreed to cancel their Wednesday (Feb. 1) basketball doubleheader.

William Carey's campus in Hattiesburg, Miss., was struck this past Saturday (Jan. 21) by an EF3 tornado (wind speeds between 136 to 165 mph). Campus damages included Carey's basketball facility, Clinton Gym.

"We are keeping William Carey and the Hattiesburg community in our thoughts and prayers as they repair and rebuild," XULA Director of Athletics & Recreation Jason Horn said. "At this point we have not decided if we will replace Carey with other opponents."

XULA's next games will be Saturday in the Crosstown Classic against Dillard at the Convocation Center. The women's game will tip off at 3 p.m., with the men to start at 5.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


6 student-athletes join XULA tennis for spring 2017

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has added six more student-athletes to the tennis teams for the 2017 spring semester.

Coach Alan Green announced the signing of five men and one woman:

     •  Pierre Andrieu, a sophomore from Tours, France, and a business major at XULA.
     •  Catalin Fifea, a junior from Bucharest, Romania. He's a sociology major.
     •  Moses Micheal, a freshman from Kaduna, Nigeria, and a business major.
     •  Oran Reznick, a freshman from Ashkelon, Israel. Reznick is majoring in business.
     •  Antoine Richard, a freshman from Laval, Quebec, and a finance major.
     •  Yi Chen Pao, a freshman from Taichung City, Taiwan. Pao is undecided on her major.
The XULA men, the NAIA national runner-up last season, will open their season Saturday with a pair of dual matches at NCAA Division I Louisiana-Lafayette. Times will be 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. At noon Sunday, the Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets will play city rival Loyola at XULA Tennis Center. Admission is free to all XULA home matches.
"We lost three All-Americans from a team that reached the national championship match last year," Green said. "We brought in some guys that we feel good about that can hopefully elevate our team to contend for another shot at the final match again. We will have some early tests in our schedule that will give us a good indication if we can get back there."
Of Pao, Green said, "She is going to add good depth to the Gold Nuggets."
Fifea is a transfer from NCAA Division I member VCU, where he was first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference this past season. The other men have considerable experience in junior tennis; all combined they've won nearly 30 tournament championships at that level.
Pao is one of four Gold Nuggets in their first year in the program. The others — freshmen Lacee Ancar of Harvey, La., and Lyndsey Clark of Jacksonville, Fla., and seniorEmma Kranendonk of Heemskerk, The Netherlands — competed for XULA during the fall semester.
XULA's men were No. 2, and the women were No. 19 in the NAIA coaches polls announced Tuesday.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


Huss defensive end Devin Harrell commits to North Carolina A&T

GASTONIA, North Carolina – After setting the school record for sacks and helping the Huss football team to one of its best seasons in decades, Devin Harrell will be moving on to play football at the next level.

Harrell verbally committed to play Division I football at North Carolina A&T next season. He went on an official visit to Greensboro on Friday, Jan. 13 and shortly after made his choice to play for the Aggies. Harrell will sign his National Letter of Intent to make the decision official on Wednesday after school at the Hunter Huss High School library.


“I loved it man,” Harrell said of his impressions after the visit. “It’s a nice school, nice environment. They have a good coaching staff there that can make me a better player and person.”

As a senior this fall, Harrell finished the year with 21 sacks on his way to being named Big South Conference defensive player of the year. He and fellow senior defensive end Amari Torrence (15 sacks) dubbed themselves the “Bash Brothers” and terrorized opposing quarterbacks in the backfield all season.

That defensive line was a key piece of a historic season for the Huskies. Huss went undefeated in the Big South and the Huskies won their first conference championship since 1996. The Huskiees went on to beat Parkwood and R-S Central in the first two rounds of the playoffs before falling to eventual state champion Shelby on the road in the third round.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Tennessee Tiger Football Announces 2017 Schedule

Tentative 2017 Schedule
NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- Tennessee State University released its 2017 football schedule on Wednesday. The Tigers’ slate is highlighted with a game at FBS Georgia State and matchups with two longtime HBCU rivals.

TSU will travel to Atlanta to face Sun Belt member Georgia State to open the season. The game is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31. The Tigers will then travel to Memphis for its annual game with Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic on Sept. 9.

