Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Tuskegee fights but loses first shot at NCAA Playoffs
HAMMOND, La-Well, it was close and the team played well, no, BETTER than well but ‘ole ‘Skegee nonetheless lost a heartbreaker to the University of North Alabama 30-27 in last weekend’s round one of the NCAA Division ii playoffs..
Tuskegee tied the game once in the third period and even led after the first quarter. UNA scored what turned out to be the winning points via a touchdown in the third period. Willie Slater’s Goldens responded with a 38 yard field goal at the 2:06 mark of the third probably thinking they’d have time left to mount a drive and score once more. Didn’t happen. The 4th period turned largely into a defensive battle with neither team able to score. Tuskegee had four opportunities but couldn’t get a sustained drive going. In fact, one of them was stopped with an interception. UNA had the last word with 6:11 to to go and managed to run out the clock.
This was, nonetheless, an historic contest for Tuskegee. Never before had the Goldens qualified for an opportunity to play in the D-2 post-season. But that all changed last year when Skegee pulled out of the annual Thanksgiving day game with Alabama State…So who is playing the hornets on turkey day now? Stillman stepped up to the plate..
Meanwhile, Albany State, this year’s SIAC champ, won’t get to enjoy any post- season play as a reward. What would have been the 16th annual Pioneer Bowl featuring the champ or a rep from the SIAC (Albany State) against the champ or rep from CIAA (probably the runner-up to the scheduled conference matchup between Virginia State and Winston Salem which was wisely cancelled by the conference honchos) was cancelled. Since the Pioneer started in 1997, it’s been cancelled twice before in 2002 and 2008. Last year, Elizabeth City State defeated Tuskegee 28-13.
My only concern with the cancellation is how this might affect the sanctioning. How long is the NCAA going to tolerate continued cancelling of this game, the longest enduring post-season sanctioning for not only the SIAC-CIAA but all of division II.
The late Wallace Jackson, the SIAC’s first full time commissioner, pushed the sanctioning through the right committees. Sanctionings and automatic conference bids are most coveted with rival organizations biting at the bit to snatch ups for themselves. I’d hate for this sanctioning to be lost. The chances are likely this opportunity will never come again…..
XTRA POINTS: I’ve been spending the last two weeks in the Bayou State of Louisiana celebrating Thanksgiving with Patsy’s family and while there, took advantage of a couple of games.. One was the Clark-AU- Southern contest in Baton Rouge and then the 40th Bayou in New Orleans .I also journeyed to Shreveport to look up an old friend and former Morris Brown College football player, Robert “Supermann:” Blount.
For nearly 20 years, he lived in Atlanta, became an awesome bodybuilder and a sought-after trainer. He left Atlanta before the turn of the century on what he said was a spiritual calling and returned to his native Shreveport. He gave up the lifestyle of the rich and famous, -re-married and turn his life to all things spiritual. Now an ordained minister, he established “B-Fit for Life”, a program encouraging men and women to get themselves fit, refrain from excesses and treat the physical body with the same respect they treat their spirituality. “The body is the temple of the Lord,” he said at a recent health symposium in Shreveport, “You have to start treating the temple right, If your car breaks down, you get it fixed, right? Well, what about the body? That’s the first thing we ignore.” To learn mout Supermann Blount, contact him at www.bfitforlife.org
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net