The Wild, Wild SWAC


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SWAC Volleyball Leaderboard--through 21 Sep:
PLAYERSchoolCategory
Shannon LumpkinAlabama A&MHitting Pct-.487
Yolanda BrownGramblingKills-3.48 pg
Nalinya DavisSouthernAces-0.73 pg
Shanna BartonMississippi ValleyBlocks-1.81 pg
Sigele OverstreetAlabama StateAssists-7.07 pg
Chanan NewmanSouthernDigs-3.33 pg
23 Sep
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Jackson State will host Mississippi Valley this Saturday at 5:30 p.m central time. The Tigers lead 39-5-2 in the series, which dates back to 1953. JSU has registered a league leading 16 sacks on defense.
Tiger wide receiver Sylvester Morris has 16 catches for 281 yards through the first three games.
Teammate Destry Wright has rushed for 348 yards on 64 carries in three games, just over five yards per rush.
SWAC One-On-One
THIS WEEK'S GUEST:
ALL-AMERICAN PUNTER MATT BUSHART OF SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
FOREWORD

Matt Bushart has made a name for himself as one of the top punters to ever don the blue and gold of Southern University. A two-time All-SWAC performer and a SBN black college All-American, he hopes to go much farther than the bayous of Baton Rouge. He's hopeful of becoming one of the few SWAC punters to ever play in the National Football League. Lonza Hardy Jr., the associate commissioner of the SWAC, conducts the interview.
SWAC: You are the SWAC special teams player of the week for this week following a 44-yard punting average vs. Prairie View. What does receiving such an honor mean to you personally?
Bushart: It's quite an honor any time you're elected for such an honor by the conference. Hopefully, I'll keep it up and will be able to receive this award more than once this season.
SWAC: How would you evaluate your performance so far this season?
Bushart: I feel that I've been engaged in more of a team performance. I might not be performing up to the standards I set for myself, but I'm helping the team, even though my average might not be that great.
SWAC: You've been named All-SWAC a couple of times since you've been at Southern, what are the keys to your successes?
Bushart: I think it's just having an open mind about games and being relaxed. SWAC: Oftentimes when fans think of football stars, they think of the quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back, etc. Seldom is the punter given that distinction. At SU, you're called one of the stars of the Jaguar football team. Define "star."
Bushart: A star is anybody who does his job week-in and week-out and one who continues to perform.
SWAC: Would you call yourself a football star?
Bushart: The Southern fans considered me a star since I stepped on campus.
SWAC: How did you get involved in competitive sports?
Bushart: I've been involved in competitive sports since the age of five as a soccer player. Sports has always been part of my key interest in life.
SWAC: When did you give up playing soccer?
Bushart: I gave up soccer when I came to Southern because it didn't have an organized soccer team.
SWAC: When you gained an interest in playing football, did you always want to be a punter?
Bushart: Throughout high school I place-kicked and punted. When I got to Southern, I decided that I needed to concentrate on just one of those, so I decided to punt. I chose punting because of my background in soccer.
SWAC: Have you ever played any other positions?
Bushart: My senior year in high school (McKinley High in Baton Rouge) I played tight end and received all-district honors.
SWAC: What makes a punter different from any other player on a football team?
Bushart: I think with kicking, it's just you. When a punter kicks the ball, it's solely in his hands. There's not much the other players can do for him.
SWAC: How you to motivate yourself to perform well?
Bushart: I do a lot of different things. I remember my father used to motivate me when I was young. He passed in 1993 and now that he's not around, I still use him to motive me, knowing that he's watching me from above.
SWAC: With your dad playing such an instrumental role in your life, how difficult was it to deal with his death?
Bushart: It wasn't as hard with me being an athlete and having other things surrounding me. Athletics helped me through it.
SWAC: What one individual has had the most influence on your life?
Bushart: My youth leader from the ninth through the 12 grade -- John Ed Harper. He shaped me as a human being and made me mature as a man much faster than most kids do in high school because of the loss of my father. He was like a father to me.
SWAC: What honors did you receive as a punter in high school?
Bushart: I made all-state three times, all-district all four years and all-parish twice as a punter.
SWAC: What colleges recruited you?
Bushart: I was recruited by Southern, Grambling, Vanderbilt and Nebraska. I chose Southern because I wanted to stay close to home.
SWAC: Not only is Southern an historically African American university, but it's the largest one in the U.S. Being a Caucasian football player on a predominately black college campus, what pressures, if any, have there been on you?
Bushart: There was no pressure on me at all. The people at Southern have been very accepting of me.
SWAC: For you, a punter on a football team, what would be the perfect game?
Bushart: The perfect game for me would be averaging over 50 yards a punt. I've done it before it, last year against Alcorn State. It felt really good and it was even better because the team ended up with a win.
SWAC: The SWAC is one of the nation's leading producers of talent for the NFL, but there haven't been a lot of punters from the SWAC going on to play in the NFL. What are your chances?
Bushart: If I continue having the kind of season I'm having now, I have a very good chance. There have been a couple of different scouts come in to look at the team.
SWAC: What's your major and how will you incorporate that major into your future after college? Bushart: My major is management. I plan on using that major to manage the money I make at the next level.
SWAC: Five years from now, what do you envision Matt Bushart doing?
Bushart: Hopefully, I'll be playing on a pro team and making the Pro Bowl.
SWAC: Is there a favorite team that you'd like to play for on the professional level?
Bushart: I don't know who I'd like to play for. I just like playing football so much that there's not an ideal team that I'd like to play for. SWAC: What about your long-term ambitions?
Bushart: One day I'd like to have a family, open a sporting goods store, live in a little town and be laid back. I want to live a real quiet life.
WEEK #4 FOOTBALL PREVIEW
SWAC TEAMS HOPE TO GET UPPER HAND AGAINST MEAC
NEW ORLEANS
-- After three weeks of the 1999 football season, the scoreboard reads: SWAC 1, MEAC 1. The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) will clash in a pair of inter-conference games that could give one of rival NCAA Division I-AA leagues bragging rights after the first quarter of the season. The SWAC champion and a representative of the MEAC square off annually at season's end in the McDonald's Heritage Bowl. This year's bowl game is scheduled for Saturday, December 18 at 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. In games played between the SWAC and the MEAC thus far this season, Jackson State of the SWAC toppled Howard of the MEAC, 35-21, in Jackson, Miss. on September 4. The MEAC evened the score on September 18 when Hampton doubled up on Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 26-13, in St. Louis, Mo.
On Saturday, September 25, the two conferences will have a pair of chances to gain the upper hand as the 2-1 Texas Southern Tigers of the SWAC face the 1-2 Bison of Howard at 1 p.m. (EDT) in Washington, D.C., followed by a 2 p.m. (EDT) confrontation between the 2-1 Grambling State Tigers of the SWAC and the 3-0 Hampton Pirates of the MEAC in the New York Urban League Classic in East Rutherford, N.J. On September 18, Howard won for the first time this season with a 31-27 victory over Bethune-Cookman while Grambling State lost for the first time with a 31-6 shellacking at the hands of Jackson State. The lone conference game in the SWAC will be a 6:30 p.m. grudge match between in-state rivals Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss. The 2-1 JSU Tigers will be playing their inaugural SWAC Eastern Division contest while the MVSU Delta Devils will enter the game with records of 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the Eastern Division.
The remaining non-conference schedule has Alcorn State (1-1) facing Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-2) at 7 p.m. in Little Rock, Ark., Prairie View A&M (1-2) meeting Alabama A&M (2-1) at 6:30 p.m. in Huntsville, Ala. and Southern putting its 3-0 record on the line against winless Alabama State (0-3) in the 7 p.m. Gulf Coast Classic in Mobile, Ala.
Q U I C K F A C T S
ALABAMA STATE "Hornets" (0-2, 0-1 SWAC East) vs. SOUTHERN UNIV. "Jaguars" (3-0, 1-0 SWAC West): 7 p.m. at Ladd Memorial Stadium (40,000) in Mobile, Ala. EXPECTED CROWD: 25,000. SERIES RECORD: SU leads 14-4. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Montgomery, Ala. (SU won 34-27). RADIO: ASU Sports Network (WVAS-FM 90.7 in Montgomery with Robb Taylor, John Knight and Rennie Jones); SU Sports Network (KQXL-FM 106.5 in Baton Rouge with James Verrett and Bob Bennett). THE COACHES: ASU's Ron Dickerson (Kansas St., 1971) is 5-9 in two years at ASU and 13-56 in seven years overall; SU's Pete Richardson (Dayton, 1968) is 59-15 in seven years at SU and 100-29-1 in 12 years overall. NOTEWORTHY: This is the 26th annual Gulf Coast Classic. SU's Pete Richardson garnered his 100th career victory as his team defeated Prairie View A&M, 42-0, on Sept. 18.
ALCORN STATE "Braves" (1-1, 1-0 SWAC East) at ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF "Golden Lions" (1-2, 0-1 SWAC West): 7 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium (60,000) in Little Rock, Ark. EXPECTED CROWD: 15,000. SERIES RECORD: UAPB leads 13-9-2. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Alcorn State, Miss. (UAPB won 27-18). RADIO: ASU Sports Network (WPRL-FM 91.7 in Alcorn State with Charles Edmond and Emanual Barnes); UAPB Sports Network (KZBL-FM 99.3 in Pine Bluff with Kirk Clayborn). THE COACHES: ASU's Johnny Thomas (Alcorn St., 1978) is 6-7 in two years at ASU and overall; UAPB's Lee Hardman (UAPB, 1972) is 42-27 in seven years at the school and overall. NOTEWORTHY: ASU was idle last weekend while UAPB lost in the Gateway Classic in St. Louis, Mo. to Hampton, 26-13.
GRAMBLING STATE "Tigers" (2-1, 0-0 SWAC West) vs. HAMPTON UNIV. "Pirates" (3-0, 2-0 MEAC): 2 p.m. (EDT) at Giants Stadium (78,148) in East Rutherford, N.J. EXPECTED CROWD: 50,000. SERIES RECORD: HU leads 4-2. LAST MEETING: 1998 in E. Rutherford (HU won 28-15). RADIO: GSU Sports Network (KGRM-FM 91.5 in Grambling with Santoria Black and Ahmad Simmons). THE COACHES: GSU's Doug Williams (Grambling, 1978) is 7-7 in two years at GSU and 10-15 overall; HU's Joe Taylor (W. Illinois, 1972) is 65-18-1 in eight years at HU and 126-47-4 in 17 years overall. NOTEWORTHY: This game is billed as the New York Urban League Classic. GSU lost at Jackson State (31-6) last weekend as HU beat Ark.-Pine Bluff (26-13) in St. Louis, Mo.
*JACKSON STATE "Tigers" (2-1, 0-0 SWAC East) vs MISS. VALLEY STATE "Delta Devils" (0-3, 0-1 SWAC East): 6:30 p.m. in Miss. Veterans Memorial Stadium (62,512) in Jackson, Miss. EXPECTED CROWD: 25,000. SERIES RECORD: JSU leads 39-5-2. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Jackson (JSU won 45-7). RADIO: JSU Sports Network (Southern Urban Network in Jackson, Miss. with Bob Carpenter, Willie Richardson and Rob Jay); MVSU Sports Network (WVSD-FM 91.7 in Itta Bena, Miss. with Lee Hall and Dwayne Tanner). THE COACHES: JSU's Robert Hughes (JSU, 1967) is 2-1 in his first year at JSU and overall; MVSU's LaTraia Jones is 0-3 in his first year at MVSU and overall. NOTEWORTHY: Although played in Jackson, this is MVSU's home game. JSU handed Grambling its first loss on Sept. 18 (31-6) while MVSU lost for the third straight time in as many weeks this season, suffering a 26-19 defeat to Alabama A&M.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M "Panthers" (1-2, 0-2 SWAC West) at ALABAMA A&M "Bulldogs"(2-1, 1-0 SWAC East): 6:30 p.m. at Louis Crews Stadium (21,000) in Huntsville, Ala. EXPECTED CROWD: 10,000. SERIES RECORD: First meeting. RADIO: PVAMU Sports Network (KPVU-FM 91.3 in Prairie View, Tex. with Charles Porter and Charles McClelland Jr.); AAMU Sports Network (WJAB-FM 90.9 in Huntsville, Ala. with Ike Rooks and Tommie Lockhart). THE COACHES: PVAMU's Clifton Gilliard (Prairie View, 1960) is 1-2 in his first year at PVU and overall; AAMU's Ron Cooper (Jacksonville St., 1982) is 7-7 in two years at AAMU and 29-40 in seven years overall. NOTEWORTHY: This will be the first time the Panthers and Bulldogs have clashed on the football field. The Bulldogs are tied for the lead in the SWAC Eastern Division while the Panthers are in last place in the SWAC Western Division.
TEXAS SOUTHERN "Tigers" (2-1, 1-0 SWAC West) at HOWARD UNIV. "Bison" (1-2, 1-1 MEAC): 1 p.m. (EDT) at Alumni Field (10,000) in Washington, D.C. EXPECTED CROWD: 8,000. SERIES RECORD: TSU leads 1-0. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Houston, Tex. (TSU won 30-7). RADIO: TSU Sports Network (KTSU-FM 90.9 in Houston with Leonard Moon and Devin Wade). THE COACHES: TSU's Bill Thomas (Tennessee St., 1970) is 25-12 in six seasons at TSU and 61-50-3 in 11 years overall; HU's Steve Wilson (Howard, 1978) is 69-46 in 11 years at Howard and overall. NOTEWORTHY: In their first-ever meeting last year, TSU beat the Bison in Houston, 30-7. Last weekend, TSU beat Lane (38-15) while Howard beat Bethune-Cookman (31-27).
*SWAC Eastern Division game
18 Sep
Jackson MS(OTW)-Mark Washington and Destry Wright combined for 437 yards in total offense as Jackson State swamped Grambling 41-6 Saturday night. JSU scored the game's first 17 points and were never threatened. They held Grambling to a minus 41 yards rushing in the game. Washington threw three touchdown passes, including a 12-yarder to Sylvester Morris. Wright rushed for 163 yards a nd a TD for the winners.
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Troy Williams passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as Southern dumped Prairie View 42-0 Saturday night. Williams threw for 166 yards in the game.
SU's Dain Lewis rushed for two TDs in the contest.
Beaumont, TX(OTW)-Texas Southern used two third quarter interceptions to pull away from Lane, 38-15, Saturday night.
TSU's Ray Rubins and Waymond Steed rushed for over 100 yards in the contest. Rubins ran for 155 yards and a TD, and Steed rushed for 128 yards and a score.
TSU held Lane to 59 yards rushing in the game.
St. Louis, MO(OTW)-Roy Johnson ran for two touchdwons and passed for another as Hampton beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 26-13 Saturday. The Pirates are 3-0 on the season. This was a non-league contest.
Johnson threw for 280 yards for the winners.
Kevin Williams had a one-yard TD run for the losers. Williams also threw a TD pass.
Montgomery, AL(OTW)-Wayne Thomas and Brock Nutter scored second half touchdowns as Troy State (2-0) survived a scare from upset-mindes Alabama State 27-20 Saturday.
The Hornets led at the half, thanks to backup quarterback AntonioJackson, who ran for a score and threw a 27-yard strike to Damon Hodge, giving ASU a 13-10 intermission lead.
Jackson threw for 238 yards in the contest.
In other scores, Alabama A&M beat Mississippi Valley 26-19.
17 Sep
Jackson State will play host to a much improved Grambling team this Saturday. Last year JSU beat Grambling 68-35 at Grambling. Last week Jackson State lost to Tennessee State 48-33.
The game will feature the SWAC's top two passers. Grambling's Lionel Hayes has thrown for nine touchdowns and 599 yards in his first two games.
Jackson State's Mark Washington is second in the conference in passing with 533 yards and five TDs.
Grambling's Scotty Robertson leads the league in receiving with 204 yards (15.7 yards per catch). Jackson State's Destry Wright is second in the SWAC in rushing with 185 yards total, and a 92.5 yard per game average.
The game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. central standard time Saturday.
