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Inside Hotlanta and The SIAC
July 23, 2007

Lamar

by Hal Lamar
Onnidan Online Columnist

Clark-Atlanta predicted to finish fourth in preseason SIAC poll

The news that Clark-Atlanta University would finish no worst than fourth in the 2007 pre-season SIAC poll was as shocking to Coach Ted Bahhur as it was to those attending the July 20 media football luncheon.

Bahhur

“ 4th?,” exclaimed Bahhur, who commences his second season as CAU’s head man. “That’s shocking. We are still a work in progress.”

Later, in a one-on-one with this writer, he theorized why it might be that his coaching colleagues in the conference vaulted the once cellar-dwellers to finish in the top five.

“ I think it was our win last year over Tuskegee,” he said. The Panthers surprised the second ranked Alabama Golden Tigers10-6 . Bahhur also thinks that their win over Miles College the last game of the season played a role.

“ We went to Birmingham with both our top quarterbacks injured,” he said. Fortunately, sophomore kicker Henry Boynton was healthy and his two field goals in the first half was all the scoring they needed ( ironically, they would have won the game even if they lost. Miles was forced to forfeit all of their 2006 wins for playing ineligible athletes).

The Panthers wound up finishing 2006 at 5-5 , with three of those wins back-to-back in October.One of those five wins last year came courtesy of their cross-campus nemesis Morehouse College.

King

The Maroon Tigers introduced their new head coach Rich Freeman at the luncheon. The Atlanta native who played under Coach William Lester at Crim High School, ( Lester also coached and developed NFL pro-bowlers Richard Dent and Mo Lewis) wasted no time after landing in Maroon Tiger country to decide that senior Carlos King would be his starting quarterback. “King has won that job already,” said Freeman.

“We have total confidence in him. Come August 25 ( when Morehouse opens 2007 against Benedict College) , King will start.”

OVERHEARD AT THE LUNCHEON: Former Morehouse head coach Terry Beauford, deposed after a 2-9 finish in 2006, is now coaching the offensive line at Fort Valley State University……

Beauford

Lane College, which went from worst (0-10) in 2005 to nearly first (8-3) last year, including six straight victories, is reaping big dividends from having their star wide receiver Jacoby Jones picked in the third round of this year’s NFL draft.

Notwithstanding the renewed interest in Lane College athletics, head coach Johnnie Cole says a plethora of Division I players have transferred to campus. “We got kids from Michigan State, Ohio State, Middle Tennessee and Miami,” he boasted, and then turned toward SIAC Commissioner William Lide.” Don’t worry Commish, we have the toughest compliance officer in college sports. All those kids are eligible.”

Cole was so optimistic about his 2007 Dragons, he made a bold prediction. “This year, we will be contenders for the conference championship”…….

Stillman College head coach Greg Thompson, an Atlanta native and former head coach at Morris Brown College, could only laugh when he looked down the head table of his head coaching colleagues. “When I became head coach at Morris Brown in 1981, I was the youngest in the conference. Now, I’m the oldest.”

AROUND THE SOUTH: The anticipated showdown between Morehouse College and Alcorn State in Las Vegas September 29 is a bust. Organizers of the so-called Silver Dollar Classic indicated on their web site that they were forced to cancel due to lack of sponsor support. Alcorn officials had no plans at press time to fill the empty space. Morehouse Athletic Director Andre' Patillo hasn’t indicated what they will do with the open weekend……

Jones

Meanwhile, longtime concert and special events promoter Fred Jones is close to putting the wraps on his 18th Southern Heritage Classic September 8 in his hometown of Memphis Tennessee. Tennessee State and Jackson State ( their head coach Rick Comegy is a former product of the SIAC and Tuskegee University) will clash at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium ( which by the way is getting some sprucing up after fans at last year’s classic complained of nasty toilets, trash and gridlock).

The game has averaged close to 50,000 fans in the last 18 years which isn’t shabby considering the stadium’s capacity is 62.380. Fans who turn out have gotten their football bucks’ worth, too. With few exceptions, the TSU-JSU mixing has resulted in close games. In 2005 and 2006, the contests went into overtime.

Got an item or comment?
Contact Hal at hrldlamar@yahoo.com

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