The following week (Sept. 16) will pit the Big Blue against Florida A&M at a location to be announced at a later date.

“We feel this contest is a terrific financial and recruiting opportunity for both our universities,” said Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips. “We have a great rivalry with Florida A&M and are excited about the prospect of continuing this series.”

TSU is also in negotiations with an opponent for the John Merritt Classic. The game will take place on either Oct. 21 or Nov. 4. Full details will be announced at a later date.

Tennessee State will begin Ohio Valley Conference play with a trip on Sept. 23 to take on UT Martin. The conference schedule will bring Eastern Illinois, Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri to Nashville, while the Tigers will take to the road for games at Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee Tech and a Thursday night battle on Nov. 16 at Jacksonville State.

Austin Peay will provide opposition to the Tigers in this year’s homecoming contest. The game is scheduled for Oct. 14 at Nissan Stadium.

TSU is coming off a 7-4 finish and a 4-3 record in the OVC. The Tigers closed out the season with a 32-31 victory at Southeast Missouri.

Tentative 2017 Schedule


WSSU Rams Announce 2017 Football Schedule

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- The Winston-Salem State Department of Athletics is happy to announce the 2017 football schedule.

The two-time defending CIAA Champion Rams will play five home games this season at Bowman Gray Stadium, including the Winston-Salem Football Classic.

WSSU will open the season on the road at UNC Pembroke on August 31st.

The Rams will host Catawba in the 2017 Winston-Salem Football Classic, on September 9th, and then will visit the state of Virginia, for two consecutive weeks. The Rams will travel to Richmond to take on Virginia Union University on September 16th, and will return to Petersburg the following week to take on Virginia State University on September 23rd. Winston-Salem State will wrap up September hosting Lincoln University on September 30th.

2017 WSSU football schedule

Aug. 31 WSSU at UNC Pembroke
Sept. 9 Catawba at WSSU
Sept. 16 WSSU at Va. Union*
Sept. 23 WSSU at Va. State
Sept. 30 Lincoln (Pa.) at WSSU
Oct. 7 J.C. Smith at WSSU
Oct. 14 WSSU at St. Augustine’s
Oct. 21 WSSU at Livingstone
Oct. 28 Shaw at WSSU
Nov. 4 Fayetteville St. at WSSU
*nonconference game

Winston-Salem State will host Johnson C. Smith at Bowman Gray Stadium on October 7th, before taking the show on the road for two straight weeks. On October 14th, WSSU will travel to Raleigh to face the St. Augustine's University Falcons. The following week, WSSU travels to Salisbury, to face the Blue Bears of Livingstone College. The Rams will wrap up October with a home game versus Shaw, for Homecoming 2017.

The month of November will find the Rams at home for Senior Day on the 4th, as WSSU will host the Broncos of Fayetteville State.

The CIAA Championship will be played on November 11th. The site has yet to be announced.

All game times and any television games will be released at a later date.


Rush, Nuggets return to court for duals this weekend

NEW ORLEANS — It's another star-studded, power-packed spring-semester schedule for the men's and women's tennis teams at Xavier University of Louisiana.

The Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets will play this weekend the first four of a combined 36 regular-season dual matches in 2017. Saturday the XULA men will visit NCAA Division I's Louisiana-Lafayette for duals at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday the Rush and Nuggets will play city rival Loyola at noon at XULA Tennis Center.

Alan Green, in his 14th season as coach of the XULA men and women, announced the schedule Thursday. The competition will be XULA's first since the Big Easy Classic Oct. 28-29.

The Gold Rush — the NAIA national runner-up in 2016 and No. 2 in the preseason coaches poll announced Tuesday — will play five duals against NCAA Division I (UL Lafayette twice, Nicholls State, Florida Atlantic, Jackson State), two against top-10 NCAA Division II opponents (No. 6 Columbus State, No. 9 West Florida), one against a top-10 NCAA Division III opponent (No. 2 Emory) and six against ranked NAIA teams (No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett, No. 4 Keiser twice, No. 7 William Carey twice, No. 12 Cumberlands).