Elsewhere in the SWAC, Southern's Damarcus Miller was the 1-AA player of the week. Miller, a 5-10, 285 pound defensive tackle had eight tackles (five unassisted), and two sacks last week against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
SWAC LEADER BOARD--12 Sep
RUSHING (Min. 25.0 yards per game)
Player Team Cl G Att Net Yds/C TD Yds/G
-------------------------------------------------------------
THOMAS,Rodney.. ALCST SR 2 41 237 5.8 2 118.5
WRIGHT,Destry.. JSU SR 2 40 185 4.6 1 92.5
LEWIS,Ryan..... SU SR 2 49 183 3.7 1 91.5
STRONG,Marvin.. AAMU JR 2 23 111 4.8 1 55.5
STEED,Waymon... TSU SO 2 34 105 3.1 2 52.5
BIAS,Larry..... ALAST SO 2 18 97 5.4 0 48.5
KELLEY,DeMelvin PVAMU JR 2 24 91 3.8 0 45.5
WILLIAMS,Kevin. UAPB SR 2 13 89 6.8 0 44.5
HOLMES,Corey... MVSU JR 2 32 81 2.5 0 40.5
JOHNSON,Ron.... UAPB JR 2 14 78 5.6 0 39.0
DONNELL,Curtis. AAMU SO 2 11 74 6.7 0 37.0
TERRY,Damien... PVAMU SO 2 17 72 4.2 0 36.0
JACKSON,Antonio ALAST SR 2 12 70 5.8 1 35.0
KENNEDY,Darnell ALAST JR 2 22 70 3.2 0 35.0
BULLARD,Oscar.. UAPB SR 2 16 67 4.2 0 33.5
PASSING (Min. 10.0 attempts/game)
Player Team Cl G Att Cmp Int Yds Pct TD Effic Avg/G
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
HAYES,Lionel... GSU SR 2 59 33 1 599 .559 9 188.2 299.5
WASHINGTON,Mark JSU SR 2 63 25 2 535 .397 5 130.9 267.5
BELLAMY,Tony... AAMU JR 2 47 27 2 523 .574 6 184.5 261.5
WILLIAMS,Melvin MVSU JR 2 82 34 3 482 .415 2 91.6 241.0
WILLIAMS,Troy.. SU SO 2 59 27 2 356 .458 2 100.9 178.0
KENNEDY,Darnell ALAST JR 2 58 33 1 327 .569 2 112.2 163.5
FORD,Damion.... ALCST SO 2 41 27 0 291 .659 4 157.7 145.5
TAYLOR,Marcus.. ALCST SR 2 23 12 0 211 .522 2 157.9 105.5
SHELTON,Darryl. UAPB SR 2 33 15 4 157 .455 0 61.2 78.5
FOSTER,Jamaal.. PVAMU SO 2 21 9 0 133 .429 1 111.8 66.5
ZACHARIE,Trent. TSU SR 2 26 11 1 116 .423 1 84.8 58.0
BARNES,Josh.... PVAMU SR 2 24 8 0 102 .333 2 96.5 51.0
RECEIVING (Min. 3.0 catches per game)
Player Team Cl G Rec Yds TD Rec/G Avg/C
-------------------------------------------------------------
ANDERSON,Scotty GSU JR 2 13 204 4 6.5 15.7
JOUBERT,Al'trev SU FR 2 12 165 0 6.0 13.8
MORRIS,Sylveste JSU SR 2 11 217 1 5.5 19.7
HODGE,Damon.... ALAST JR 2 11 107 0 5.5 9.7
SOWARD,Kevin... UAPB SR 2 10 119 0 5.0 11.9
HOLBERT,Marcus. ALCST SO 2 9 144 2 4.5 16.0
HAMBRICK,Kenyon AAMU SO 2 8 190 2 4.0 23.8
WATSON,Kenneth. ALAST JR 2 8 111 1 4.0 13.9
WRIGHT,Yancy... ALCST JR 2 8 88 1 4.0 11.0
WALDER,Marco... ALCST JR 2 8 86 1 4.0 10.8
THOMAS,Marquez. ALAST JR 2 8 85 1 4.0 10.6
GASKINS,Ivery.. GSU SO 2 8 53 0 4.0 6.6
HOLMES,Corey... MVSU JR 2 7 145 1 3.5 20.7
WILSON,Deontay. PVAMU SO 2 7 117 3 3.5 16.7
THIGPEN,Torrey. JSU JR 2 7 107 1 3.5 15.3
TOTAL OFFENSE (Net for rush & pass; Min. 100.0 yards per game)
Player Team Cl G Plays Rush Pass Total Yds/G
----------------------------------------------------------------
WASHINGTON,Mark JSU SR 2 81 50 535 585 292.5
HAYES,Lionel... GSU SR 2 82 -32 599 567 283.5
BELLAMY,Tony... AAMU JR 2 70 35 523 558 279.0
WILLIAMS,Melvin MVSU JR 2 93 13 482 495 247.5
WILLIAMS,Troy.. SU SO 2 73 49 356 405 202.5
KENNEDY,Darnell ALAST JR 2 80 70 327 397 198.5
FORD,Damion.... ALCST SO 2 48 -41 291 250 125.0
THOMAS,Rodney.. ALCST SR 2 41 237 0 237 118.5
WILLIAMS,Kevin. UAPB SR 2 32 89 137 226 113.0
TAYLOR,Marcus.. ALCST SR 2 27 7 211 218 109.0
SCORING (Min. 6.0 points per game) Extra Points FG
Player Team Cl G TD KM-KA RU PA MA-AT Saf Pts Avg/G
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ANDERSON,Scotty GSU JR 2 4 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 24 12.0
WILLIAMS,Walter GSU JR 2 3 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 18 9.0
? WILSON,Deontay. PVAMU SO 2 3 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 18 9.0
RICHMOND,Lawr.. GSU JR 2 0 10- 8 0 0 3- 3 0 17 8.5
BELLAMY,Tony... AAMU JR 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
THOMAS,Rodney.. ALCST SR 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
WRIGHT,Destry.. JSU SR 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
HAMBRICK,Kenyon AAMU SO 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
COTTONHAM,Chris GSU JR 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
REYNOLDS,Brian. JSU JR 2 0 6- 6 0 0 2- 2 0 12 6.0
HOLBERT,Marcus. ALCST SO 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
GUY,Daniel..... JSU JR 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
STEED,Waymon... TSU SO 2 2 0- 0 0 0 0- 0 0 12 6.0
PUNTING (Min. 3.0 punts/game and 25.0 yards per punt)
Player Team Cl G Punts Yards Avg Long
----------------------------------------------------------
BECKFORD,David. ALAST FR 2 8 334 41.8 53
WALL,Aaron..... UAPB FR 2 15 610 40.7 48
PAIGE,Kenny.... JSU SR 2 12 473 39.4 49
GRIFFITH,Russ.. MVSU SO 2 21 807 38.4 63
BUSHART,Matt... SU SR 2 17 644 37.9 51
HAIRSTON,Adrian GSU SR 2 7 260 37.1 45
McCOY,Ronnie... TSU JR 2 18 665 36.9 50
FRANKLIN,Jarrod PVAMU JR 2 15 512 34.1 60
SCHUGG,Travis.. AAMU SO 2 8 253 31.6 52
INTERCEPTIONS (Min. 0.3 per game)
Player Team Cl G Int Yds TD Int/G
------------------------------------------------------
CARR,Anthony... PVAMU JR 2 3 80 0 1.5
ANDERSON,Rashar JSU SR 2 2 0 0 1.0
MOORE,Marcus... MVSU SR 2 2 0 0 1.0
EVANS,Tyshun... SU JR 2 2 -1 0 1.0
GANT,Richard... SU SO 2 2 18 0 1.0
OVERTON,Sean... SU JR 2 1 0 0 0.5
DILLON,Donnie.. SU SR 2 1 0 0 0.5
HARPER,David... TSU FR 2 1 0 0 0.5
SMITH,Shannon.. SU JR 2 1 5 0 0.5
PEARSON,Kalvin. GSU SO 2 1 10 0 0.5
BROWN,Edreece.. SU SR 2 1 11 0 0.5
DARDEN,Brian... JSU SR 2 1 13 0 0.5
GRANT,Michael.. GSU SO 2 1 14 0 0.5
GREEN,Louis.... ALCST SO 2 1 20 0 0.5
COLLINS,Darrius UAPB SO 2 1 25 0 0.5
PUNT RETURNS (Min. 1.0 per game and 6 yds/return)
Player Team Cl G Ret Yds TD Avg Long
-----------------------------------------------------------
HOWELL,Markus.. TSU SR 2 2 41 0 20.5 40
JAMISON,Joseph. TSU SR 2 4 61 0 15.3 33
WILSON,Deontay. PVAMU SO 2 2 26 0 13.0 14
BAILEY,Frank... GSU SR 2 2 18 0 9.0 13
EVANS,Tyshun... SU JR 2 2 14 0 7.0 10
MOORE,Marcus... MVSU SR 2 6 38 0 6.3 15
THIGPEN,Torrey. JSU JR 2 5 30 0 6.0 11
KICK RETURNS (Min. 1.0 per game and 17 yds/return)
Player Team Cl G Ret Yds TD Avg Long
-----------------------------------------------------------
FIELDS,Kelly... AAMU SR 2 3 87 0 29.0 35
WILLIAMS,Ken... ALAST 2 5 123 0 24.6 39
THIGPEN,Torrey. JSU JR 2 9 199 0 22.1 44
JAMISON,Joseph. TSU SR 2 2 43 0 21.5 28
ADAMS,Terrell.. MVSU 2 5 98 0 19.6 34
WILLIAMS,Walter GSU JR 2 3 58 0 19.3 20
MOORE,Marcus... MVSU SR 2 2 36 0 18.0 24
HAMBRICK,Kenyon AAMU SO 2 6 102 0 17.0 27
TURNER,Marc.... AAMU SR 2 2 34 0 17.0 16
TACKLES
Player Team Cl G Pos UA A Total Sacks
----------------------------------------------------------
HUDSON,Eric.... ALAST JR 2 LB 13 9 22 0.0
MACK,Leonard... TSU SO 2 LB 14 7 21 0.0
HEAD,Tommie.... JSU JR 2 LB 10 11 21 1.0
CLARK,Howard... ALCST JR 2 LB 9 9 18 0.0
WICKER,Scott... GSU SO 2 LB 8 9 17 0.0
SCOTT,Antonio.. PVAMU SR 2 DL 8 8 16 1.0
WARNER,Channing SU SR 2 LB 6 10 16 1.0
DANIELS,Chris.. ALAST JR 2 LB 10 6 16 0.0
REED,Warren.... TSU SR 2 LB 10 4 14 1.0
CARR,Anthony... PVAMU JR 2 DB 9 5 14 0.0
EDWARDS,Charlie UAPB SR 2 DE 7 6 13 0.5
WITHERS,Calvin. UAPB JR 2 FS 8 5 13 0.5
PARKER,Freddie. ALAST SO 2 SS 9 4 13 0.0
HARRELL,Scott.. TSU JR 2 DB 9 4 13 0.0
MILLER,Damarcus SU SR 2 DL 8 5 13 2.0
DUKES,Terrance. GSU SO 2 LB 8 5 13 0.5
PICKNEY,Michael AAMU SR 2 LB 7 5 12 0.0
BROWN,Edreece.. SU SR 2 DB 7 5 12 0.0
REESE,Edward... JSU JR 2 LB 4 8 12 0.0
BOYKIN,Jason... AAMU SO 2 DB 10 2 12 0.0
ALL PURPOSE (Min. 100.0 yards per game
Player Team Cl G Att Yds Rec Yds No Yds No Yds Net Avg/G
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THIGPEN,Torrey. JSU JR 2 2 8 7 107 5 30 9 199 344 172.0
HAMBRICK,Kenyon AAMU SO 2 0 0 8 190 9 41 6 102 333 166.5
WILLIAMS,Walter GSU JR 2 14 56 3 182 0 0 3 58 296 148.0
THOMAS,Rodney.. ALCST SR 2 41 237 6 33 0 0 0 0 270 135.0
WRIGHT,Destry.. JSU SR 2 40 185 4 80 0 0 0 0 265 132.5
WILLIAMS,Kevin. UAPB SR 2 13 89 5 55 3 11 5 81 236 118.0
HOLMES,Corey... MVSU JR 2 32 81 7 145 0 0 0 0 226 113.0
ADAMS,Terrell.. MVSU 2 0 0 6 124 0 0 5 98 222 111.0
MORRIS,Sylveste JSU SR 2 0 0 11 217 0 0 0 0 217 108.5
ANDERSON,Scotty GSU JR 2 0 0 13 204 0 0 0 0 204 102.0
11 Sep
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Troy Williams threw touchdown passes of 12 yards (second quarter), and 46 yards (third quarter) to Michael Hayes, as Southern (2-0) upended Arkansas Pine-Bluff 17-9 Saturday night.
UAPB's scores came on three field goals by Richard Pena, the longest being 36 yards.
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Lionel Hayes threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns as Grambling outscored Alabama A&M 36-31 Saturday.
Tiger field goal kicker Lawere Richmond kicked field goals of 38(2) and 45 yards in the contest.
A&M's Tony Bellamy threw for 274 yards in the game.
Montgomery, AL(OTW)-Alcorn's Rodney Thomas rushed for two touchdowns, and quarterback Malcolm Taylor threw for two more scores, as the Braves beat Alabama State 38-27 Saturday night.
Alabama State scored first on an eight-yard TD pass by Darnell Kennedy.
The Braves, down 14-0, scored 17 straight points in the second quarter to take a lead they never relinquished.
Thomas rushed for 189 yards in the game.
Macomb, IL(OTW)-Mark Zanders threw first halftouchdown passes of 41 an 25 yards to Charles Tharp to lead Western Illinois to a 77-7 pasting of Mississippi Valley Saturday. The Leathernecks led 56-7 at the half.
The Delta Devils were limited to 34 yards on the ground in the contest.
Prairie View, TX(OTW)-Josh Barnes threw two touchdwon passes (30, 8 yards) to Deontay Wilson, as Prairie View beat Howard Payne 21-7 Saturday night.
Springfield, MO(OTW)-Texas Southern was held to 87 yards of total offense, losing to Southwest Missouri State 37-7 Saturday night. SMSU's Jason Ringena rushed for 179 yards and a TD for the winners.
TSU's only score came on a one-yard TD run by Waymond Steed in the first quarter.
In other scores, Jackson State lost to Tennessee State 48-33 and Alcorn defeated Alabama State 38-27 Saturday.
8 Sep
FOREWORD
Sylvester Morris
of Jackson State University is regarded as one of the premiere wide receivers in the collegiate ranks in the entire country, division notwithstanding. His blazing speed (4.2 forty) coupled with his sure-handed catching skills make him the prototype receiver. The New Orleans, La. native (McDonogh 35 High) reaped SWAC offensive player of the year honors in 1998 after a banner season that saw him make 62 receptions for 1,258 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was the top choice to capture that honor again. He's high on the NFL draft charts. Here, Morris is interviewed by Lonza Hardy Jr., the associate commissioner of the SWAC.
SWAC: Sylvester, how would you evaluate your performance in the Tigers' opening game against Howard (JSU won 35-21)?
Morris: It was okay for a first game. I had a nice performance. The team executed well.
SWAC: What were you most pleased about in that game and what were you most disappointed about?
Morris: I was most pleased that we won. I was disappointed that I didn't catch a couple of balls that I should have caught.
SWAC: Most experts have you listed as one of the prime prospects for next year's NFL draft. How would you assess your chances?
Morris: I try not to assess my chances or worry about the NFL. I just concentrate on our games and let the rest take care of itself.
SWAC: Why are scouts raving so much about you?
Morris: I guess it's just the numbers I put up last year and my ability to get open, catch the ball and make things happen.
SWAC: Of all of your talents, what's the one thing that sets you apart from most receivers?
Morris: I'd probably say speed. I have a style of my own. I never try to pattern myself after anybody else.
SWAC: Is there any other player on the JSU team who comes close to being as fast as you are?
Morris: I run a 4.3 forty with a couple of high 4.2's. There are two or three other guys on the team who've run 4.3's but not in the 4.2's.
SWAC: Who's your sports idol?
Morris: I don't have one.
SWAC: Who's had the most influence on your life?
Morris: My mom and dad have had the most influence on me. I say that because of their support and their encouragement.
SWAC: How old were you when you first gained an interest in playing competitive sports?
Morris: I was at a real young age, but I never played competitively until high school. The desire to want to play led me to trying out at McDonogh 35.
SWAC: What was your best season in high school?
Morris: My first year was my only year on the team. I only played my senior year and I had 13 catches for about 300 yards and one touchdown.
SWAC: Considering the fact that you only played one year of high school ball, how heavily recruited were you out of high school?
Morris: I wasn't heavily recruited at all. In fact, Jackson State was the only school that recruited me.
SWAC: With JSU being the only school that recruited you, did you have any doubts about being college material?
Morris: I had doubts at first, but once I got here, started participating in practices, etc., I felt I could play at this level.
SWAC: How did the veterans on the team at that time help you mature as a player?
Morris: The veterans mostly helped me with the little things. They helped me with weightlifting, how to read defenses and things like that.
SWAC: What part of New Orleans did you grow up in?
Morris: I grew up in the Ninth Ward, in East New Orleans.
SWAC: New Orleans has a reputation as being a tough place for a young person to grow up in. How have your experiences growing up in New Orleans affected your perspectives of life and your determination to succeed?
Morris: My parents tried to keep me out of most of the (bad) things that were going on, so I didn't get into that stuff. However, I saw all of those things happening on television. That helped motivate me to come here and do well.
SWAC: Looking back on your college career, what has been your most memorable moment in sports?
Morris: My most memorable moment was when I broke the school record for touchdowns in a game against Grambling last year. I had five touchdowns in that game.
SWAC: What single game would you most rather forget about?
Morris: The Howard game last year. I played terribly. I dropped balls, was off in my timing, etc. This year against Howard, I wanted to show that it wasn't just the SWAC that I could play well against. I wanted to show that I could play well against any team in the nation.
SWAC: What team in the conference has presented the most problems for you as a receiver?
Morris: Arkansas-Pine Bluff. I never had a great, standout game against them. I think it's because they try to take away the outside receiver.
SWAC: James Carson was your head coach at JSU for the past three seasons. He's sidelined now as he recuperates from an illness. When you think of Coach Carson, what immediate thoughts come to mind?
Morris: Coach Carson has always been a strict disciplinarian. He always says you have to cover your tracks and keep yourself out of trouble. I just wish the best for him and I keep him in my prayers.
SWAC: For the first time ever, this year the SWAC is broken down into two divisions and will have a championship game to determine its champion and representative to the McDonald's Heritage Bowl. What do you think about this new format?
Morris: I like it. It's a great way for the conference to get additional exposure.
SWAC: You played in the NCAA Div. I-AA playoffs a couple of times while you've been at JSU. Either of those times, did you ever prefer to be in the McDonald's Heritage Bowl?
Morris: At that time, our focus was on trying to win the (I-AA) national championship. That was our goal. In the back of our minds, however, we said the Heritage Bowl would be nice.
SWAC: What were your goals entering this season?
Morris: My goals are to win the conference championship, go to the Heritage Bowl and do my part to help the team win.
SWAC: Barring injury, you appear destined for a career in the NFL. Once your football career is over, what are your ambitions?
Morris: I want to be a teacher and a coach. I want to try to help kids stay on the right path and make it.
9 Sep
Jackson State and Tennessee State will square off this Saturday in the tenth annual Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, Tn. Game time is set for 6 p.m. central, at the Liberty bowl. The game will be aired live on Black Entertainment Television (BET). Jackson State quarterback Mark Washington threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns in his first game win of the 1999 season against Howard.
Tennessee State QB Leon Murray threw for three TDs in his squad's opening season defeat of Alabama State.
The series started in 1949, and Tennessee state holds a 33-21 edge in the matchup. TSU's victory of J-State last season snapped a seven-game losing streak to the team from Jackson.
Jackson State has an 11-5-1 record on BET since 1985.
5 Sept
Air SWAC Saturday
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Lionel Hayes
threw six touchdown passes, three to Scotty Anderson (30, 12, 10 yards), as Grambling outgunned Alcorn 41-25.
Brave quarterback Damion Ford threw four TD passes in the tilt, the longest to Ronald Gilmore.
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Jackson State quarterback Mark Washington threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as the Tigers held of Howard 35-21 Saturday.
Jermaine Hutchinson had TD runs of five and 17 yards for the Bison in the non-league clash.
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Ryan Lewis rushed for 102 yards and one touchdown to lead Southern by Northwestern Louisiana State Saturday. Justin Mattingly had field goals of 33 and 26 yards for the winners.
Little Rock, AR(OTW)-Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to avoid an upset bid by Mississippi Valley, winning 13-9. Kevin Williams had a 19-yard TD catch, and Obie McKinney an eight-yard run for the winners.
Melvin Williams tossed a 17-yard TD pass to Aquarius Winston for MVSU's only touchdown.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Juluis Davis threw two TD passes to Goldy Jackson as Texas Southern blew by Prairie View 34-0 Saturday.
Jacksonville, AL(OTW)-Tony Bellamy threw three TD passes, one of 81-yards to Marc Turner, as Alabama A&M erased Jacksonville State 37-20.
2 Sep
SWAC Football Report
TIGERS' YOUNG BLOOD THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
GRAMBLING, La.
