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Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC

Hal LamarBy Hal Lamar
Photos b
y Patsy Collier-Lamar

Well, it seems official, SC State and NC A&T to tangle in Atlanta Classic 25

With yet no official word from the big house (i.e. the headquarters of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta) it appears as far as South Carolina State and NC A&T are concerned, the two will do their home-and-home this year at the Atlanta Classic. Both have so indicated on their 2013 schedules.N.C. A&T State University

SCSU is no stranger to the classic. Their history goes back to game three in 1991. Under Willie Jefferies, the “dawgs” got by Southern 30-23. They returned five more times beginning in 1992 (the same year the 100 moved the game from Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium to the Ga. Dome) ‘,93, ‘94, ‘95, and ‘97 and wound up 2-4. In 1998 and with the 100 led by the late Jimmy George, fences were mended between Tennessee State and FAMU and the duo that started all of this in 1989 returned in 1998.

Conversely, this is the first trip to the Atlanta dance for the Aggies. I checked A&T’s schedules from 1945 and found that it appears this will only be their second trip to Atlanta. The last time they were in the ATL, the Aggies played in the Heritage Bowl here and lost to Alabama State 36-13 in 1991. The A&T website suggests that the Aggies are excited about playing in the Classic and in Atlanta. They have started selling tickets already! Now, I’m a little puzzled why those in authority with the 100 haven’t made some kind of official splash. This is June which gives them just shy of four months to get cranked (or as my younger brothers and sisters would say “crunked”) up. Their contemporaries with the Southern Heritage ( Memphis) and the Bayou (N’Orleans) have been cranking out the hype for several months now………Souith Carolina State University

IN THE SIAC: Prairie View is in the hunt for a new Athletic Director and there is a familiar name on the short list. CAU AD Dr Tamica Smith-Jones has been the Panthers’ AD since 2008 and on the campus the last Tamica Smith-JonesSmith-Jones11 years in various capacities. Tam apparently wants to see how she can do at the Division I level. Also on that list is North Carolina Central Coach Henry Frazier, who is no stranger to the PV campus. As head football coach, he led the Panthers to a winning season and the SWAC championship in 2009 and a 9-1 record……Former SIAC Commissioner Robert Vowels is moving again. From the SIAC conference to Commissioner of the SWAC, then the NCAA front office, he was recently named AD of the University of Detroit Mercy. The catholic college in Detroit competes in 16 sports for men and women and is in the Division I Horizon League. Don’t be surprised if Vowels hooks the schools’ athletic schedule up to compete with SIAC and SWAC programs…….Clark AU football is returning to familiar territory this season when they face Fort Valley State University in Griffin, Georgia. For over 35 years, the game was known as the Textile Classic, organized in 1961 by the Griffin chapter of the VFW and former CAU head football coach and athletic director Leonidas S Epps. According to CAU’s schedule, it is now referred to as the Iris Classic……… The SIAC is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year but I can’t understand why the hierarchy seems to be dragging its feet on celebrations……

XTRA POINTS: Those of you who want to get an early jump on Bayou Classic tickets can do so right now . Ducats went on sale June 1. This is year 40 for the annual showdown between Southern and Grambling….Savannah State athletics director Sterling Steward is wasting little time getting a new head coach in place. He is down to four finalists. They are John Hendrick from Alabama State, Earnest Wilson of Hampton, E.J. Junior, head football coach at Central State and Robert “Mickey” Joseph a former Langston head coach now at Alcorn….

Atlanta is home to two women’s full contact football teams and both are winners. The Atlanta Phoenix are poised to wind up their 2013 regular season 8-0 and will likely enjoy home field advantage for the playoffs of the Women’s Football Alliance.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Xplosion which has been around since 2003 will be hitting the road soon for three games against Chattanooga, the Durham Carolina Phoenix and the regular season finale against the Charlotte Carolina Queens. The team is currently 4-1 with the Phoenix their only loss this season. They play in the Independent Women’s football League…atlanta phoenix team photoAtlanta Phoenix

With God’s grace, Patsy and I will be traveling to Chattanooga with Xplosion when they play on June 15. I want to go for several reasons. Notwithstanding the various attractions there like the Aquarium, Lookout Mountain, Rock City, etc, I also want to go by Howard High School where the late Reggie White played and locate the church where Dr Martin Luther King Junior was reportedly offered a pastorate but turned it down to go to Montgomery, Alabama’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church………


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