The Gold Nuggets — ranked No. 1 a combined five times in 2012 and 2013 and No. 19 in the 2017 preseason — will play seven duals against NCAA Division I (Tulane, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Nicholls State, Florida Atlantic, Jackson State, Southern), two against top-10 NCAA Division II opponents (No. 7 West Florida, No. 8 Columbus State) and nine against ranked NAIA teams (No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett, No. 4 Brenau, No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 11 Keiser twice, No. 12 William Carey twice, No. 14 LSU-Alexandria, No. 24 Cumberlands).

There also will be road exhibitions against two-year ASA Miami, whose men are No. 2 and women No. 3 in NJCAA Division I. ASA Miami will be the first of three Rush and Nuggets duals in south Florida in mid-March.

The NAIA National Championships will be played at Mobile, Ala., for the 14th consecutive season. The Gold Rush will attempt to qualify for nationals for the ninth consecutive year and the ninth time overall; the Gold Nuggets will try to qualify for the sixth consecutive year, the ninth time in 10 years and the 11th time overall.

2017 XULA Tennis Schedule
Team(s) Date(s) Opponent Site Time(s)

Men Jan. 28 (Sat.) at Louisiana-Lafayette (DH) Lafayette, La. 10 and 2 p.m.
Both Jan. 29 (Sun.) LOYOLA (N.O.) XU TENNIS CENTER Noon
Women Feb. 4 (Sat.) at South Alabama Mobile, Ala. 11 a.m.
Women Feb. 7 (Tue.) at Southern Miss Hattiesburg, Miss. 2:30 p.m.
Both Feb. 17 (Fri.) Keiser Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 11 a.m. EST
Both Feb. 17 (Fri.) Cumberlands Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 5 p.m. EST
Women Feb. 18 (Sat.) Indiana Wesleyan Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 5 p.m. EST
Men Feb. 18 (Sat.) Emory Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 6 p.m. EST
Both Feb. 19 (Sun.) at Georgia Gwinnett Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 10 a.m. EST
Women Feb. 27 (Mon.) Brenau Mobile, Ala. 4 p.m.
Both March 16 (Thu.) at ASA Miami (exhibition) North Miami Beach, Fla. TBA
Both March 17 (Fri.) at Keiser West Palm Beach, Fla. TBA
Both March 18 (Sat.) at Florida Atlantic Boca Raton, Fla. TBA
Women April 1 (Sat.) at LSU-Alexandria Alexandria, La. 1 p.m.
Women April 5 (Wed.) at Southern Baton Rouge, La. 3 p.m.
Both April 8 (Sat.) at Jackson State Jackson, Miss. Noon
Women April 9 (Sun.) at Tulane New Orleans, La. 3 p.m.
Both April 13 (Thu.) at West Florida Pensacola, Fla. 1 p.m.
Both April 14 (Fri.) Columbus State Pensacola, Fla. 10 a.m.
Both April 15 (Sat.) at William Carey Hattiesburg, Miss. 11 a.m.
Both TBA NAIA Unaffiliated Group
Tournament TBA TBA
Both May 16 (Tue.) -
May 20 (Sat.) NAIA National Championships Mobile, Ala. TBA

# Gulf Coast Athletic Conference dual match
(DH) doubleheader
(1) Georgia Gwinnett Grizzly Invitational
Home matches (in bold and CAPITAL LETTERS) are played at XULA Tennis Center (capacity 200), Xavier University campus, New Orleans
TBA — to be announced
All times are Central, except where noted
Schedule is subject to change

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


FCS Playoffs a ‘Break Even’ Proposition

CHENEY, Washington -- EWU football finished with an overall record of 12-2 on the year they advanced to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs and had two finalists for the Walter Payton award, along with six All-Americans.

With the accolades and three extra home games in the playoffs, one would think that the athletic department would make a little extra money. But, believe it or not, they do not.

When a team hosts a playoff game in the FCS, they have to go through a bid process in order to play the game at their venue. In order for the NCAA to keep the game as neutral as possible, it is not considered a home game but an NCAA event.

In the three playoff games at Roos Field, EWU could only use the NCAA game day graphics. They were not allowed to do the first down ‘caw’ or even the team’s pregame video.

“All the things that we put up on the video board are done through the NCAA in conjunction with our office,” said Chad Karthauser, associate athletic director for Business and Finance. “So, it really is about as neutral sided game as you can make it, it just happens to be on our home turf which is our home field advantage.”