— In the waning days before Grambling State's season opener against Alcorn State, the Tigers look to solidify the defensive line. With the addition of new talent and depth, the Tigers should create a formidable line of defense. Although the line will feature one true freshman and three sophomores in the starting lineup, the coaches believe this could be the best talent in the past four years.
"We've been fine on the corners , it's has just been in the middle where we were weak," said defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. "We're still young but we will be okay. Dante Newell and Freddie Hostler have done a tremendous job of improving."
Having had a year together, Newell's and Hostler's styles of play compliment each other so well that they appeared to be natural choices to solidify the interior line. At the left end position, the Tigers will start freshman Antwan Lawrence. With good speed and great hands, the coaches believe Lawrence can do a good job of securing the position.
"They all work togther exceptionally well, " said defensive line coach Ernest Sterling. "Dante has the quickness and the moves, while Freddie is the power man. Freddie is the strongest person on the squad and will demand double team blocks from the opponents. One-on-one, Dante is one of the best in the conference."
1 Sep
LINEBACKERS "HEART AND SOUL" OF GSU'S DEFENSE
GRAMBLING, La.
— "Adapt and overcome is our motto," said Grambling‘s linebacker coach Michael Roach. With an assortment of injuries plaguing an already young Tiger defense, Grambling State's linebackers have managed to remain healthy and focused on Saturday's season-opener.
"We push these guys very hard physically and mentally every time out on the field," said Roach. "These guys have made a great commitment. They spend a tremendous amount of time in the weight room and have adopted a no-nonsense, take care of business attitude."
Paving the way for the Tigers' linebacking corps is junior George Guidry and sophomore Terrance Dukes. A Univeristy of Nebraska transfer, Guidry is considered by the coaches to be the spark plug of the defense. Dukes, a former strong safety, has added 4.3 speed to the middle of the Tigers' defense. With an aggressive style and winner take all attitude, the Tigers' linebackers look to control the game.
Head coach Doug Williams will hold his first weekly press brunch on Tuesday, September 7, at 10:00 a.m. in the press box of the Eddie G. Robinson Stadium. Members of the media are invited and encouraged to attend.
MISS. VALLEY PREPARES FOR UAPB GOLDEN LIONS
PINE BLUFF, Ark.
— Goal line defense and a quick scoring package were the main items for the Mississippi Valley State football team in Wednesday's practice.
"We are trying to put together our total package," said head coach LaTraia Jones. "We don't want to overlook anything."
The Delta Devils will be without linebacker Sam Dickerson and offensive lineman Clarence Dillard, both with injured knees.
Mississippi Valley will open its season against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Last year, the Golden Lions defeated Miss. Valley 38-21. Jones feels that this year his club is better prepared for the Golden Lions.
"We have gone over everything we feel that may happen," added Jones. "Our players are ready to play."
JSU TOPS DIV I-AA POLLS
JACKSON, Miss.
— The Jackson State University Tiger football team is among the top teams in the nation in several Division I-AA preseason polls. The team is ranked fifth in the SBN Black College poll, 18th in the Sporting Network poll, fifth in the Sports Illustrated Division I-AA poll and first in the Southwestern Athletic Conference's Eastern Division media and coaches polls. Last year, JSU finished second in league play with a 7-1 conference record.
The Tigers also led the SWAC in practically every offensive category. The Tigers were ranked first in total offense, scoring offense, first downs, pass efficiency, third down conversion, pass offense and second in rushing offense. Nationally, the Tigers were ranked 15th in rushing offense, 20th in passing offense and sixth in both total and scoring offense.
31 Aug
ALABAMA A&M PREPARES FOR OPENER
HUNTSVILLE, Ala.
— The Alabama A&M University football team will open its 1999 season against Jacksonville State University Saturday, September 4th. This also marks the first trip for head coach Ron Cooper back to his alma mater as a coach. The Bulldogs will be hoping to avenge a 19-13 loss last year against the Gamecocks.
Coach Cooper said he's feeling pretty good about the progress of his team.
"I'm real excited about our first game Saturday night," Cooper said. "I think the kids are ready to get the season started. The players are really getting after it and hitting their assignments pretty good."
Cooper is still cautious about his old alma mater's team. "Jacksonville State is an experienced club with a lot of key people back. Their defense is talented and their offense has the capabilities of being one of the most explosive offenses that we will face this season."
GSU LOOKS TO OVERCOME INJURIES ON DEFENSE
GRAMBLING, La.
— When the Grambling State football team takes the field Saturday night, they will have more than the Alcorn State Braves to deal with.
The Tigers must also deal with several nagging injuries plaguing their defensive line and backfield. Defensive linemen Seneca Knight (hamstring), Ananias Johnson (big toe) and defensive back Kalvin Spears (hamstring) are among the injured on the team. Knight, who has yet to practice with the Tigers, will sit out this weekend's season opener, while Johnson and Spears are listed as probable. With other players suffering from day-to- day nicks and bruises, the young Tiger players will look to compete for considerable playing time.
"Our defensive backs are pretty beat up. We haven't had all our starters in together at a practice yet," said defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. "As a unit we are now going to have to do a great job of preparation. We are going to have to make sure we pay attention to details. We will have to read our keys, stay mentally alert and communicate with each other. With so many young guys out there, communication will be the key to our success."
HUGHES SAYS TIGERS ARE READY FOR FIRST GAME
JACKSON, Miss.
— Jackson State University ‘s interim football coach Robert Hughes is sure that the Tigers are headed in the right direction. "The offensive had to catch up with the defense," Hughes said. "Last week we had a little trouble, but it is corrected and the players are now working as a team."
As for the season opener against the Bison of Howard University, Hughes added, "We are finalizing everything and focusing on important plays this week. Everything is going well. We will be ready."
Wide receiver Leroy Fields has a stiff back, but is expected to play in the Tigers' first game.
CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW
COACHES TAB GRAMBLING TO WIN SWAC TITLES
NEW ORLEANS
-- A year ago, Grambling State University did what all of the other teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference did.
They were on-lookers as the potent Jackson State Tigers cruised to a second straight league men's cross country championship.
This time around, the coaches of the conference believe the G-Men have what it takes to rise from their second place finish of a year ago and supplant JSU as conference titlists.
Fate dealt the GSU women a better hand last year. The Lady Tigers managed to tie Jackson State at the league's championship team at Alcorn State. Both teams finished the 5,000-meter run with 59 points.
In 1999, the SWAC coaches feel that Grambling State's women's team will also be the team to beat in cross country action in the league. Bertram Lovell, who coaches both the GSU men's and women's teams, is optimistic yet cautious about his teams' prospects.
"Our men's team has started early in putting in more miles than last season and the runners' spirits are up higher than ever," stated Lovell. "Placing second last year has made them hungry to win the championship this year.
"With the addition of four good runners and their eagerness to run, we should fare really well this season," added Lovell. "We should be the favorite with the departure of Jackson State's best three distance runners." Leading GSU's charge this season will be the duo of Carlos Robinson and Narvin Beharry.
Robinson, a 6-8 senior from Shreveport, La., has finished in the top 15 at the SWAC championship for each of the last three seasons. Last year, he came in sixth with a time of 26:45.0.
Beharry, a 5-8 sophomore from Trinidad, Tobaggo, had a banner rookie season in 1998. His year was capped with a 12th place finish at the league championship meet with a time of 28:13.0. While Grambling is the coaches' choice to win the 1999 SWAC crown, many feel that upstart Prairie View A&M will likewise be in contention to unseed the JSU Tigers.
"Prairie View has a very impressive group of young men," said Alcorn State head coach Alecia Shields. "Plus, they'll be on their home territory for the conference championship."
The Panthers finished third at last year's championship with 85 points, 15 points behind second place finisher Grambling State and 35 points out of first. Solid depth should be the team's strength.
What about defending champ JSU?
The loss of star runners David Rop (first at 24:22), Victor Tanui (second at 25:24.0) and Justus Nyamweya (fifth at 26:04.0), coupled with an NCAA investigation into the school's track and field program, including the cross country program, has dimmed the team's prospects for a possible "three- peat." But not everyone has counted the Tigers out.
"They're still hungry to be champions again," said Alabama A&M head coach Kim Cabell.
In the women's division, last year's championship proved to be a heated three-team race between Grambling State, Jackson State and Alcorn State. GSU and JSU tied for the title with 59 points apiece but host Alcorn State was just two points back with 61 points. Because of the turmoil in JSU's program, most coaches don't give the Lady Tigers much of a chance of retaining a piece of the title but they feel that ASU could be a serious challenger.
"At Grambling, Coach Lovell takes extra pride in preparing for the cross country season," stated ASU's Shields. "His teams are always strong, year-in and year-out."
Lovell, in return, uttered praise for Shields' squad at ASU. "They (ASU Lady Braves) have almost all of their team returning," said Lovell. "Shields lost only one member of her team from last year and she had a good recruiting season."
Grambling State's prospects rest with the return of such stellar performers as 5-4 junior Christiana Brown and 5-3 sophomore Shaunticia Crawford. Brown, a Lake Charles, La. native, has finished in the top five at the conference championships both of her first two years at GSU, including a fourth place finish in 1999 with a time of 20:13.0. Crawford, a native of Decatur, Ga., was clocked at 20:55.0 at last year's league championship meet, good enough for ninth place.
In addition to the returnees, GSU will be bolstered with the addition of several rookies with impressive credentials. Dianna Lee, a 5-3 freshman from Decatur, Ga., finished in the top 20 at last year's Georgia state championships while Donna Simms, a 5-7 freshman from Starkville, Miss., finished in the top five at the Mississippi high school championships.
"I think we'll give it our best shot," stated Lovell. "As champions, we have to defend our title with dignity and honor.
"I'm very optimistic, but with so many young students, you just don't know," added Lovell. "I believe they can be just as good or better than year's team."
In assessing her women's team's chances, Shields said staying healthy plus experience should be the keys.
"I think we're capable of contending for the title," said Shields. "Last year, we lost by two points and we only lost one lady from that team."
The key runners back for ASU are 5-5 junior LaKesha McDonald of Heidelburg, Miss., 5-3 junior Samantha Pollard of Houston, Tex. and 5-8 senior Leaha Thomas of Houston. A year ago, McDonald finished fifth at the SWAC championships with a time of 20:27.0 while Pollard came in 18th at 21:48.0 and Thomas 38th with a time of 26:45.0.
For the first time in a decade, the SWAC men's and women's cross country championships will return to Prairie View, Tex., where Prairie View A&M will serve as hosts for the event.
SWAC VOLLEYBALL POLL
COACHES SELECT PRAIRIE VIEW TO WIN THE WEST,
ALABAMA A&M FAVORED IN THE EASTERN DIVISION
NEW ORLEANS
--With the 1999 volleyball season close at hand, the coaches of the 10 member institutions have picked Alabama A&M University to be the winners of the league's Eastern Division, while Prairie View A&M University was predicted to win the Western Division. The coaches preseason volleyball poll was released on Monday.
Prairie View finished second in the conference with a 7-1 SWAC record, and a 18-14 overall record last season.
"Prairie View has put together a team that is comfortable with SWAC opponents and has been playing together for three years," said Texas Southern head coach Dwalah Fisher.
Southern University, the 1998 SWAC champion, beat Prairie View to gain the title. It was also the first time ever that the SWAC tournament champion received an automatic berth to the NCAA playoffs. The coaches selected them to come in second in the conference.
"The Lady Jaguars have a tremendous work ethic," said Arkansas-Pine Bluff head coach Betty Hayes. "They utilize the special talents of individual players, which creates a high intensity of play."
This year will be Alabama A&M's first year to compete in the SWAC tournament. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs went 23-3 and 15-1 against SWAC teams, although their games didn't count in the conference standings. Alabama A&M also won every tournament it competed in during the 1998 season. "Alabama A&M had a very talented team last year and they were young," said Mississippi Valley State head volleyball coach Jessie Harris.
SWAC ONE-ON-ONE
THIS WEEK'S GUEST:
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH LATRIA JONES OF MISS. VALLEY STATE UNIV.

BACKGROUND: LaTraia Jones of Mississippi Valley State is one of three new head football coaches in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. All of them will make their season and head coaching debuts this weekend. Here, Jones gives insights into the calm before the storm of the opening weekend of the season. Not only will he start a career as a collegiate head coach, but he'll be kicking off his initial season against the school where he formerly served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach -- the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
SWAC: How does it feel, heading into your first season as a head coach?
Jones: "I'm like Muhammad Ali. I have butterflies but when the ball kicks off on Saturday, those butterflies will have to go.
"As I look forward to opening my first season as a head coach, I'm somewhat nervous but the only pressure that's on me is the pressure that I've put on myself. I've tried to not let it show to the players, however."
SWAC: You were an assistant coach for a number of years. What did you learn from those experiences that should help you as a head coach?
Jones: "As an assistant coach, you don't have to worry about a lot of things other than just coaching. When I became the assistant head coach at UAPB, then I got a glimpse of what a head coach has to go through. I had to do a lot of things that the other assistant coaches didn't have to do, such as watering the field, etc. As the head coach, you're at the top and a lot of major responsibilities come with that. You have to worry about handling the alumni, handling the student- athletes, etc. There are a lot of pressures on you, but you can't let it show."
SWAC: Not only will you begin your first season this weekend as a head coach, but you'll also kick off your inaugural season against the school that you were formerly employed by -- Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Does that add to the anticipation of opening day?
Jones: "I look forward to this weekend, especially since we open up with Arkansas-Pine Bluff. From listening to Coach (Lee) Hardman talk at the press conference the other day, I know that UAPB's stronger and bigger than we are. But we just have to go out and execute. If we do that, we'll be okay. Of course, I want us to go out, play well and win the ball game. If, by chance, that doesn't happen, then I still want us to execute and play well."
WEEK #1 FOOTBALL PREVIEW
SWAC TEAMS GEARED UP FOR OPENING WEEKEND
NEW ORLEANS
-- A breakdown of the conference into two divisions, a first-time contender for the conference championship, a first-ever championship game to determine who'll represent the league in the McDonald's Heritage Bowl, an inaugural conference television package and the introduction of three new head coaches will all make the opening weekend of the college football season for Southwestern Athletic Conference teams an intriguing one.
All of the SWAC's 10 schools will open their respective seasons on Saturday, September 4. The seven-game slate will include six non-conference games and just one league match-up, that a Western Division battle between in-state rivals Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern in the Labor Day Classic in Houston, Tex. PVAMU's new interim head coach, Clifton Gilliard, said he's eager get things rolling.
"I'm real eager and that stems from the attitude of the kids," said Gilliard, who actually was contemplating retirement before being called upon to take the helm of the football program. "The kids came to camp in good shape, perhaps the best shape that I've ever seen kids come to camp in. That attitude has inspired me.
"This team is motivated with the fact that they know they can win," added Gilliard. "Their idea now is to concentrate on having a winning season. There would be no better way to begin my season by starting off and winning against my archrival, Texas Southern. It'll be a thrill for the fans too.
The PVAMU-TSU contest, which is being played at the Astrodome, will mark the debut of the new SWAC football television package. The game will be carried live on College Sports Southeast, a Birmingham, Ala. based network will televise a total of four SWAC football games this season. Additionally, four games involving SWAC teams will appear on Black Entertainment Television (BET), three on Street and Smith's Productions national syndication and two on NBC Sports, including the season-ending McDonald's Heritage Bowl.
Besides PVAMU's Gilliard, the other two coaches who'll be making their debut as SWAC head coaches are Robert Hughes at Jackson State and LaTraia Jones at Mississippi Valley State. Hughes, JSU's former running backs and assistant head coach, is serving as JSU's interim head coach while James Carson takes a year off due to health reasons. Jones replaces Larry Dorsey, who was fired following last season. He comes to MVSU from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, where he served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for five seasons.
The other games on tap for Saturday include a 6 p.m. clash between Alcorn State and Grambling State at the Chicago Classic in Chicago, Ill, 6:30 p.m. games between Alabama A&M and Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala. as well as Howard at Jackson State in Jackson, Miss. and Northwestern (La.) State at Southern and a 7 p.m. contest featuring Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Mississippi Valley State in Itta Bena, Miss. On Sunday, September 5, Alabama State will tangle with Tennessee State at 6 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Q U I C K F A C T S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ALABAMA A&M "Bulldogs" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC) at JACKSONVILLE STATE "Gamecocks" (0-0. 0-0 SFL) at): 6:30 p.m. at Paul Snow Stadium (15,000) in Jacksonville, Ala. EXPECTED CROWD: 15,000. SERIES RECORD: JSU leads 18-1-2. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Huntsville, Ala. (JSU won 19-13). RADIO: AAMU Sports Network (WJAB-FM 90.9 in Huntsville, Ala. with Ike Rooks and Tommie Lockhart); JSU Sports Network (WLIS-AM in Jacksonville Mike Parris, Joe Whitmore and Ray Hammett). THE COACHES: JSU's Mike Williams (Troy St., 1977) is 8-14 after two seasons at JSU and overall; AAMU's Ron Cooper (Jacksonville St., 1982) went 5-6 in his first year at AAMU in 1998 and is 27-39 after six years in his career. NOTEWORTHY: AAMU's Ron Cooper a graduate of Jacksonville State, this week's foe. This season marks the Bulldogs' first year as a full-fledged member of the SWAC. The school is eligible for SWAC championships this season after serving as an affiliate member of the SWAC during the past year. JSU had the fourth best turnaround record in the nation a year ago, rising from a 1-10 record in 1997 to a 7-4 mark last year.
GRAMBLING STATE "Tigers" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC) vs. ALCORN STATE "Braves" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC): 6:00 p.m. (EDT) at Soldier Field (66,944) in Chicago, Ill. EXPECTED CROWD: 40,000. SERIES RECORD: GSU leads 30-15-3. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Grambling, La. (GSU won 11-0). RADIO: ASU Sports Network (WPRL-FM 91.3 in Lorman with Charles Edmond and Emannuel Barnes); GSU Sports Network (KGRM-FM 91.5 in Grambling with Santoria Black and Ahmad Simmons). THE COACHES: GSU's Doug Williams (Grambling St., 1978) is starting his second year at GSU after a 5-6 record in 1998. He holds a two-year career record of 8-14, including one year at Morehouse; ASU's Johnny Thomas (Alcorn St., 1978) is starting his second year as a college head coach after a 5-6 debut at ASU in 1998. NOTEWORTHY: This is the third annual Chicago Football Classic. The Braves played in this classic a year ago, defeating Virginia State 30-24
HOWARD "Bison" (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) at JACKSON STATE "Tigers" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC): 6:30 p.m. at Miss. Veterans Memorial Stadium (62,512) in Jackson, Miss.. EXPECTED CROWD: 40,000. SERIES RECORD: JSU leads 1-1. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Washington, D.C. (HU won 34-8). RADIO: JSU Sports Network (WKXI-AM 1300 in Jackson, Miss. with Bob Carpenter and Stan Branson). THE COACHES: HU's Steve Wilson (Howard, 1979) is 68-44 after 10 years at HU and overall; JSU's Robert Hughes (Jackson St., 1967) is serving as the school's interim head coach while head coach James Carson takes a year off to recuperate from an illness. NOTEWORTHY: JSU's Robert Hughes was the Tigers' assistant head coach prior to being named the interim head coach. Carson had led the Tigers to two SWAC championships and to three appearances in the Div. I-AA playoffs during the past seven years.
MISS. VALLEY STATE "Delta Devils" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC) at ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF "Golden Lions" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC): 7:00 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium (56,000) in Little Rock, Ark. EXPECTED CROWD: 20,000. SERIES RECORD: MVSU leads 18-10-1. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Itta Bena, Miss.. (UAPB won 38-27). RADIO: MVSU Sports Network (WVSD-FM 91.7 in Itta Bena with Sam Brown and Lee Hall); UAPB Sports Network (KZBL-FM 99.3 in Pine Bluff with Kirk Clayborn). THE COACHES: MVSU's LaTraia Jones (Wyoming, 1979) is entering his first season as a college head coach; UAPB's Lee Hardman (UAPB, 1972) is 41-25 in six years at the school and overall. NOTEWORTHY: MVSU's LaTraia Jones is one of three new head coaches in the SWAC. He formerly served as an assistant coach for Lee Hardman at UAPB.
NORTHWESTERN STATE "Demons" (0-0, 0-0 SFL) at SOUTHERN UNIV. "Jaguars" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC): 7 p.m. at A.W. Mumford Stadium (24,000) in Baton Rouge, La. EXPECTED CROWD: 24,000. SERIES RECORD: SU leads 4-2. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Natchitoches, La. (NWSU won 28-7). RADIO: NWSU Sports Network (KZBL-FM 95.9 in Natchitoches with Doug Joubert, Richard Ware and Lynn Rollins); SU Sports Network (KQXL-FM 106.5 in Baton Rouge with Gerald Kimble and Henry Baptiste);. THE COACHES: NWSU's Sam Goodwin (Henderson St., 1966) is 98-81-3 after 18 years at the school and overall SU's Pete Richardson (Dayton, 1968) is 55-13 after five years at the school and 96-29-1 after 11 years overall;. NOTEWORTHY: In the Sports Network's preseason I-AA poll, NWSU is ranked No.7 while SU is ranked No.14. SU is the two-time defending SWAC champion.
*PRAIRIE VIEW A&M "Panthers" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC) at TEXAS SOUTHERN "Tigers" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC): 7 p.m. at the Astrodome (59,969) in Houston, Tex. EXPECTED CROWD: 40,000. SERIES RECORD: TSU leads 35-18-1. LAST MEETING: 1998 in Houston (TSU won 24-13). RADIO: PVA&M Sports Network (KPVU-FM 91.3 in Prairie View, Tex. with Charles Porter and Charles McClelland Jr.); TSU Sports Network (KTSU-FM 90.9 in Houston with Leonard Moon and Devin Wade). THE COACHES: PVA&M's Clifton Gilliard (Prairie View, 1960) is beginning his first season as a head college coach; TSU's Bill Thomas (Tennessee St., 1970) is 24-10 after five seasons at the school and 59-49-3 after 10 years overall;. NOTEWORTHY: This game is called the Labor Day Classic. Prairie View's last win over TSU was a 13-10 victory in 1988. The College Sports Southeast telecast of this game marks the debut of the SWAC's new football television package
SUNDAY, SEPT. 5
ALABAMA STATE "Hornets" (0-0, 0-0 SWAC) at TENNESSEE STATE "Tigers" (0-0, 0-0 OVC): 6:00 p.m. at East Bank Stadium (67,000) in Nashville, Tenn. EXPECTED CROWD: 30,000. SERIES RECORD: TSU leads 8-1. LAST MEETING: 1983 (TSU won 52-19). RADIO: ASU Sports Network (WVAS-FM 90.7 in Montgomery with Robb Taylor, John Knight and Rennie Jones); TSU Sports Network (WVOL-AM 1470 in Nashville, Tenn. with Ernie Allen and Albert Dawson). THE COACHES: ASU's Ron Dickerson (Kansas St., 1971) is entering his second year at ASU after going 5-6 last season. He's 13- 53 overall in six years as a college head coach; TSU's L.C. Cole (Nebraska, 1980) is 17-17 after three years at TSU and overall. NOTEWORTHY: This game is dubbed the Big John Merritt Classic. TSU went 9-3 last season, earning national rankings in both the various black college polls as well as the NCAA Div. I-AA polls.
*SWAC Western Division game
SWAC Football Report
GSU GETS READY FOR BRAVES
GRAMBLING, La.
— Focus, focus, focus is the Tigers' key to success as they prepare for this weekend's season opener. The Tigers will face the Braves of Alcorn State in the Chicago Classic in Chicago, Ill. at 7:00 p.m. With a large number of young players having to play, the Tigers are working on repetition, consistency and concentration.
"We have a team that did a great job training and conditioning over the summer," said head coach Doug Williams. "The young guys have shown a lot of promise...the older guys are being what we need them to be."
Offensively, the Tigers will look to stretch the field, while they hope to set the tempo of the game and control the ball. Defensively, they must overcome some nagging injuries in the backfield. With what is considered one of the best linebacking corps in the country behind them, a young defensive line looks to grow up quickly as they will face a tough Braves offensive front.
"Our secondary is somewhat banged up," said defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. "It's going to be a real challenge for our linemen. Alcorn probably has the biggest and toughest offensive line we will face all year. We're young but we'll be okay."
SU'S FIRST PRESS LUNCHEON SET FOR WEDNESDAY
BATON ROUGE, La.
— Jaguar head football coach Pete Richardson, in conjunction with the Southern University Quarterback Club, will renew his commitment to the weekly media luncheons beginning Wednesday, September 1. The luncheons will take place in the Board of Supervisors Meeting Room on the second floor of the University's Administration Building.
On hand at the luncheons will be Coach Richardson to discuss the 1999 Jaguar season outlook, including the season-opening contest versus Northwestern State on Sept. 4th at Mumford Stadium on Southern's campus. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
In addition, SU head volleyball coach Nathaniel Denu will be on tap to discuss his team's chances of defending its'1998 SWAC championship.
25 Aug
ASU LINEMAN AWARDED EXTRA YEAR BY NCAA
ALCORN STATE, Miss. — Jabari Thomas,
one of Alcorn State's top offensive linemen, will be returning for his senior year on the school's football team. That has delighted head coach Johnny Thomas during preseason drills.
Jabari Thomas, a 6'7, 350-pounder from Dallas, Tex., has been granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA due to a medical redshirt early in his career. He suffered a broken leg prior to the start of the 1994 season and a dislocated shoulder during the 1995 season.
"Jabari Thomas' return is going to be a huge plus for us," said Thomas. "It goes to show you that God has his way of balancing things out. You lose one guy and then you're able to gain another one (speaking of the loss of wide receiver Rennard Reynolds)."
GSU EXCITED ABOUT OFFENSE, LOOKS TO HAYES TO LEAD
GRAMBLING, La.
— If "defense wins ball games and offense excites the crowd," then Grambling State fans should look forward to a very exciting 1999 football season.
With the first two weeks of practice dedicated to conditioning and fundamentals, the Tigers will begin to focus on their game plan for their season opener against Alcorn State in the Chicago Classic on September 4th at Solider Field in Chicago, Ill. The Tigers look forward to making use of what the coaches believe to be one of the best receiving corps in the country.
With veteran quarterback Lionel Hayes in place as the starter, offensive coordinator Melvin Spears plans to use world class speed and exceptional height to stretch the field and defenses this fall.
"We will basically be a 50-50 team but our strength will be in throwing the football," said Spears. "Lionel is the man. He has the touch to throw any pass."
Hayes, a somewhat reserved senior quarterback, will not only be called upon to guide a potentially explosive Tiger offense, but also to emerge as one of the team's leaders.
"He really is a laid back, easy-going guy, but when the time comes, he always rises to the occasion," said Spears.
JSU HITS BOOKS, THEN TAKE TO THE FIELD
JACKSON, Miss.
— The first day of classes was a small inkling that the gridiron season is fast approaching for Jackson State as the Tigers began their regular practice routine with one thing on their minds -- season-opening opponent Howard. JSU will use this week to work on game-like situations in preparations for their opening contest.
"Since classes have started, we thought that the players would be a little sluggish for practice, but they weren't," said interim head coach Robert Hughes. "The players have been very spirited, especially before practice. They're highly motivated and are concentrating on working towards their goal of winning the first game."
The Tigers will use the remainder of the week to work on blitz pickup drills and the red zone defense.
MISS. VALLEY DELTA DEVILS ENJOYING COOLER WEATHER
ITTA BENA, Miss.
— The Mississippi Valley State football squad enjoyed the cooler weather on Tuesday as head coach LaTraia Jones sent his squad through positioning scrimmaging.
Jones said, "We are now working on the UAPB game. We began putting in our game plan and today we worked on some of our offensive plays." The injury bug has hit the Delta Devils and Jones is holding out some of his key players so that they can be ready for the opener. The team will work under the lights this week.
"We've got to get used to the lights and we'll do that this week," said Jones.
QUARTERBACK RACE HEATS UP AT PRAIRIE VIEW A&M
PRAIRIE VIEW, Tex.
—Josh Barnes and Jamaal Foster are two Prairie View A&M football players aiming for the same target during fall camp. Both want to be the Panthers' starting quarterback.
"Right now, Barnes and Foster are leading the pack," said interim head coach Clifton Gilliard. "Both of these individuals are talented. There are some things that Foster is better at and other things Barnes is better at. At this point, I'd give a slight edge to Foster."
As a freshman last year, Foster, a 6'2, 195-pound sophomore from Houston, Tex., led the team in total offense with 1,119 total yards (362 rushing and 757 passing). Barnes, a 5'9, 170 senior form San Antonio, Tex., finished second in total offense with 921 total yards (-41 rushing, 962 passing). Foster was the better rusher, averaging 3.9 yards a carry, while Barnes led in passing with 96.2 yards per game.
TSU WIDE RECEIVERS MAKE UP FOR INEXPERIENCED OFFENSE
HOUSTON, Tex.
— The Texas Southern offensive line and quarterbacks may be young and inexperienced, but the team's wide receivers are stacked with five talented and experienced individuals who on any day should be able to step up to the challenge.
The Tigers return two-time All-American punter Joey Jamison and seniors Theo Henley, Goldy Jackson and Marcus Howell along with freshman Cortez Hankton. Assistant coach Harold Smith said that any of these can start for the Tiger offense.
"You can't go wrong with any these guys," said Hankton. "They're all talented. They are real good at reading coverages, they are quick and they all have good hands. We have a great battle going on for the starting positions."
Jamison, a 5'9 Jacksonville, Fla. native, led the NCAA Division I-AA and set a SWAC record for kickoff returns with an average of 36.3 yards per return.
Jackson, a 6'1 Houston native, is the most experienced receiver on the squad. He had nine catches for 177 yards with a long of 54 yards. Howell, a 5'11 Winnipeg, Canada product, was the team's second-leading receiver with 12 catches for 142 yards while averaging 20.3 yards per game.
Hankton, a 6'2 New Orleans native, scored one touchdown on a 25-yard reception last season before being redshirted.
HORNETS FINISH TWO-A-DAYS, COACH HIGH ON FRESHMEN
MONTGOMERY, Ala.
-- On the last day of two-a-day workouts, the Alabama State Hornets went through their morning session with high spirits and intensity as they look forward to another scrimmage on today and the last of the preseason on Saturday.
"I'm generally pleased with the way camp went. We put them through a lot and worked them hard. They responded like we thought they would," says Ron Dickerson.
"We also have some young guys that we need to step and play for us," added Dickerson. "Right now, the young guys are a little behind the pace that we would have liked them to be, but there are a few that look hungry and want playing time early."
ASU could see freshmen get playing time in a number of positions from running back to defensive end.
23 Aug
SWAC FOOTBALL CAMP REPORT
HORNETS INCREASE INTENSITY ON FIELD
MONTGOMERY, Ala.
- After a less than enthusiastic scrimmage on Saturda= y, the Alabama State coaching staff began Monday morning's practice with some high intensity drills and lots of contact. "I am extremely pleased with the way we bounced back today," said head coach Ron Dickerson. "We were able to get a lot of things done today, and the intensity was there for the entire practice."
Saturday's scrimmage was marred by turnovers and missed assignments that had the coaching staff seeing red through the weekend.
"We put the ball on the ground entirely too much, and we just didn't concentrate like we should have," said Darnell Kennedy, preseason All-SWAC quarterback. "We were able to come back this morning and redeem ourselves." The Alabama State Hornets will compose themselves and gear up for anothe r scrimmage on Wednesday, August 25.
JACKSON STATE OFFENSE WORKS TO SHAPE UP
JACKSON, Miss
- Jackson State University's interim head coach Robert Hughes plans to concentrate on offense on the first day of the regular practice. After the Tigers' first preseason scrimmage, Hughes was impressed with the defense.
"The defense showed a lot of tenacity Saturday," said Hughes. "Last wee k I said I was looking for 11 angry men and I found them on the defensive unit. The defense exposed our weakness on offense, which is inexperience. We are going to use this week to do some extra work on the offense getting consistency."
The Tigers will work on the offense from now until the first game. Hughes believes the extra work will help the offense shape up for its season opener against Howard on September 4th.
BRAVES FACE CLASS AND PRACTICE SCHEDULES
ALCORN STATE, Miss.
- The Alcorn State University Braves started their first day of classes Monday, which means they're getting used to combining classes and practice after ending two-a-day workouts over the weekend.
"Actually we are coming along pretty good," said head coach Johnny Thomas. "Our basic concern right now is getting the guys used to mixing school and practicing at the same time. We initiated that process Monday and the guys went to class."
The team will continue to work on fundamental drills this week.
COACH SEES IMPROVEMENT IN PRAIRIE VIEW OFFENSIVE LINE
PRAIRIE VIEW, Tex.
- Douglas Fowlkes, Prairie View A&M University's offensive coordinator, has been pleased with the progress of the offensive line.
"Our passing attack looks good. In our first scrimmage, the offensive line only gave up two sacks," said Fowlkes. "Although we threw the ball well, we need more work on our run blocking. We need to do a better job at attacking the post and getting off the ball."
Fowlkes believes the great physical condition and mental attitude that the players brought to camp are the biggest contributing factors to these improvements.
TSU DEFENSE UP TO PAR, OFFENSE NEEDS WORK
HOUSTON, Tex
- The Texas Southern University football squad began its first day of classes and regular practice Monday. Over the weekend, the Tigers football team held its annual preseason scrimmage and head coach Bill Thomas feels that his team has more work to do. "Our defense looked pretty good, but we have a ways to go on offense," Thomas said.
On the defensive side, preseason All-SWAC selections defensive end Carl Davis and linebacker Lonnie Phillips performed well. Fullback Elijah Williams, running back Jeff Kirklin and offensive lineman Mike Brown were the standouts on offense.
19 Aug
HEAT TAKES TOLL ON JAGS, MEDIA DAY APPROACHES
BATON ROUGE, La.
—The Southern University Jaguars, fighting the heat and battling strenuous work in two-a- days, have their entire offensive and defensive packages installed and now look to improve on the execution of plays.
"The installation of our offensive and defensive packages are complete," said head coach Pete Richardson. "What we ‘re looking for now is to get the guys the necessary reps that it takes for them to become fully comfortable with what we're trying to do."
Though the intensity picked up in Thursday's morning session, the SU coaching staff noted that the players were becoming ‘leg weary,' and that the heat was beginning to take its toll.
"We have a lot of guys giving 100 percent," noted Richardson, "but I think the heat and the two-a-day sessions are beginning to take its toll on some of our athletes. A lot of the guys are fighting fatigue, which affects the level of concentration."
SU will be put through a 120-play scrimmage on Saturday, August 21, at 8:30 a.m., with team photo and media day activities to follow at 1 p.m. The scrimmage will be open to the public, but fans are being asked not to attend the media day festivities. Fan appreciation day is scheduled for Saturday, August 28 at Iberville Motors in Plaquemine.
GSU'S DEFENSE TIGHTENS UP TEAM STRATEGY
GRAMBLING, La.
— The Grambling State University Tigers are looking to concentrate on the team effort.
Defensively, the Tigers continue to show improvement, particularly in the linebacking corps and the defensive backfield. Head coach Doug Williams believes if junior linebacker George Guidry plays up to his potential, Grambling will have one of the best linebacking units in the country. Making waves in the defensive backfield is cornerback Travis Massey. Massey, a 5'10, freshman from Brunswick, Ga., is challenging heavily for starting the role in the Tigers defense.
"I'm real pleased with the defensive back situation," Williams said. "Travis Massey is a pleasant surprise, he has shown his ability to cover, especially in the one-on-one. Don't be surprised if you see him starting on opening day."
The GSU Tigers will hold a 80-play scrimmage on Saturday, August 21 at 2 p.m. in Old Memorial Stadium. Media and fans are encouraged to come out and get a preview of the 1999 GSU Football Tigers.
HARDMAN EXCITED ABOUT PROGRESS OF OFFENSE
PINE BLUFF, Ark.
— The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff continued to focus on the offensive unit during Thursday's practice session and head coach Lee Hardman was pleased with the receivers.
"I'm really excited about the leadership that our veteran receivers are showing," Hardman said. "They're really setting a good example for some of the newcomers."
Senior wide-out Kevin Williams, who led the Golden Lions in receiving last season, has been impressive since the start of two-a-day practices. "Kevin knows that he's going to be our go-to guy," Hardman said. "He reported in great condition and he's working extremely hard."
BRAVES MAKE PROGRESS
ALCORN STATE, Miss.
—The Alcorn State coaching staff looked at Thursday morning's practice as a step up from yesterday.
"I think basically everyone is learning and getting adjusted to the system offensively, defensively and on special teams, stated head coach Johnny Thomas. "We are somewhat tired at this particular point, so we gave them the afternoon off and hit it strong in the Friday morning."
With an off-day, the Braves participated in Media Day, which was held in the Willie Mae Latham Park on the campus of Alcorn State University.
PRAIRIE VIEW FINISHES FIRST PRACTICE IN FULL GEAR
PRAIRIE VIEW, Tex.
—The Prairie View A&M University Panthers had their first practice in full gear on Thursday and interim head football coach Clifton Gilliard was pleased with what he witnessed.