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Florida A&M Releases 2017 Football Schedule

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Florida A&M University (FAMU) released their 2017 Football Schedule Wednesday, a lineup of games which features a season-opening home game for the first time since 2010.

The Rattlers, will open their third season under head coach Alex Wood on Saturday, Aug. 26 against an old rival from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the Tigers of Texas Southern University, in the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic in Bragg Memorial Stadium.

A portion of proceeds from that game will go towards the Jake Gaither House, to assist in the preservation of the home of the Hall of Fame coach, located just off the FAMU campus.

Bragg Stadium will also be the scene for three other home games: against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion Eagles of North Carolina Central (Sept. 30), the Aggies of North Carolina A&T for the 2017 Homecoming Game (Oct. 14), and the Bison of Howard University (Nov. 4), in the home finale.

Homecoming 2017 at FAMU will also feature the second annual Funkfest, the all-day music extravaganza, set for Homecoming Eve, Friday, Oct. 13 on the South campus.

The 2017 Rattler Road Tour features a seven-game slate opening Sept. 2 against the Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Other whistle stops on the Rattler Tour will feature face offs against the Tigers of Savannah (Ga.) State in the MEAC opener (Sept. 23) at Savannah, Ga.; the Spartans of Norfolk (Va.) State (Oct. 7, Norfolk, Va.); the Pirates of Hampton (Va.) University (Oct. 21) at Hampton, Va., and the Bears of Morgan State at Baltimore, Md. (Oct. 28).

The Tigers of Tennessee State make a return to the FAMU schedule on Sept. 16, at a site to be announced shortly.

FAMU closes out the regular season with the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic against archrival Bethune-Cookman University, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on Nov. 18.

Start times for all games will be announced in the coming weeks.

2017 FAMU Football Schedule

AUG. 26 TEXAS SOUTHERN Jake Gaither Classic/HOME

Sept. 2 at University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark.

Sept. 16 Tennessee State Site TBD

Sept. 23 at Savannah State* Savannah, Ga.


Oct. 7 at Norfolk State* ` Norfolk, Va.


Oct. 21 at Hampton University* Hampton, Va.

Oct. 28 at Morgan State* Baltimore, Md.


Nov. 18 Bethune-Cookman*# Orlando, Fla.

*MEAC Games. #Florida Blue Florida Classic/Orlando, Fla.


New Orleans Saints Draft: WR Chad Williams, Grambling

NEW ORLEANS -- Steve McNair, Doug Williams, Michael Strahan, Jerry Rice, and Walter Payton have all come from historically black colleges. Those are just a few. Many of these players have come from the SWAC Conference. Wide receiver Chad Williams is just trying to get the chance to make his mark in the NFL.

Chad Williams comes from Grambling University. The university used to send a lot of guys onto the NFL when Eddie Robinson was still coaching. Things have changed quite a bit since then. For instance, Williams is trying to be the first player from Grambling to be drafted since 2006 11 years ago.

Williams is very fortunate to even get this far.

“It’s an overwhelming experience. I’m just soaking in everything and trying to take in as much as I can from these guys.”

Former Rams WR standout Torry Holt is trying to to help Williams to get to that next level. Holt was one of the receivers that was on the “greatest show on turf” team with Kurt Warner. Williams caught 90 balls for 1,337 yards with 11 touchdowns. All were the best in the SWAC this past year.


ASU AD Hines expresses support for Jenkins

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Alabama State athletic director Melvin Hines remains in full support of his head football coach – Brian Jenkins.

In a letter posted last week on ASU’s athletic website, Hines spoke highly of Jenkins, saying he and the “university leadership stand firmly behind Coach Jenkins and all of his staff with enthusiastic solidarity and support as they gear up for the 2017 season.”

The Hornets are 10-12 in their two seasons under Jenkins since he replaced Reggie Barlow. Jenkins suffered his first losing season ever as ASU went 4-7 last season, but Hines is optimistic about the football program’s future under the coach he lured from Bethune-Cookman to lead the Hornets.

ASU will renew its rivalry with Tuskegee to open the 2017 season Sept. 2 at ASU Stadium.


Gold Nuggets begin spring semester 19th nationally

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana is 19th in the NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll announced Tuesday. It's the Gold Nuggets' same position as in the 2016 postseason rankings.