"We've seen a lot of great things in practice," said Gilliard. They seem to be in such great shape and their enthusiasm and overall attitude is unbelievable.
"The offensive line has really surprise us with their performance," added Gilliard. That might just end up giving us the added depth we need so desperately."
Today the Panthers' morning session will be spent going through running plays and special teams in helmets and shorts. The evening practice will continue with three-on-three drills in full-gear.
JSU'S UNDERCLASSMEN TENDING TO BUSINESS
JACKSON, Miss.
—The Jackson State Tigers underclassmen are holding their own weight. All have made their presence known with their performances and eagerness to play.
"The freshmen DL's (defensive linemen) are showing a lot of tempo," said interim head coach Robert Hughes. " I'm real impressed with the effort they display during practice. They are hungry and they're going to help us out with depth."
Offensively, freshman linemen Kali Horner (6'4, 295) and Kenneth Hurt (6'3, 285) have caught Hughes' eye. He believes if they continue to work hard and learn the plays, they will receive some playing time this season.
19 Aug
SWAC RELEASES FINAL 1999 FOOTBALL TV PACKAGE
NEW ORLEANS
-- For the first time in its history, the Southwestern Athletic Conference will not only have a football television package, but also one which calls for every team in the 10- member league to appear on television at least once during the 1999 season.
Commissioner Rudy Washington stated that a total of 11 games will be a part of the inaugural SWAC football television package, a package that'll include games on Black Entertainment Television (BET), College Sports Programming Network Southeast (CSPN-SE) and Street and Smith's National Syndication. The 11 televised games will be played between the opening weekend of the season on September 4 and the SWAC championship game on December 11.
"We've worked very hard to make sure that all of our teams were a part of this inaugural television package," stated second-year commissioner Rudy Washington of the SWAC. "This is huge for our conference. The local, regional and national exposure our member schools will receive will be outstanding. The good thing is that this is just a beginning. It'll get bigger and better each year."
The SWAC's television slate will kick off on the opening weekend with the big Labor Day Classic featuring Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern on September 4 at the Astrodome in Houston, Tex. The 7 p.m. contest will be carried over the CSPN Southeast network.
The next two weekends, September 11 and 18, will also include CSPN Southeast broadcasts. The September 11 contest will feature a battle between Alabama A&M and Grambling State in Grambling, La. at 7 p.m. On September 18, Alabama A&M will battle Mississippi Valley State in Itta Bena, Miss., also at 7 p.m.
The first of three BET games will certainly be one of the marquee games of the year when league divisional favorites Jackson State and Southern tangle on October 16 in Jackson, Miss. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
On October 23, Arkansas-Pine Bluff will face Grambling State in the Red River Classic in Shreveport, La. in a Street and Smith's Productions nationally syndicated ball game at 2 p.m.
BET will then air the annual Magic City Classic between in-state rivals Alabama A&M and Alabama State in Birmingham, Ala. on October 30. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
Both Alabama State and Prairie View A&M will make their second CSPN Southeast appearance when they square off at 1 p.m. in Montgomery, Ala. on November 13. On that same date, Grambling State will meet non-conference foe Winston-Salem State in the Gold Coast Classic in San Diego, Calif, a Street and Smith's Production nationally syndicated game at 4 p.m.
Rivals Alcorn State and Jackson State will close their respective regular-seasons when they go head-to-head in the annual Capital City Classic in Jackson, Miss. on November 20. The 1 p.m. contest will be another of the nationally syndicated games of Street and Smith's Productions. The last regular-season contest will be aired coast-to-coast when NBC Sports again airs the State Farm Bayou Classic featuring Grambling State and Southern. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.
The inaugural SWAC championship game, featuring the winners of the new SWAC Eastern and Western divisions, will air live on BET at 1 p.m. on December 11 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.
In addition to the live game telecasts, CSPN Southeast will also produce and air a weekly highlights show entitled the "SWAC Weekly Magazine." It'll run each Thursday for 12 weeks starting on September 9. The SWAC football television package is the initial component of the newly-formed SWAC Communications Network. The network will also be comprised of a basketball television package for this school year and a radio network in the near future.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
1999 FOOTBALL TELEVISION PACKAGE
DATE GAME SITE TIME NETWORK
Sept. 11 Alabama A&M vs. Grambling Grambling, La. 7:00
CSPN-SE
Sept. 11 Ark.-Pine Bluff vs. Southern Univ. Baton Rouge, La. 6:30 S&S Syndicate
Sept. 18 Alabama A&M vs. Miss. Valley Itta Bena, Miss. 7:00
CSPN-SE
Oct. 16 Southern Univ. vs. Jackson State Jackson, Miss. 7:00 S&S Syndicate
Oct. 30 Alabama A&M vs. Alabama State Birmingham, Ala. 3:00 BET
Nov. 13 Grambling vs. Winston-Salem St. Winston-Sal., N.C. 4:00 S&S Syndicate
Nov. 13 Prairie View vs. Alabama State Montgomery, Ala. 1:00 CSPN-SE
Nov. 20 Alcorn State vs. Jackson State Jackson, Miss. 1:00 BET
Nov. 27 Grambling vs. Southern Univ. New Orleans, La. 1:00 NBC
Dec. 11 SWAC Championship Game Birmingham, Ala. 1:00 BET
Dec. 18 McDonald's Heritage Bowl Atlanta, Ga. 1:00 NBC
Additional televised games that are not a part of the SWAC football television package:
Sept. 11 Jackson State vs. Tenn. State Memphis, Tenn. 6:00 BET
Oct. 2 Southern Univ. vs. Hampton Indianapolis, Ind. 4:00 BET (delay)
Dec. 18 McDonald's Heritage Bowl Atlanta, Ga. 1:00 NBC
WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS SHOW: "SWAC FOOTBALL WEEKLY" -- 12 WEEKS ON CSPN-SE
BET - Black Entertainment Television
CSPN-SE - College Sports Productions Network Southeast
S&S Affiliate - Street & Smith's (likely a Fox Sports affiliate)
18 Aug
MISTAKES PLAGUE BRAVES
ALCORN STATE, Miss.
—The Alcorn State Braves entered Wednesday's morning practice sluggish, much to the dismay of head coach Dr. Johnny Thomas.
"Yesterday, morning practice was not good," Thomas said. "There were entirely too many mistakes, which we need to have extra work on. We are looking for better concentration to minimize on the mental mistakes."
The Braves are also battling near 100-degree temperatures. The team, Coach Thomas said, is still adjusting to the heat and the conditions that are presented to it.
UAPB CONCENTRATES ON QUARTERBACK POSITION
PINE BLUFF, Ark.
— The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff football team spent the majority of yesterday's practice session concentrating on the offensive unit, especially the quarterback position.
"We're really concerned with the offensive unit's timing," said head coach Lee Hardman. "We've got a new quarterback and he's got to get adjusted to running the offense."
Darryl Shelton, a 6'1, 190-pound senior, has been working at the top signal-calling position since spring practice. For the past two seasons, Shelton was a backup to Rod Robinson, who graduated last May.
JAGUARS' OFFENSE FALLS, DEFENSE TAKES UP SLACK
BATON ROUGE, La.
—Only one day after receiving high praise from the Southern University coaching staff, the Jaguars' offense received the brunt of the coaches' ire after a disappointing showing in a 52- play scrimmage in yesterday's morning session.
"I thought the offense was a big disappointment, lamented head coach Pete Richardson. "They made too many mental mistakes. They put the ball on the ground too much, didn't execute the plays like we had hoped and basically didn't play together as a unit."
Of the offensive positions, the quarterback slot received the most scrutiny as both quarterbacks, Troy Williams and Terrence Levy, faltered in their decision-making and execution of plays.
"The defense I think played well," said Richardson. "They were aggressive and they went out and made plays. They seemed to be coming along at a much better pace than what the offense is right now."
JSU SEEKING ‘A FEW GOOD MEN' FOR SPECIAL TEAMS
JACKSON, Miss.
— The Jackson State University Tigers used Wednesday's practice to work on drills that will help them in their upcoming scrimmage scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday morning, August 22.
Interim head coach Robert Hughes is impressed with how hard place kicker Brian Reynolds and punter Kenny Paige have worked on their kicking game. Both have developed strong legs over the summer and are ready to show JSU opponents what makes the special teams so "special."
"Brian's range has improved tremendously," said Hughes. "Brian told me that he is prepared to kick a field goal at the 50- yard line, and I believe him, judging by his efforts in practice. He also kicks-off for us and his leg is so strong that he has no problem kicking the ball into the end zone."
Hughes is on a quest to find a few good men to head up the special teams. "I'm looking for 11 angry men to be on special teams. I need those guys who can run, block and hit well."
THREE PRAIRIE VIEW PLAYERS MAKE POSITION CHANGES
PRAIRIE VIEW, Tex.
—Following the second day of fall camp, three Prairie View A&M University Panthers have been moved to new positions.
Chris Fasasno (6'2, 305, Sr.) was moved from the offensive line to defensive line and Dezra Shaw (5'11, 230, Sr.) was moved from running back to defensive tackle. Antonio Scott (6'0, 275, Sr.) was also switched from defensive tackle to defensive end.
"Fasasno and Shaw will add a tremendous amount of stability to our defensive line," said defensive coordinator Rory Barnett. "They possess that sheer athletic ability and they're the two strongest individuals on our team.
"Scott is one of our leaders. He is among our top 10 players in strength and agility," added Barnett. We had to move him to replace a key loss at that position."
Fasasno, a junior college transfer last season from Independence Community College, was moved to the offensive line due to the lack of personnel. Shaw garnered 104 yards on 31 carries as a running back. Scott, a 1998 second team All- SWAC performer, registered 50 tackles a year ago, including 10 stops for a minus 34 yards.
GSU'S BAILEY MAKES STRONG IMPACT ON SPECIAL TEAMS
GRAMBLING, La.
—Last year, junior Frank Bailey made a name for himself around the Southwestern Athletic Conference as Grambling's leading punt and kickoff return leader. This year, Bailey is giving newcomers and GSU coaches an eyeful of the awesome speed and bruising return style that carried him to a team-leading 1,367 all-purpose yards. He averaged 11.8 yards on punt returns and 23.5 on kickoff returns.
"He is a big play athlete with a bruising style," said Heishma Northern, the special teams coach. "He can control field position with kickoffs and punt returns."
Northern also has been pleased with the punting of Adrian Hairston, who was second in the SWAC with a 39-yard average. Lawrence Richmond, who also plays baseball, will handle the place-kicking duties.
"Richmond has hit from 50 yards out," said Northern. "Right now we're working on consistency with him. We'll spend Friday and Saturday working on those areas."
MVSU CONTINUES TWO-A- DAYS, PENDLETON BACK
ITTA BENA, Miss.
—LaTraia Jones, Mississippi Valley State's head coach, put his team through a regular 11-on-11 scrimmage yesterday.
"With the weather conditions much cooler, we let our players go 11-on-11 for 20 minutes and quarterback Melvin Williams was impressive along with our running back," said Jones. "The defensive units seem to be ahead of the offense, now--but I am pleased with the overall progress."
Jones also pointed out that defensive end Lawrence Pendelton seems ready to play now. Valley will continue with two-a-day practice this week and has a full scrimmage Saturday, August 21, 1999.
TSU'S HARRELL SETS PACE FOR REST OF THE SECONDARY
HOUSTON, Tex.
—The Texas Southern University football team continued two-a-day practices Wednesday, concentrating on the red zone area and seven-on-seven drills.
Assistant coach Ray Bonner feels that junior defensive back Scott Harrell continues to perform strongly. He stated, "Harrell looks very impressive right now. He is healthy and strong and he is working real hard," said Bonner. "Much like last season, he is setting the pace for the secondary."
Harrell is a 1999 preseason All-SWAC selection who led the conference in tackles for loss (18) and was second in forced fumbles (2). The 6-0 Livingston, Tex. native led the Tigers in interceptions (3) and was one of the league's top ten tackles leader with 64 tackles.
18 Aug
BN SPORTS 1999 BLACK COLLEGE PRESEASON FOOTBALL POLL RANK
RANK TEAM POINTS(#1 VOTES) 1998 RECORD
1 Florida A&M 262 (16) 11-2
2 Hampton 235 (3) 9-3
3 Southern 199 (1) 9-3
4 Tennessee State 152 (4) 9-3
5 Jackson State 149 (3) 7-4
6 Bethune-Cookman 114 8-3
7 Albany State 102 9-2
8 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 75 8-3
9 Fort Valley State 69 11-2
10 Tuskegee 55 9-2
SWAC FOOTBALL REPORT #5
JAGUAR OFFENSE ‘AHEAD OF SCHEDULE'
BATON ROUGE, La.
—Southern University's football team took the field for morning practices under a steamy Baton Rouge heat. The Jaguars were put through "pass skeletons", offensive coordinator Mark Orlando's terminology for 7-on-7 drills, in the morning session with the offensive unit receiving high praise for their progress in picking up the offensive package.
"The offense is a little bit ahead of schedule," noted Richardson. "We'll go into our first scrimmage with most of our offense in. That's probably the first time that's happened since I've been here."
The Jaguars will take the field for their first full-squad scrimmage Saturday, August 21.
BLACK OF EXECUTION TROUBLES BRAVES
ALCORN STATE, Miss.
— The Alcorn State football team did not have a good showing during yesterday's workout, which has head coach Johnny Thomas concerned.
"We didn't have a very good day, we didn't execute well, it just looked like we came out sluggish and lethargically," said Thomas. "It was one of those days and I am hoping we do a much better job."
In spite of the bad workout, the team is having a good showing on special teams. Junior Eric Newman (5'11, 186) is expected to handle both the placekicking and punting duties during upcoming season. Newman connected on 27 of 29 extra point attempts along with two of five field goal attempts and had 13 punts for an average 33.9 yards per kick in 1998.
"Our special teams are coming along pretty good, although we have to iron out some wrinkles in our punting game, kickoff and punt returns," said Thomas.
ASU'S KENNEDY READY FOR UPCOMING SEASON
MONTGOMERY, Ala.
—The ASU Hornets donned full gear Tuesday morning for the first time this fall.
Several players on both sides of the ball looked good, although none stood out. Quick whistles kept defenders away from Darnell Kennedy, who has performed well so far in camp.
"I came into camp with the right frame of mind and with our system under my belt for a year and a spring, so I'm ready to go," said Kennedy, an All-SWAC preseason first team member. "We're ready to really turn this thing around and get some serious wins this season. I just wanted to make sure I was in shape and ready to do my part. I'm bigger and stronger and my throwing seems to be on point."
TIGERS CONTINUE CONTACT WORKOUTS
HOUSTON, Tex.
— The Texas Southern football team continued two-a-day practices and held its second day of contact workouts yesterday at the old Houston Oilers practice facility.
"It's good to be able to see the guys going at it in full gear," said head coach Bill Thomas. "We have a lot of young talent on the offense, but with each day they are improving, and I'm sure we'll get where we need to be." The Tiger team will focus more on special teams in the days ahead.
JSU TIGERS CONTINUE TWO-A- DAYS--DESPITE HEAT
JACKSON, Miss.
— The blistering heat and a few nagging injuries have made the second day of contact two-a-day practices a challenge. However, coach Robert Hughes has not let those things hamper the overall atmosphere of yesterday's practice session.
Split-man Brian Darden (RB/DB) was scheduled to practice yesterday after missing all of last week. Darden had been out nursing a sprained toe he suffered in spring drills. Wide receiver Sylvester Morris will also return to practice after missing Monday because of a muscle pull.
"I'm pleased with the overall attitudes of the players," said Hughes. "Despite minor setbacks, like the heat, minor injuries and field conditions, the players are hanging in there. They are overlooking these obstacles because they know we are here to do a job."
The weather may be hot, but the Tigers are even hotter. JSU is blazing in the polls. The Tigers are ranked No. 18 in the division I-AA poll and No. 5 in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network Preseason Poll.
COACH SEES POSITIVE THINGS IN PVU DRILLS
PRAIRIE VIEW, Tex.
—The Prairie View A&M University Panthers worked out in shoulder pads and helmets yesterday evening, concluding their first day of two-a-day practices in preparation for the upcoming season.
"After three practices, I'm pleased with this group," said head coach Clifton Gilliard. "It seems as though this group dedicated themselves to returning to camp in great shape and good physical condition."
The Panthers are expected to continue with the installation of plays in shorts and helmets this morning and helmets and shoulder pads in the evening session.
VALLEY'S JONES PLEASED WITH PROGRESS
ITTA BENA, Miss.
:—Mississippi Valley State head coach LaTraia Jones was pleased with the progress made in yesterday's practice.
"I was very pleased with the workout, especially with the quarterback, Melvin Williams, and running back, Corey Holmes," said Jones. "They seemed to be catching on the offensive schemes quickly."
The Delta Devils' first game will be against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on September 4 in Little Rock, Ark.
GSU RECEIVERS ARE LOOKING POLISHED
GRAMBLING, La.
—Grambling State University's wide receivers don't have a wealth of college experience, but the talent level that the youthful Tigers are showing is creating excitement in camp.
"Late Monday night, the receivers probably had their best practice this season," said wide receiver coach Sammie White, a former star receiver for Grambling and the Minnesota Vikings. "And again yesterday morning they were sharp. Overall, I think they are looking great. Even the young players we had last year have a year under their belts and are looking real polished."
The leading receiver from 1998, Scotty Anderson (54 catches, 874 yards, 9 TDs), will be returning this season. GSU lost senior Silas Payne and third-leading receiver David Thompson, who transferred to Holy Cross College in Massachusetts. Ivery Gaskins of Rivera Beach, Florida (14 catches, 161 yards) is currently the leading candidate to replace Thompson, who started opposite Anderson.
16 Aug
GSU'S YOUNGSTERS SHOWING "EYE OF THE TIGER"
GRAMBLING, La.
— With the first full week of practice behind them, Grambling State's freshmen proved to be a breath of fresh air. Head coach Doug Williams, looking to add depth to a veteran team, has brought in what he considers a fine group of young men.
"The young guys have shown a lot of promise," said Williams. "We still have to put some puzzles together. However, we have added depth and quality, especially to our receiving core as well as the offensive and defensive lines."
Donning full pads for the first time, the Tigers will continue concentrating on conditioning and fundamentals. In the final week of two-a-day practices, the Tigers will also look to solidify their depth chart.
With so many players showing promise, this is a problem Williams welcomes. "Coming into camp, most of our starters were in place," said Williams. "We have added plenty of depth, but also inexperience. The youngsters will have to grow up quick, which means they will have to do it while receiving plenty of playing time. They all seem to be very decent athletes, which will make up for the inexperience."
HORNETS RESUME PRACTICE AFTER MEDIA AND FAN DAY
MONTGOMERY, Ala.
— The Alabama State football team returned to work yesterday after two practices on Saturday and media/fan day activities on Sunday afternoon.
"We had a great day Sunday, but it's time to go back to work," said head coach Ron Dickerson. "We have a long way to go before September 5th."
Media and fans were greeted by happy Hornets who gave out free ASU Hornet Football T-shirts and signed autographs for all who attended. A few hundred fans came out and braved the warm temperatures to get a look at the 1999 Hornets.
MISS. VALLEY STATE INTO SECOND WEEK OF PRACTICE
ITTA BENA, Miss.
—The players and coaches from Mississippi Valley State took Sunday off, but got back to two-a-day drills yesterday.
Senior quarterback Melvin Williams continues to handle the newly installed West Coast-style offense. He stated, "I'm enjoying learning this new system."
Head coach LaTraia Jones said, "This week we have increased the drills, going some seven-on-seven, working on our kicking game and maybe we'll have some scrimmages. I've seen some improvement after watching films on our early workouts."
TEXAS SOUTHERN HOLDS FIRST CONTACT PRACTICE HOUSTON, Tex.
— The Texas Southern football team continued two-a-day practices yesterday and held its first contact workout last night at the old Houston Oilers practice facility.
Last night's workout gave head coach Bill Thomas a chance to evaluate his team in "live" situations. This is especially important on the offensive side of the ball where only two starters from last year's 6-5 team return.
Thomas said it's difficult to assess practice. "It's tough to know how it's going when you're installing new players," Thomas said. "Our guys are learning the system and it's going to take some time."
BRAVES PERFORM WELL IN FIRST DAY OF DRILLS IN PADS
ALCORN STATE, Miss.
— The Alcorn State Braves worked in pads yesterday and head coach Johnny Thomas was pleased with the performance of his players during the workout.
"We had a real good hitting session this morning," said Thomas. "The guys came out really fired up and ready to hit each other. We were able to get a lot of things accomplished."
The team worked on their timing on offense, defense and special teams during the evening practice. In Tuesday's workouts, the Braves will work on the fundamental aspects of their game.
"We are going to work on the things that we need to improve on and we are going to work a little bit more on inside drills, tackling and recognition," Thomas added.
Media Day has been scheduled for Thursday, August 19th, at the park on campus. It will take place from 2- 3:30 p.m.
JSU TIGERS PUT ON PADS
JACKSON, Miss.
—The Jackson State Tigers began two-a-day workouts in full pads Monday afternoon. The team changed its practice schedule from 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. because of faculty and staff seminars on yesterday morning.
The Tigers will continue with their two-a-day practices in full pads for the remainder of the week. One- a-day practices will begin on Monday, August 23.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M ENDS PHYSICALS, TWO-A-DAYS SET
PRAIRIE VIEW, Tex.
—Prairie View A&M interim head coach Clifton Gilliard announced Monday that all of the players on his team have completed their physicals in preparation for the 1999 camp. The players also participated in the team's first practice session Monday afternoon. Two-a-days will start today with workouts slated for 6:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
"We'll use our first few practice sessions as a gauge to see where we are in terms of our physical condition before we really get into the nuts and bolts of our practice program," said Gilliard.
Spirits are high and everyone's excited about the new season.
SU JAGUARS PICK UP PACE, INTENSITY AT HIGH LEVEL
BATON ROUGE, La.
—Southern head coach Pete Richardson was delighted in the pace of his team's practice yesterday as he watched the Jaguars prep in full gear for the first time this preseason.
"The intensity and the pace of the practice picked up this morning," said Richardson. "I think it was because of the presence of the kids in full-gear."
Richardson and his staff continue to focus on instilling the basics of SU football, with the majority of the morning session consisting of alignment drills, areas of responsibility and simple play formations.
"We'll continue to work on formations and alignments for as long as we have to," Richardson said. "Right now, the kids are going full-speed, but we won't go full-contact until probably Wednesday."
The Jaguars will be put through a mini-controlled scrimmage, in efforts to better gauge the progress of preseason camp. The first scrimmage will be held on Saturday, August 21.
16 Aug
SWAC MAKES DIVISIONAL FORMAT "USER FRIENDLY"
NEW ORLEANS
-- Fearing that the elaborate system of determining representatives for this fall's inaugural Southwestern Athletic Conference football championship game was too complicated for novice fans to fully comprehend, league commissioner Rudy Washington has abandoned the original method of determining which games will count towards qualification for the game and replaced it with a simpler one.
The original system called for teams in both the Eastern and Western divisions to play the four teams in their respective divisions plus three from the opposite division for a total of seven conference games. The three games from the opposite division would have rotated on two-year intervals. The new plan calls for only the four games within a team's respective division to count as conference games. League commissioner Rudy Washington said this simpler plan would be much easier for fans to remember.
"After further review of the seven-game format, we believed that the average fan would just not have been able to keep track of which games were being counted as conference games," stated Washington. "The simpler the plan, the less problems we'd face as the season develops."
In the SWAC's divisional format, which takes place starting this fall for all sports except men's and women's basketball, the Eastern Division will consist of Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University and Mississippi Valley State University. For football, only games played among those schools will count in the league's Eastern Division standings.
The Western Division will consist of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Grambling State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University and Texas Southern University. Only games played among those schools will count in the league's Western Division standings.
In cases of ties, the following tiebreaker plan will be implemented:
A) In cases of two-team ties:
1. Head-to-head competition
B) In cases of ties involving three or more teams:
1. Head-to-head record in games between teams involved in the tie;
2. Overall conference record (divisional games plus the three
interdivisional games);
3. Total points scored in divisional play;
4. Coin flip by the commissioner.
The inaugural SWAC football championship game will be played on December 11, 1999 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.
13 Aug
Football Camp Report No. Three
JSU COACH LAYS OUT TIGERS' THREE RULES FOR SUCCESS
JACKSON, Miss.
— Jackson State interim head coach Robert Hughes shared with his players on Friday his three requirements for a successful season — be on time, follow instructions and use common sense. With those words of encouragement, the Tigers breezed through their drills.
"I'm starting to see a change in the players' attitudes," stated Hughes. "What I've implemented is starting to work and the players are grasping my style of coaching."
On Friday, JSU mainly concentrated on conditioning and repetition drills without pads. Saturday's schedule will include Media Day festivities starting at 8:30 a.m. at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. The team will don pads for the first time starting on Monday.
TSU TO START TWO-A-DAY ROUTINE AT OILERS' SITE
HOUSTON, Tex.
— The Texas Southern football team spent most of Friday in team meetings before hitting the gridiron for the first time at 7 p.m. The offensive players met with new coordinator Eddie Williamson, who came to TSU after serving as the offensive coordinator at Baylor. The defensive unit took to the classroom to go over strategies as well.
The Tigers will start two-a-days Saturday with two-hour sessions being staged at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. The team's workouts are being conducted at the old Houston Oilers' practice facility.
HEAT DOESN'T HAMPER ASU'S FIRST FULL PRACTICE FRIDAY
MONTGOMERY, Ala.
— The Alabama State Hornets practiced together for the first time as a full unit Friday morning, getting introduced not only to the rigors of practicing but to the extreme heat as well.
"I didn't think we looked too bad, especially for the first practice in this kind of heat," said offensive coordinator Guy Holiday.
ASU head coach Ron Dickerson said his initial practice afforded him the opportunity to judge which players actually worked hard over the off-season. "We conditioned them hard after practice today in the heat and everybody made their times and kept up quite well," said Dickerson. "That just goes to show that these guys are taking upon themselves to step up and be leaders, not followers."
The Hornets will practice again twice on Saturday before holding Media Day activities on Sunday in the Cramton Bowl at 2:30 p.m.
MVSU WORKS ON THE BASICS
ITTA BENA, Miss.
— The Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils continued non-contact drills on Friday, for the first time walking through basic formations and concentrating on fundamentals.
"I'm pleased with the players' attitudes and condition," said head coach LaTraia Jones. "They seem ready to work."
Saturday's schedule calls for a 5-6 p.m. non-contact practice at the MVSU practice field.
GSU'S TALL MEN EYE SLOTS, TIGERS FOCUS ON OFFENSE
GRAMBLING, La.
— Seven-on-seven drills pitting the offensive line and running backs against the defensive line and linebackers highlighted Grambling's Friday morning practice while the team started implementing its passing game during the evening session.
Four freshman receivers coming in at 6'3 or taller look to challenge for starting roles during the preseason.
"All of the receivers can run and catch," said assistant coach Heishma Northern. "You normally get the big guys, but they can't run or catch. It's rare to get this many receivers with the entire package."
Meanwhile, with no definite starter in place in the offensive backfield, the Tigers focused on assignments in the running game, recognition and picking up blocks.
"Fullback Jason Arrington is working his way back into shape," stated Northern. "He's getting back to what we expected of him."
Fan and Media Day is on tap for GSU on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium with a Doug Williams press conference slated for 2:30. Fans are encouraged to attend. Food, drinks, giveaways, door prizes and entertainment will be provided.
ALCORN EXPANDS PRACTICE SCHEDULE TO INCLUDE 7-ON-7
ALCORN STATE, Miss.
— The Alcorn State Braves worked on one-on-one drills during Friday's morning workouts and focused on seven-on-seven drills in the evening session.
"We went one-on-one for the first time and we had some bright spots and some things that we need to correct," said head coach Johnny Thomas.
Thomas expanded his team's workouts by adding the seven-on-seven drills in addition to the customary one-on-one routine. The Braves will work on basics in their final session without pads on Saturday before donning full gear for the first time on Monday.
INAUGURAL SWAC FOOTBALL
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
EASTERN DIVISION WINNER
-vs-
WESTERN DIVISION WINNER
Saturday, December 11, 1999
1:00 at Legion Field
Birmingham, Alabama
12 Aug
SWAC Training Cam Report
HORNETS PUT TO THE TEST
MONTGOMERY, Ala.
--In the blistering heat and humidity, the Alabama State veterans players took the field yesterday ready to push things to a new level in their conditioning tests.
According to head coach Ron Dickerson, the Hornet upperclassmen came into camp in the right frame of mind and in shape.
"The guys looked good out there today," said Dickerson. "Everyone made their times and we are excited to have everyone together. Now we must concentrate on the things we need to do to get ready for September 5th. The team held its first full practice this morning.
GSU VETERANS HIT THE FIELD
GRAMBLING, La.
--Grambling State University head football coach Doug Williams gave his veteran players a chance to return to the field yesterday morning. The team held its first full workout for the whole team later that evening.
The upperclassmen were limited to conditioning and time tests. Senior linebacker Demorrio Hamilton, junior wide receiver Scotty Anderson, and junior running back Walter Williams all turned in top times in the 40-yard dash with a 4.4.
"Overall we looked pretty good, all of linemen completed drills and we had some great times," said defensive line coach Ernest Sterling. "We're very pleased at the shape our guys came back in."
DEVILS START TWO-A-DAYS
ITTA BENA, Miss.
-- The Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils started two-day-day practices on Thursday with 70 players hitting the field.
According to head coach Latraia Jones, 20 freshman have reported to campus with three awaiting the green light from the NCAA Clearinghouse. The Delta Devils will concentrate on basic fundamentals today as well as Saturday.
11 Aug
SWAC Football Camp Report
HORNETS WELCOME ROOKIES & VETERANS
MONTGOMERY, Ala.
-- Alabama State University's head football coach Ron Dickerson has welcomed 49 newcomers in addition to his upperclassmen back on campus. The rookies reported to campus on Tuesday and the veterans reported back Wednesday. Alabama State will hold its annual media/fan appreciation day on Sunday, August 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the Cramton Bowl.
ALCORN BEGINS TWO-A- DAYS
ALCORN STATE, Miss.
-- The Alcorn State University Braves football team was issued its equipment and began two-a-days on Wednesday. The players worked-out in shorts. Media day is scheduled for Thursday, August 19th, at the park on campus. It takes place from 2-3:30 p.m.
GSU BEGINS TWO-A-DAYS
GRAMBLING, La.
-- The Grambling State University Football Tigers will begin regular two-a-day practices today, August 12. A total of 35 lettermen and approximately 28 freshmen and newcomers will be on the field. Grambling is also holding its annual Fans & Media Day from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, August 14 inside the Eddie G. Robinson Stadium. Fans will be able to take pictures and receive autographs. Head coach Doug Williams will hold a short press conference at 2:30 p.m.
JSU TIGERS COMPLETE PHYSICALS
JACKSON, Miss.
-- Medical screenings and examinations were on the agenda Wednesday for the Jackson State University Tigers football team. The annual two-mile conditioning run took place at 6:30 p.m. The athletes arrived on campus Tuesday. JSU's Media Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 14, at 8:30 p.m. at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
1 Aug
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Grambling's freshmen footballers are scheduled to report Sunday, August 8th. They will have two-a-day practice sessions on 9-10 August. Upperclassmen will report on August 10th with practices on 12-14 August. Media Day is scheduled for Saturday, Aug 14 at 2 p.m. in Eddie G. Robinson stadium. The team will continue two-a-day practices from August 15-August 23, then will start one-a-day practices. More later...
22 July
Black Coaches Victims of Money Scam
New Orleans, LA(OTW)-SWAC Commissioner Rudy Washington is putting out a warning for all black coaches to beware of a money scam that has been taking place.
Apparently, a male has been using prominent individuals' names to swindle money out of black college coaches. The person poses as an individual of the sports world and claims to be in transit on an airplane. He says that he has a nephew who needs money for an emergency. Since he can't wire the money himself, he asks the coaches to wire the money to his nephew, and he will give the money back when his plane lands. However, this is not the case.
The money is picked up from the wire service immediately. Western Union has been the only wire company used in the scam. Some of the names that have been used by the con artist are Billy Hunter, NBA Players Union, Kellen Winslow, pro football Hall-of-Famer, George Raveling, former collegiate basketball coach, and Rudy Washington, SWAC Commissioner, and others. The scam has occurred dozens of times, and an estimated $100,000 has been lost in the scam.
It is possible that the person picks up the money, or has an accomplice. What makes the con artist so convincing is that he has some kind of knowledge of the targeted coaches and the person requesting the money.
13 July
New Orleans, LA(OTW)-Southern has been picked to win the West and Jackson State the East in the 1999 edition of SWAC football caoches and media poll. The winners of the respective divisions will meet at the SWAC championship game in Birmingham, at Legion Field. The game will decide who will go to the McDonald's Heritage Bowl.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AND DIVISIONAL PLAY
MAJOR TOPICS FOR 1999 SWAC PRESS TOUR
NEW ORLEANS
-- The Southwestern Athletic Conference will hold its 20th annual Football Press Tour on Tuesday, July 13, through Friday, July 16. The tour will begin on July 13 in Baton Rouge, La. From there, it'll move on to Pine Bluff, Ark. on Wednesday, July 14, Jackson, Miss. on Thursday, July 15 and Huntsville, Ala. on Friday, July 16.
The annual tour promotes upcoming SWAC football seasons to the fans and media. This year's tour, as last year's, brings in a few new changes. This is the first year that the conference has split the schools into two divisions, Eastern and Western. The conference will also have its first- ever football championship game on Saturday, December 11 in Birmingham, Ala. The winner of the championship game will play in the McDonald's Heritage Bowl.
"The combination of the championship game and the new divisional breakdown will add a whole new level of excitement to a conference where football is already king," SWAC associate commissioner Lonza Hardy Jr. said.
"This year, the focus will not be on just one team, but on the two top teams." Top returning student-athletes from the Western Division schools will participate in the tour's stops in Baton Rouge and Pine Bluff, while the Eastern Division student-athletes will join the tour in Jackson and Huntsville. The stop in Jackson is sure to be one of the highlights of the tour since the festivities will be held at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
"We're looking to accomplish a lot of things in Jackson," Mississippi Valley State athletics director and SWAC wagonmaster Charles Prophet said. "The mayor of Jackson and members of the City Council will be in attendance. It could be one of our biggest stops."
Another big topic during the football tour will likely be the relocation of the SWAC
headquarters from New Orleans to Birmingham, Ala. "I think we're in for a good tour this year," Prophet said. "It should prove to be very exciting."
20th ANNUAL SWAC FOOTBALL PRESS TOUR
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

TUESDAY, JULY 13, 1999--BATON ROUGE, LA
6:30 p.m.--Press Conference (Southern University)
Dinner (Smith-Brown Memorial Union)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 1999--PINE BLUFF, AR
7:00 p.m.--Press Conference (Pine Bluff Convention Center)
8:30 p.m.-Dinner (Western Sizzlin Steakhouse)
THURSDAY, JULY 15, 1999--JACKSON, MS
7:00 p.m.--Press Conference (MS Hall of Fame and Museum)
9:30 p.m.--Dinner
FRIDAY, JULY 16, 1999--HUNTSVILLE, AL
3:00 p.m.--Meet the Press (Marriott-Huntsville)
6:00 p.m.--Banquet (Marriott-Huntsville)
9:00 p.m.--Reception (Marriott-Huntsville)
-30- 1999 SWAC SPRING MEETINGS
DAILY NEWS RECAPS

DAY ONE:
BILOXI LIKELY TO HOST SWAC BASKETBALL TOURNEY
BILOXI, Miss.
-- The big news coming out of the initial day of the 1999 Southwestern Athletic Conference Spring Meetings was the fact that the league's annual postseason basketball tournament will likely have a new home in the year 2000.
In the athletics directors' meeting on Monday, commissioner Rudy Washington informed the group of his pending recommendation to the SWAC Council of Presidents on Wednesday to move the tournament from Baton Rouge, La., where the 1999 tourney was hosted on Southern University's campus, to Biloxi. If approved, the tournament will be played at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum next March 9-11.
"I've looked at the SWAC basketball tournament over the years and have been disappointed in the level of local support it=s gotten from the various cities that have hosted it," stated Washington. "In Biloxi, I believe we have a city which will throw its support behind the tournament to ensure its success. Also, Biloxi is one of the rising cities in the South and it has an active community of locals and tourists yearning for different modes of entertainment, especially sporting events. They'll have an excellent entertainment choice with the SWAC basketball tournament."
Chuck Prophet, the athletics director at Mississippi Valley State University and the chairman of the SWAC Athletics Directors Committee, said the initial day of the SWAC Spring Meetings was a very productive one.
"Our meetings were very beneficial on Monday," stated Prophet. "As for the athletics directors, we had a real good discussion about the conference headquarters move to Birmingham. In light of what the city=s planning on doing for the conference, it's surely a positive move for us.
"I was happy to receive the report from Street and Smith=s about our new television package," added Prophet. "From the sponsorships they=re lining up, I=m confident that Street and Smith=s will be able incorporate all of our schools into the television package this fall."
Besides the athletics directors, several other committees also met on Monday, including the league's alumni affairs directors, athletic trainers, band directors, equipment managers, financial aid directors and registrars.