The top-25 ranking is the 40th in a row for the XULA women and their 85th in the last 95 polls dating to Feb. 25, 2004.

XULA, 8-14 a year ago, will play its first dual match of the spring semester at noon Sunday against city rival Loyola at XULA Tennis Center. The Gold Nuggets' first duals against ranked teams will be Feb. 17 against No. 11 Keiser and No. 24 Cumberlands in the Grizzly Invitational at Lawrenceville, Ga.

Defending champion Georgia Gwinnett received all 13 first-place votes.
The next top 25 will be announced Feb. 14.

NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records from previous season)
Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (13) 18-2 343 1
2 Lindsey Wilson 21-5 332 2
3 SCAD Savannah 18-2 321 4
4 Brenau 17-7 310 5
5 Cardinal Stritch 19-2 297 6
6 William Woods 19-3 289 7
7 Indiana Wesleyan 33-7 276 8
8 Middle Georgia 15-8 263 10
9 Davenport 25-6 244 11
10 Northwestern Ohio 14-10 230 13
11 Keiser 11-9 224 17
12 William Carey 12-12 223 12
13 Arizona Christian 17-5 209 18
14 LSU-Alexandria 12-7 202 14
15 Olivet Nazarene 13-10 201 15
16 Mobile 12-7 171 16
17 Cumberland 12-9 165 20
18 San Diego Christian 4-9 150 RV
19 Xavier 8-14 147 19
20 McPherson 13-5 122 22
21 Westmont 10-8 119 9
22 St. Thomas (Fla.) 8-8 107 23
23 Reinhardt 12-5 102 24
24 Cumberlands 12-10 80 NR
25 Marian (Ind.) 14-8 73 RV

Dropped from rankings: No. 3 Auburn Montgomery, No. 21 Lewis-Clark State, No. 25 Georgetown (Ky.)

Others receiving votes: Lewis-Clark State 66, Missouri Valley 64, Georgetown (Ky.) 43, Milligan 27, Southeastern (Fla.) 18, Southwestern (Kan.) 12, Morningside 12, Asbury 12, Texas Wesleyan 11, SCAD Atlanta 9, Campbellsville 5, Huntington 3, Dalton State 3

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


No. 2 Rush have NAIA's longest active top-25 streak

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana is No. 2 in the NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll announced Tuesday.

It's the highest-ever preseason ranking by a XULA tennis team, male or female. The Gold Rush, 17-8 a year ago, were No. 2 in the 2016 postseason poll after becoming the first XULA team in any sport to reach the championship round of an NAIA national tournament. The Gold Rush lost the final 5-2 to Georgia Gwinnett at Mobile, Ala.

XULA has the longest active streak of NAIA men's tennis top-25 appearances, 78. The streak began April 4, 2007. The Gold Rush ascended to the top of the active-streak list after Auburn Montgomery departed the NAIA this past summer.

Georgia Gwinnett, winner of the last three NAIA team titles, is a unanimous choice for No. 1. The Gold Rush and the Grizzlies will meet Feb. 19 at GGC's Grizzly Invitational.

The XULA men will play their first dual matches of the spring semester Saturday at NCAA Division I Louisiana-Lafayette. The Gold Rush and Ragin' Cajuns will play at 10 a.m. and a second time at 2 p.m. The home opener will start at noon Sunday at XULA Tennis Center against city rival Loyola, which received poll votes.

The next top 25 will be announced Feb. 14.

NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records from previous season)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (13) 26-0 343 1
2 Xavier 17-8 332 2
3 Lindsey Wilson 17-4 321 3
4 Keiser 20-4 305 7
5 Northwestern Ohio 16-4 304 tie-5
6 Coastal Georgia 13-4 287 8
7 William Carey 13-8 275 9
8 Westmont 10-9 261 13
9 Cardinal Stritch 17-8 242 12
10 San Diego Christian 9-3 234 NR
11 Aquinas 23-8 226 10
12 Cumberlands 13-8 216 14
13 Lewis-Clark State 12-10 206 11
14 Olivet Nazarene 15-9 195 16
15 Warner 16-5 189 15
16 Reinhardt 14-4 172 18
17 McPherson 13-6 165 17
18 William Woods 8-8 162 NR
19 Mobile 11-8 146 19
20 Campbellsville 14-11 135 23
21 Bethany (Kan.) 13-4 114 20
22 Middle Georgia 11-9 111 21
23 Marian (Ind.) 16-10 92 RV
24 Tennessee Wesleyan 18-5 85 24
25 Cumberland 8-9 76 RV