The SWAC Spring Meetings continue today with 9 a.m. to 12 noon meetings of the coaches from the sports of baseball, bowling, golf, softball, tennis, track and field and volleyball in addition to the league=s senior woman administrators.
From 1-3 p.m., meetings will be held involving the SWAC=s athletic business managers, basketball coaches, compliance coordinators, faculty athletics representatives, football coaches and sports information directors. From 2-6 p.m., the athletics directors will receive committee reports.
The SWAC meetings will conclude on Wednesday with a 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. meeting of the SWAC Council of Presidents. The conference=s basketball coaches will also meet with game officials during that same time frame.
* * * DAY TWO:
SWAC BASEBALL COACHES WANT TOURNAMENT FIELD EXPANDED, SOFTBALL COACHES CONCUR
BILOXI, Miss.
-- If the head baseball and softball coaches of the Southwestern Athletic Conference have their way, the league's postseason tournaments will expanded in the year 2000 from their traditional four-team formats to fields of six teams.
The coaches' recommendations were just one of many issues discussed during day two of the 1999 SWAC Spring Meetings, which are being held in Biloxi at the Beau Rivage Resort Hotel.
The baseball and softball coaches unanimously recommended increasing their respective SWAC tournament fields by allowing the top three teams from the league's Eastern Division and the top three teams from the Western Division to make the tournament. Concurrently, they're recommending making the tournaments four-day events rather than their normal three-day affairs.
"We've discussed this issue among ourselves for the past couple of years and we believed that now was the appropriate time to present our recommendation to the athletics directors," stated Wilbert Ellis, chairman of the SWAC Baseball Coaches Committee. "With the level of competition increasing in our conference, we think more teams should have a shot at winning our championship and advancing to the NCAA tournament."
Another key recommendation made to the athletics directors on Tuesday came from both the men's and women's basketball coaches. In separate meetings, the two groups recommended that the league abandon the satellite format it implemented a year ago for the conference's postseason basketball tournament. The men's coaches' recommendation came on a 6-4 vote while all 10 of the women's coaches were in favor of returning to the old format.
Last year, the league's top four men's teams and top four women's teams hosting first round games of their respective tournaments on their campus sites. The winners advanced to Baton Rouge, La., where the semifinals and finals were played on Southern University's campus. In previous years, all of the teams eligible to compete in the tournament competed at the one tournament venue.
Several other significant recommendations were presented to the SWAC athletics directors as well on Tuesday, including one from the football coaches to alter this summer's SWAC Football Press Tour. The tour, as scheduled previously, called for the head coaches, sports information directors and top returning players to travel to four cities over a two-week span for their annual preseason media conferences. The coaches recommended consolidating the tour to a consecutive four-day swing through Jackson, Miss., Pine Bluff, Ark., Baton Rouge, La. and Huntsville, Ala.
Meanwhile, the SWAC sports information directors recommended adopting a plan for improving the sports information offices of the SWAC-member universities. The plan calls for the hiring of full-time assistants and a secretary in each sports information office, bringing the staffers' salaries up to par with other NCAA Division I schools, hiring of qualified personnel when job vacancies occur encouraging and assisting with on-going training. The annual SWAC Spring Meetings will conclude today with a meeting of the SWAC Council of Presidents as well as meetings of the SWAC's men's and women's basketball coaches with their respective game officials. The sessions are scheduled from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
* * * DAY THREE:
ALA. A&M ACCEPTED AS FULL-MEMBER OF SWAC,
LEAGUE SETS BILOXI AS SITE OF HOOPS TOURNEY
BILOXI, Miss.
-- Alabama A&M University, which was accepted as an affiliate member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference a year ago, has now been ratified as a full-member of the league effective on September 1, 1999.
Located in Huntsville, Ala., Alabama A&M's full-membership in the SWAC is contingent upon the university fulfilling all of the requirements necessary for full Division I status in the NCAA no later than September 1. Should that happen as expected, the school will be immediately eligible for all of the privileges that go with full-membership in the SWAC, including eligibility for championships and individual postseason honors. However, the school won't be eligible to participate in the SWAC's postseason basketball tournament until it becomes eligible for an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
The action on Alabama A&M came during the SWAC Council of Presidents' meeting, the final session of the 1999 SWAC Spring Meetings, which were held in Biloxi at the Beau Rivage Resort Hotel. A meeting of the league's basketball officials and head coaches was also held on the final day of the SWAC meetings.
Another major action of the SWAC presidents was the acceptance of commissioner Rudy Washington's proposal to bring the conference's basketball tournament to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi next March 9-11. The tournament had been held in Baton Rouge, La. in 1999 and in Dallas, Tex. in 1997 and 1998.
Additionally, the presidents voted to abolish the satellite format for the SWAC tournament that was used in 1999, whereby the top four highest seeded teams hosted first round games on their respective campuses. Starting in 2000, the conference will return to its previous format of inviting all of the eight eligible teams to the designated tournament site.
A large portion of Wednesday's presidents' meeting was devoted to financial matters, including preliminary discussions on meeting the conference's obligation to pay its share of the recent NCAA court settlement with restricted earnings coaches, devising a sharing formula for revenue earned from the new SWAC football championship game and the creation of a Finance Committee to help oversee the SWAC's operations budget.
SOUTHERN WINS ALL OF SWAC'S ALL-SPORTS AWARDS
NEW ORLEANS
- A banner year that resulted in the winning of three men's and five women's championships were all it took for Southern University to capture all three of the Southwestern Athletic Conference's all-sports awards for 1998-99.
In the process, Southern recaptured the coveted SWAC Commissioner's Cup which it failed to win for the first time in seven years last season. Last season, Grambling State won the cup by a scant margin of just one-half point. Additionally, the SU men's athletics program regained the C.D. Henry Men's All-Sports Trophy for the first time in three years, dethroning two-time champion Jackson State, while winning the Barbara Jacket/Sadie Magee Women's All-Sports Trophy for the first time in two years, dethroning Grambling State.
"We are extremely proud of this achievement," said SU athletics director Marino H. Casem. "It represents the broad-based support that our overall program receives from the entire Southern University family. It also continues our domination in the nineties and serves notice to the rest of the conference as we move into the 21st century."
Southern garnered a high 134 points en route to capturing the SWAC Commissioner's Cup. Following Southern were Jackson State, 104 points, Grambling State, 101.5, Alcorn State, 95, Alabama State, 88, Prairie View A&M, 80.5, Texas Southern, 73, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 58, and Mississippi Valley State, 40.
The race for the C.D. Henry Men's All-Sports Trophy saw the Jaguars pick up a high 64 points after winning championships in the sports of baseball, football and indoor track and field. Second places were tabbed in basketball and outdoor track and field while ties for third places were landed in golf and tennis. SU's lowest finish was in cross country, where the Jaguars came in fifth.
"Winning the men's all-sports trophy really shows the greatness of our coaching staff in getting the very most out of each individual athlete," noted Casem. "It also shows the greatness of our student-athletes, in that they responded so well to the competition."
Following Southern in the men's all-sports standings were Jackson State, 58 points, Grambling State, 46, Alcorn State, 44.5, Prairie View A&M, 38, Texas Southern, 36.5, Arkansas- Pine Bluff, 29.5, Alabama State, 28, and Mississippi Valley State, 17.5.
In the race for the Barbara Jacket/Sadie Magee Women's All-Sports Trophy, Southern clinched a high 70 points after winning championships in five of the nine women's sports sponsored by the SWAC. SU won titles in bowling, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, softball and volleyball. The Lady Jaguars finished second in tennis, fifth in cross country, sixth in golf and seventh in basketball.
Casem said winning the women's all-sports award was particularly special.
"I'm extremely proud of the women `s program because they had to overcome a lot of obstacles," noted Casem. "It's a tribute to the overall esprit-de-cor. of our women's program."
After a stellar career as an athletics director at both Southern and Alcorn State, and after gaining a reputation as one of the nation's premiere athletics administrators, Casem is set to retire on June 30, 1999. Consequently, he said going out on top means a lot to him personally.
"It's especially pleasing that I close out my career with Southern University atop the conference and doing well in all aspects," said Casem, who's also served stints as head football coach at Alcorn State and Southern. "That was my goal when I came to this institution in 1986, to restore the luster to Southern's glorious and proud tradition in athletics. I'm extremely pleased with the hard work and dedication of my entire staff."
29 May LSU Eliminates Southern
Info Provided by the NCAA Online.
BATON ROUGE, La.
– Ben Saxon pitched a complete game, allowing LSU to recover from a 2-0 deficit to take a 6-3 win over Southern Saturday night in an elimination game of the NCAA Regional here in Alex Box Stadium. LSU (39-22-1) advances to the championship round against East Carolina Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Saxon, a seldom-used junior from Albany, Ga., struck out eight and walked none in pitching his first career complete game, and LSU’s seventh this year. After allowing a go-ahead home run to Robert Primus to lead off the fourth, he mowed down the last 18 batters he faced in improving to 2-0 on the season. Southern, who fell to 0-33 all-time against their cross-town rivals, finishes its season 29-16.
The Jaguars looked good early, though, grabbing a 2-0 lead through three, scoring single runs in the second and third on Jerel Johnson’s sacrifice fly in the second and Franco Blackburn’s homer in the third.
Aided by three Jaguar errors in the fourth, LSU tied the game in the fourth. The third error of the inning (all consecutive) was by Mike Woods, allowing Blair Barbier to score. Brad Cresse then slapped a single through the left side to tie the game. Brad Hawpe, who homered in LSU’s earlier loss to East Carolina, hit another one just inside the right-field foul pole to tie the game in the sixth, and Josh Dalton’s single later in the frame gave LSU the lead for good.
The Tigers scored two more insurance runs in the seventh on Hawpe’s double and a bases-loaded walk to Cedrick Harris.
Gabe Ashford (5-5) took the loss for Southern, giving up seven hits and six runs (four earned) in 6 2/3 innings.
29 May
Southern Eliminates Northeast Louisiana
Info Provided by the NCAA Online.
BATON ROUGE, La. - Jerel Johnson's
RBI single in the 10th inning allowed Southern overcome a 7-3 deficit and shock Northeast Louisiana, 8-7, in an elimination game of the NCAA regional here at Alex Box Stadium. The Jaguars (29-16), in winning their second NCAA tournament game ever, survive to face the loser of this afternoon's LSU-East Carolina game at 7:30. NLU finishes its year 36-22. Southern's last NCAA tourney win was a 1-0 shocker of Cal St. Fullerton on May 21, 1987. The Jaguars are the only Southwestern Athletic Conference school to win a NCAA tourney game. In the 10th, Kione Thompson and Chris Atwell led off with back-to-back singles. NLU reliever Kevin Orga (6-8) fanned Robert Primus, but Johnson dropped Orga's first pitch in front of Shane Russell for the winning run. "After we played last night, I'm pretty sure nobody expected us to come out and win," Jaguars coach Roger Cador said. "The guys fought back, and just found a way to win the game."
Trailing 7-3 entering the eighth, Southern had two on with one out, and a wild pitch by NLU's Mike Wombacher put runners on seoncd and third. After Mike Woods struck out and Franco Blackburn walked to load the bases, Thompson doubled off the right-center field fence to plate Melvin Anderson and Antijuan James to cut the lead to 7-5. Woods' sacrifice fly in the ninth tied the game. NLU led 2-1 after three, and after trading runs in the fourth, seemed to have the game in hand with a four-run fifth, aided by Josh LaRue's RBI double and Jason Shelley's two-run homer. "There is no question Southern wanted the game more than we did," NLU coach Smoke Laval said. "They played to win the game, and the team that wants to go home first usually does."
28 May
East Carolina Breezes by Southern
Info Provided by the NCAA Online.
BATON ROUGE, La.
­ John Williamson hit for the cycle and East Carolina slammed five home runs to cruise past Southern, 13-2, Friday night in the NCAA regional at Alex Box Stadium.
The top-seeded Pirates (45-14) face LSU Saturday at 3 p.m., while Southern (28-15) takes on Northeast Louisiana at 11 a.m.
Williamson started off his big night with a single, then homered in the third, doubled in the fourth and tripled in the eighth to complete the rare feat. The triple was WilliamsonÝs first of the season.
ECU jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first with the help of a pair of Southern errors and a three-run homer by Lee Delfino, the first of two for him on the night.
The teams endured a 66-minute rain delay between the second and third before the Pirates continued their barrage, scoring single runs in the third and fourth before jumping out 9-0 on DelfinoÝs RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Jason Howard.
Southern scored its only runs on Franco BlackburnÝs two-run homer in the eighth.
Brooks Jerningan (9-4) worked 7 1/3 innings and allowed four hits to pick up the win for the Pirates.
25 May
Southern University will play East Carolina in regional action of NCAA Baseball competition. The game will take place at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La, Friday May 28 at 2 p.m. local. East Carolina is the number one seed in the regional.
21 May
Southern Gone From NCAA Tourney
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-
Long Beach State used a five-run second inning to help pave the way to an 8-0 victory over Southern, in an elimination game in the NCAA softball tournament regionals.
Christina Zepada keyed the five-run outburst with a two-run single for the winners.
SU was held to one hit in the game (a first inning single by Latecha Young), and had only three hits in two games.
20 May
LSU Pounds Southern In NCAA Softball Action....
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-
The host LSU Tigers made quick work out of cross-town rival Southern University 12–0 behind the strength of a nine run first inning and a combined two-hit, thirteen strikeout pitching effort. It was the opener for both teams in the NCAA Softball Regionals. LSU's Britini Sneed and Julie Stasko combined on the shut-out.
SU TO FACE LSU IN NCAA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
NEW ORLEANS
- The Southern University Lady Jaguars, winners of the 1999 Southwestern Athletic Conference Softball Championship two weeks ago, will play the Louisiana State University Lady Tigers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, May 20. The SU vs. LSU contest is part of a regional triple header which begins at 1 p.m. at LSU's Tiger Softball Park. Southeastern Conference Champion LSU, 54-8 overall, is the No. 1 seed and SU, 31-12 overall and 26-2 in the SWAC, is the No. 6 seed.
SU becomes the first SWAC team to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament. The sport of softball has been an official part of the conference's ledger since 1997. Getting to the tournament is something SU head coach Nancy Marshall has been attempting to do for quite some time.
"Since 1997 our goal was to win the conference championship and go on to compete for the national title, and now we have an opportunity to do just that," said Marshall. "We can't concentrate on who we're playing; we just have to go out and play our game and hope for positive things to happen for us."
After winning its SWAC tournament opener versus Jackson State by the score of 5-3, SU faced defending champion Prairie View A&M and lost 10-5. The Lady Jaguars then won a loser's bracket game versus Alabama State 10-4, and earned a berth to face PVAMU in the championship game.
SU beat PVAMU 13-4 and did so again in the tie-breaker by a 12-4 margin. SU's Myesha House, a junior catcher, was named the tournament's most valuable player and junior pitcher Bridgette Partee won most valuable pitcher's honors.
Other teams participating in the NCAA Tournament Regional at LSU include Long Beach State, Oklahoma, Oregon State and Southern Mississippi.
CADOR COACH OF THE YEAR
SOUTHERN WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT SWAC BASEBALL TITLE
NEW ORLEANS
-- Winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball championship has become routine business for Southern University, as evidenced by the Jaguars winning a fourth consecutive league title here at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium this weekend.
Southern, 28-13, ran past rival Grambling State University 13-8 in Sunday's championship game of the league's annual tournament, capturing a fourth straight title in the process. The Jaguars will receive the conference's automatic berth to one of the NCAA tournament's regionals, which are slated for May 28-30.
Roger Cador, Southern's head coach, was named the SWAC coach of the year by virtue of his team winning the SWAC tourney. But he said winning the championship was the biggest honor.
"This is a great group of young men who believed in what I tried to team," stated Cador. "They understood what needed to be done and they came out and did it.
"I'm so happy they allowed me to coach them," added Cador. "People wouldn't believe how much fun it's been. They (the players) listened to everything I had to say."
The Jaguars made it clear right from the start that they didn't want to play a second game on Sunday by jumping on the Tigers early and answering every challenge they got from Grambling.
After a scoreless first inning, Grambling struck first in the top of the second inning after designated hitter Chris Cottonham walked and later scored off a Joseph Williams single to leftfield.. That 1-0 lead would be the Tigers' first-and-only lead of the day.
The Jaguars answered with a furious rally in the bottom of the second, scoring five runs after collecting three hits and still leaving three men on base. GSU helped Southern's cause by committing three errors. Southern's hits came from lead-off hitter Chris Atwell, who singled and later scored, Antijuan James, who singled and later scored, and Atwell again who singled, driving in SU's fourth run.
Grambling then picked up its second run in the top of the fifth but the Jaguars again answered, adding two in the bottom of the inning for a 7-2 lead.
The Tigers' scored three in the top of the sixth, but Southern answered with their biggest inning, a six-run derby in the bottom of the sixth.
GSU closed out the scoring with three runs in the top of the eighth. Despite struggling at stages during the game, Trammel Moore held on for the complete- game victory, running his record to 5-0 on the year, allowing seven hits, eight runs (six earned) and three walks while striking out four. Starter Marcus Washington, who lasted only 1.2 innings, suffered his loss, dropping to 2-3 on the year.
"For Trammel to finish was a wonderful thing," stated Cador. "I knew his heart and that he was going to battle.
"All year, we didn't have a star," added Cador. "We had different players do different things. It's going to be a lot tougher next year, but we want to enjoy the moment for now."
Southern dominated the all-tournament team with five Jaguars winning postgame honors.
Making the all-tournament team from Southern were first baseman Chris Atwell, second baseman Michael Woods, catcher Alva Thompson and pitchers Torik Harrison and Jason Anderson. Harrison also was tabbed the tournament's most outstanding pitcher while Thompson captured most valuable player honors.
GSU was represented on the all-tournament team by third baseman Juan Alexander, outfielder Tony Coleman and designated hitter Chris Cottonham. Lanoix won most outstanding hitter honors.
The other two slots on the all-tournament team went to Jackson State outfielders Chris Hills and Boris Ivy.
SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
1999 BASEBALL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
1B: Chris Atwell, Southern University
2B: Michael Woods, Southern University
3B: Juan Alexander, Grambling State University
SS: Gilbert Lanoix, Grambling State University (unanimous choice)
OF: Tony Coleman, Grambling State University (unanimous choice)
OF: Chris Hills, Jackson State University (unanimous choice)
OF: Boris Ivy, Jackson State University
DH: Chris Cottonham, Grambling State (unanimous choice)
C: Alva Thompson, Southern University (unanimous choice)
P: Torik Harrison, Southern University
P: Jason Putman-Anderson, Southern University
Most Valuable Hitter: Gilbert Lanoix, Grambling State University
Most Valuable Pitcher: Torik Harrison, Southern University (unanimous choice)
Most Valuable Player: Alva Thompson, Southern University

SOUTHERN DETHRONES PV, WINS SWAC SOFTBALL TITLE
NEW ORLEANS
-- Prairie View A&M University's bid to win back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference softball championships was right on target through two days of play here at the City Park Softball Complex, but the Pantherettes' aspirations came to a crushing halt as Southern University topped the defending league champions twice on Sunday.