Dropped from rankings: No. 4 Dalton State, No. 5 (tie) Auburn Montgomery, No. 22 Pikeville, No. 25 IU Southeast

Others receiving votes: Missouri Valley 66, Asbury 64, Pikeville 28, Biola 27, IU Southeast 19, Davenport 17, Indiana Wesleyan 17, SCAD Savannah 13, SCAD Atlanta 12, Missouri Baptist 11, Hastings 5, Loyola (N.O.) 3

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


6 Home Games, Road Date at FCS Champs Highlight Norfolk State Spartans 2017 Football Schedule

NORFOLK, Virginia – Norfolk State head football coach Latrell Scott announced his team's 2017 football schedule on Wednesday, a slate that includes six home games for the first time since 2013 and a road game at defending FCS national champion James Madison.

In addition to four MEAC home games, the Spartans also have home dates with Virginia State in the Labor Day Classic and a return game against in-state foe the College of William & Mary. Those two non-conference games kick off NSU's 2017 slate. VSU returns to the Spartans' schedule as the teams renew their Labor Day Classic rivalry at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. The old CIAA rivals played every Labor Day weekend from 1991-2009, then again from 2011-12. The game will also be Scott's first against a VSU program which he led from 2013-14, and the 51st meeting all-time between the programs.

The matchup with William & Mary kicks off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9. The teams played on Sept. 17 of last season in Williamsburg, with the Tribe coming away with a 35-10 victory. The 2017 meeting is the seventh all-time between the two schools.

2017 NSU Football Schedule

9/2/2017Virginia State (Labor Day Classic)Norfolk, Va.6 p.m.
9/9/2017William & MaryNorfolk, Va.6 p.m.
9/16/2017James MadisonHarrisonburg, Va.TBA
9/23/2017*Delaware StateDover, Del.TBA
10/7/2017*Florida A&MNorfolk, Va.2 p.m.
10/14/2017*Hampton (Battle of the Bay)Norfolk, Va.2 p.m.
10/21/2017*North Carolina CentralDurham, N.C.TBA
10/28/2017*Savannah State (Homecoming)Norfolk, Va.2 p.m.
11/4/2017*North Carolina A&T (Senior Day)Norfolk, Va.1 p.m.
11/11/2017*HowardWashington, D.C.TBA
11/18/2017*Morgan StateBaltimore, Md.TBA

NSU concludes its non-conference schedule with the program's first-ever meeting with James Madison. The game will be played in Harrisonburg on Sept. 16. The Dukes went 14-1 en route to the Division I FCS national championship this past season. Scott served as an assistant coach at JMU in 2012.

"We are excited about our non-conference schedule," Scott said. "Bringing back our old rival for the Labor Day Classic is a great way for our team and our fans to start the season. Then playing one of the top CAA programs in William & Mary, and the defending national champion in JMU, should be great tests for our team and will prepare us for our conference season."

NSU and Delaware State open their respective MEAC schedules on Sept. 23 in Dover. The Hornets return to the Spartans' schedule this season after two years off in the league's unbalanced schedule.

After a bye week on Sept. 30, NSU begins October with two consecutive home games. NSU hosts Florida A&M – which also returns to the Spartans' schedule after two years off – on Oct. 7 at Dick Price Stadium. The following week, the Spartans host Hampton in the Battle of the Bay on Saturday, Oct. 14. Both games kick off at 2 p.m.

The Spartans' lone road game in October is at MEAC champion North Carolina Central on Oct. 21. That game is actually the only road contest in a five-game span for the Spartans, who host Savannah State for Homecoming on Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. and North Carolina A&T on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. for Senior Day.

NSU concludes the year on the road for the fourth straight season. After finishing the 2016 season with three straight road contests, the Spartans wrap up 2017 with two consecutive road dates – at Howard on Nov. 11, and at Morgan State on Nov. 18.

"The MEAC schedule is always difficult because there are no easy wins," Scott said. "But we expect our players will be up to the challenge."

Matt Michalec, Asst. AD/Communications