Prairie View entered the final day of competition at the SWAC softball tournament in the winners' bracket and needing only one win against the SU Lady Jaguars to claim their second straight SWAC title. That wasn't to be, however, as Southern won the first do-or-die game 13-4 and followed with a similar thrashing in the decisive contest, winning 12-4. SU pitcher Bridgette Partee won both contests for the Lady Jags.
In Sunday's first game, Southern jumped out to a two-run lead in the top of the first inning after starting the game with back-to-back singles by shortstop Tamara Square and centerfielder Christina Lymos. Square later scored after a wild pitch and Lymos scored off an error by PVAMU third baseman Lawanna Amey.
The Pantherettes responded with one run in the bottom of the first. Centerfielder Latresha Williams began the inning by reach base after getting hit by a Partee pitch. She then stole second, advanced on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly by leftfielder Rae Lynn Gaut.
After both teams added one run in the third inning, Southern struck twice in the top of the fourth for a 5-2 lead before putting the game out of reach in the fifth after scoring eight runs for a commanding 13-2 margin. PVAMU added two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
In her complete-game victory, Partee allowed eight hits, four runs (all earned) and one walk while striking out three.
The decisive title game that was forced by Southern's victory was nearly a microcosm of Sunday's initial game.
After winning 13-4 in the first game, the Lady Jaguars followed with a 12-4 win in the final game. As was the case in the first game, Square and Lymos both started the game with back-to-back singles and both later scored. And, as was the case in the first game, Partee picked up the win for the Lady Jaguars while Partee suffered another defeat.
Southern scored four runs in the first and led 4-1 after the opening inning. Then, after adding three runs in the second, the Lady Jags led 7-1 before PVAMU added two in the bottom of the third and one in the bottom of the fourth, narrowing SU's lead to 7-4.
The Lady Jaguars then closed out the ball game with five unanswered runs in the fifth for their title-winning 12-4 victory.
Partee, 8-2 on the year, pitched the first three innings of the final contest, allowing three hits, three runs (all earned) and two walks while striking out one batter. Thomas, 17-11 on the year, went 1.1 innings, allowing seven hits, seven runs (two earned) and no walks while striking out one.
Following the game, Southern dominated the all-tournament team with five players among the 10 honorees. SU's contingent consisted of Pam Willliams at first base, Latecha Young at third base, outfielder Taleshae Harris, catcher Myesha House and pitcher Partee. House was named the tournament's most outstanding hitter, Partee the most outstanding pitcher and House the most valuable player.
PVAMU placed three players on the all-tourney team, those consisting of Alicia Harrison at shortstop, Williams at outfield and Thomas at one of the pitcher's slots.
Alabama State landed two players on the all-tournament team. Second baseman won second base honors while outfielder Shay Fields also made the team.
The Lady Jaguars will now go on to become the conference's first-ever representative to the NCAA softball tournament later this month.
SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
1999 SOFTBALL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
1B: Pam Williams, Southern University
2B: Jennifer Evans, Alabama State University
3B: Latecha Young, Southern University
SS: Alicia Harrison, Prairie View A&M University
OF: Shay Fields, Alabama State
OF: Latresha Williams, Prairie View A&M University
OF: Talesha Harris, Southern University
C: Myesha House, Southern University
P: Kim Thomas, Prairie View A&M University
P: Bridgette Partee, Southern University
Most Outstanding Hitter: Myesha House, Southern University
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Bridgette Partee, Southern University
Most Valuable Player: Myesha House, Southern University
PVMEN, SU WOMEN WIN SWAC TRACK & FIELD TITLES
NEW ORLEANS
— The Prairie View A&M Panthers won back-to-back SWAC men's outdoor track and field titles back in 1969 and 1970 and were coached by Hoover J. Wright. It has taken the Panthers twenty-nine years to win another men's title who are still coached by Wright. PVAMU captured the men's crown here on the final day of competition during the 1999 SWAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships which were contested at City Park's Tad Gormley Stadium for the fourth consecutive year. Meanwhile, the Southern University Lady Jaguars won their third straight title.
PVAMU led the men's division with 229 total points, upsetting five-time defending champion Southern University which totaled 212 points. Rounding out the men's division were Grambling State (169 points), Alcorn State (79), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (37), Texas Southern (36), Alabama State (29), Miss. Valley State (8) and Jackson State (6).
"We returned the favor," said Wright. "Last year, they (SU) snatched it from us. This year we snatched it. Overall, the competition between all of the teams, especially facing Southern, brings out the best in everyone. It was a great victory."
The Panthers were led by Conor Marsh, whose second place finishes in the 1,500 meters (4:06.80), 5,000 meters (16:33.55) and the 10,000 meters (33:48.68) helped him earn a tie for high-point track performer's honors (32 points) with SU's Brent Clay. Clay won first place in both the 5,000 meters (16:02.89) and the 10,000 meters (33:25.99). Grambling State's Juan Womack captured his second consecutive high-point field performer's award with 28 points, capturing a first-place win in the shot put (55-08.50) and second place finishes in both the discus (152-07-00) and hammer (115-08.00).
The SU Lady Jaguars dominated the women's division with a total 218.50 points. Grambling State was second with 110.50. Rounding out the women's competition were Alcorn State (108 points), Alabama State (97.50), Prairie View A&M (50), Jackson State (38), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (28), Texas Southern (25.50) and Miss. Valley State (23).
Representative of SU's dominance were veterans Erica Burrell and LaChina Clay. Burrell defended both her 100 meter (11.52) and 200 meter (23.93) titles. Clay finished second in both the 100 meters (11.82) and 200 meters (24.15). Trudy Bihm successfully defended her 100 meter high hurdle crown (13.87) with teammate Shakeetha Payne finishing second (14.13) in the event.
"This feels great," said SU head coach Johnny Thomas. "Anytime you win one, it feels really good. We felt coming in that we had the better team. We knew about the Erica Burrells and the LaChina Clays, but I was very surprised at the performance of Ariane LaCoq. She scored points in places she never scored before."
LaCoq's best performance during the meet was a third place finish in the heptathlon (4,233 points). Alcorn State's Millicent Sylvan, the SWAC record holder in the heptathlon (4,737), won the event again this year with 4,679 points. She also posted first place victories in the long jump (19-05.25) and high jump (5-09.75), capturing high-point field performer's honors (32 points) for the second consecutive year. Jackson State's Natasha Beaumont won high-point track performer's honors (29 points) which included a victory in the 1,500 meters (4:40.29).
No conference records were broken or tied at this year's championships.
8 May
SWAC BASEBALL TOURNEY
JAGUARS AND TIGERS TO DUEL FOR TOURNEY CROWN
NEW ORLEANS
-- After a hard-fought 7-6 win over Alcorn State in the opening round of the 1999 SWAC baseball tournament here at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, the Southern University Jaguars had an easier time of disposing of their second obstacle to a fourth consecutive league title, surging to a 12-3 win over rival Jackson State in Saturday's winners' bracket game.
The Grambling State Tigers earned a berth opposite Southern in today's title game after ousting Jackson State in Saturday's nightcap, 8-4. The victory came after the Tigers had earlier eliminated Alcorn State, 15-2. The winner of today's 2 p.m. championship game will receive an automatic berth to an NCAA regional on May 28.
Southern, 33-19, jumped out to a 10-0 lead over Jackson State in Saturday's winners' bracket game before the Tigers scored their first run in the top of the fifth inning when Hubert Bradberry scored off an error after reaching base on a single.
The Jaguars then answered with two runs in the bottom of the seventh before yielding two to JSU in the top of the ninth.
Jason Putman-Anderson went the distance for Southern, running his season record to 5-0. He allowed 14 hits, three earned runs and one walk while striking out four.
JSU ace Demetrius Mitchell suffered the loss, falling to 8-4 after lasting two innings and allowing three hits, five earned runs and seven walks while striking out three.
Grambling State, a 14-13 loser to Jackson State in Friday's opening game, eliminated Alcorn State, 15-2, in Saturday's first losers' bracket contest before eliminating JSU in the nightcap.
Against Alcorn State in Saturday's first game, GSU jumped ahead 10-0 over the first six innings of play before the Braves spoiled the Tigers' hopes of a shutout by scoring one run in the top of the seventh and ninth innings. However, GSU added two runs in the bottom of the seventh and three in the eighth for its 13-run victory margin.
Roy Foster picked up the win for the Tigers while Mark Phillips suffered the loss for the Braves. Foster went the distance and allowed 13 hits, two earned runs and no walks with four strikeouts while Phillips went 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits, nine earned runs and five walks with four strikeouts.
To reach the title game, GSU then had to face a Jackson State team which had just lost to Southern in winners' bracket action. Behind a 4-for-5 night from SWAC player of the year Gilbert Lanoix, GSU stormed out of the blocks quickly with two runs in the top of the first inning, a lead that they'd never relinquish. GSU led 4-1 after three innings, 7-3 after six and 8-5 entering the scoreless ninth inning.
The victory upped GSU's SWAC-best overall record to 37-13 while JSU finished its season at 33-19.
Enrique Vilanueva picked up the win for Grambling, registering a complete-game 10- hitter with three earned runs, three walks and nine strikeout. Johnny Bell was the loser for JSU, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing five hits, five earned runs, five walks and seven strikeouts.
Today's championship game between Grambling and Southern will mark the teams' first meeting in a SWAC baseball tournament championship game in over a decade.
7 May
SWAC BASEBALL TOURNEY
JSU AND SU ADVANCE IN DRAMATIC FASHION
NEW ORLEANS
-- The first two games of the 1999 SWAC baseball tournament both resulted in dramatic finishes.
In the opening game, the Jackson State Tigers saw a 7-1 lead evaporate but held on for a dramatic 14-13 victory over Grambling State in the opening game here at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, winning the ball game in the bottom of the ninth inning.
JSU, the top seed from the SWAC Eastern Division, advances to the winners' bracket of the tourney, where they'll met three-time defending champion Southern University, which overcame deficits of 4-0 after one inning and 6-1 after five inning before finally turning back Alcorn State, 7-6, in Friday's second game.
The JSU Tigers, 33-18 on the season, struck for five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 5-1 lead before adding one run in the second and one in the third. The GSU Tigers then went on a tear, outscoring JSU 12-6 over the next five innings to knot the score at 13-13 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. With the bases loaded in the ninth, junior first baseman Kelvin Goss singled in the winning run, Boris Ivy, who had reached base on a single to right field.
Ken Smith picked up the win for JSU while Charles McClendon took the loss for GSU, which dropped to 35-13.
For the game, JSU had 14 runs, 17 hits and five errors while GSU settled for 13 runs, 12 hits and two errors.
In the nightcap, the Alcorn State Braves came close to pulling off the early surprise of the tournament, jumping out to a 4-0 lead over Southern before faltering in the game's final four innings, as they gave up six unanswered runs, including the decisive eighth, when Southern scored four runs en route to taking their first lead of the ball game.
Trailing 6-3 going into the bottom of the eighth, Southern, 26-13, started off the inning with first baseman Brian Banks reaching base after getting hit by a Carl Moore pitch. He then advanced on an Alva Thompson single. After Jerel Johnson reached base on a fielder's choice when advanced Banks and Thompson, the first two base runners scored on a Robert Primus single. Johnson later scored off an error and right fielder Marcus Chandler singled in Primus.
The loss dropped the Braves, 22-21, into today's 12 noon losers' bracket game opposite Grambling. Jackson State and Southern will square off 30 minutes later with that game's loser facing the winner of the GSU-ASU game in the nightcap.
Sunday's championship game is slated for 2 p.m.
SWAC SOFTBALL TOURNEY
PV AND SOUTHERN ADVANCE TO WINNERS' BRACKET
NEW ORLEANS
-- Defending champion Prairie View A&M advanced to the winners' bracket of the 1999 Southwestern Athletic Conference women's softball tournament here on Friday along with Southern University.
Prairie View A&M, the number two seed from the SWAC Western Division, pulled off a 5-2 upset over Alabama State, the Eastern Division's top seed, in the opening game on Friday. Southern, the Western Division's number one seed, followed with a 5-1 victory over Jackson State, the Eastern Division's number two seed, in the nightcap.
In the opening game, the PVAMU Pantherettes upped their season record to 27-18 as they struck for two unanswered runs in the bottom of the first inning and one in the third to take a 3-0 lead which they never relinquished. The Pantherettes added one run in the fourth inning and one in the sixth. The ASU Lady Hornets scored one of their runs in the top of the third inning and one in the fourth.
For the game, PVAMU totaled five runs, six hits and two errors while the Lady Hornets tallied two runs, six hits and seven errors.
In the nightcap, Southern increased its season record to 29-11 after its come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Jackson State Lady Tigers. The Lady Jaguars trailed 2-0 before scoring their first run in the bottom of the third inning. Trailing 2-1, SU then had a 4-0 fifth inning to go ahead, and for good, at 5-2. The Lady Tigers added one run in the top of the sixth inning.
On today, Alabama State will face Jackson State in a losers' bracket contest at 12 noon. Prairie View A&M will meet Southern in a winners' bracket game 30 minutes later. Then, the winner of the ASU-JSU game will face the loser of the PV-SU game in the nightcap.
Sunday's championship is slated for 2 p.m.
6 May
New Orleans, LA(OTW)-The Prairie View Pantherettes will defend their SWAC Softball Title Friday, May 7, when they play No. 1 East seed Alabama State. PV (26-18, 23-5) is seeded No. 2 in the SWAC West.
The Lady Panthers come into the tournament on a 15-game winning streak. Kimberly Thomas, a pitcher, leads PV with a .264 earned run average.
Alabama State is led by pitcher Shondalette Chatfield, who leads the SWAC in doubles (0.37 pg) and saves (3).
5 May
New Orleans, LA(OTW)-Brent Clay (1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters, 3,000 meter steeple chase), Cortrell Davis (pole vault), and Craig Geter (high, long,and triple jumps) will lead Southern after its quest for a seventh straight outdoor track and field championship May 7-9 at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, La.
The Southern women will go after their third straight title, led by the likes of Ebony Chavis (hurdles and relays), Shakeetha Payne, (hurdles, jumps, and javelin), and Erica Burrell (100 and 200 meters).
Events will begin Friday, May 7 at 3 p.m., Saturday at 9:00 a.m., and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (All times are local).
4 May
BIRMINGHAM WINS RIGHTS TO SERVE AS HOME
TO SWAC OFFICES AND TITLE FOOTBALL GAME
BIRMINGHAM
-- The 15-year stay of the Southwestern Athletic Conference in the city of New Orleans may soon come to an end.
In a press conference here on Tuesday, league commissioner Rudy Washington announced that the SWAC has agreed in principal to Birmingham as the new headquarters of the 10-member conference as well as the home for the inaugural SWAC football championship game.
Birmingham won the right to both entities after battling Baton Rouge, La., Houston, Tex., Memphis, Tenn. and New Orleans for the same rights. Washington said "The Magic City" was selected for several reasons.
"Our visits to the city, our conversations with key city officials and the many correspondences exchanged between our offices left little doubt in my mind that Birmingham is the right city for us,"stated Washington, who's nearing the end of his first year as commissioner of the SWAC. "The interest level we've received from key members of the Birmingham community is something we have longed for. This will obviously be a perfect marriage."
Washington indicated that while Memphis made an impressive offer to host the SWAC football championship game, which will make its debut at Legion Field on Saturday, December 11, Birmingham went "the extra mile" in assuring the game's success by offering to assist the conference in garnering corporate sponsorships, offering use of the stadium at little costs to the conference and agreeing to assist with the championship week ancillary events. The decisive factor, however, was Birmingham's offer to provide office space and space for the SWAC Hall of Fame at the soon-to-be-renovated A.G. Gaston Building in the Civil Rights District.
"We were looking for an office site that would be accessible to the local community," said Washington. "Our current headquarters at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans is definitely not readily accessible to the local community. In turn, we haven't really been able to reach out and positively touch the lives of the youths in our community. We'll be able to do that here in Birmingham."
Mayor Richard Arrington of Birmingham expressed jubilation over the SWAC's decision to bring its headquarters and football championship game to his city.
"From an economic development perspective, the SWAC championship game will result in over $7 million a year to this community," stated Arrington. "That is real and tangible. It will continue to add value to the revitalization of downtown."
Dr. Larry Lemak, chairman of the Alabama Sports Foundation, said having the SWAC headquartered in Birmingham should be a perfect fit.
"Given our city's sports and cultural heritage, we believe the SWAC is a perfect fit," noted Lemak. "Commissioner Washington is committed to academic and athletic excellence at SWAC schools as well as making a significant contribution to this city and its youth. We are extremely excited about this relationship.
"The Alabama Sports Foundation remains committed to fostering relationships with reputable and distinguished organizations like the Southwestern Athletic Conference," added Lemak. "Securing the SWAC football championship and conference headquarters is a major coup for this community."
The Southwestern Athletic Conference is comprised of historically African-American universities in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. The league's new Eastern Division consists of Alabama A&M University (Huntsville), Alabama State University (Montgomery), Alcorn State University (Lorman, Miss.), Jackson State University (Jackson, Miss.) and Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena, Miss.). The Western Divisison is comprised of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, Ark.), Grambling State University (Grambling, La.), Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, Tex.), Southern University (Baton Rouge, La.) and Texas Southern University (Houston, Tex.).
Some of the most noted SWAC graduates are football greats Eddie Robinson, Walter Payton, Doug Williams and Jerry Rice, baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock, basketball sensations Patricia Hoskins, Willis Reed and Bob Love and Olympic track and field gold medalists Rodney Milburn, Willie Davenport and Mildrette Netter.
While renovations are being done to the A.G. Gaston Building, the SWAC is contemplating either moving into temporary office space in Birmingham or delaying relocation of its offices until the renovations are complete.
4 May
FAMILIAR LINEUP SET FOR
SWAC BASEBALL TOURNEY
NEW ORLEANS
-- When the first pitch is thrown out to start the 1999 Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball tournament here on Friday, the lineup of participating teams will be a very familiar one.
The SWAC tournament will feature the top two teams from the league's Eastern Division, Jackson State University and Alcorn State University, as well as the top two teams from the Western Division, Southern University and Grambling State University. The double-elimination tourney is slated for May 7-9 at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium on the campus of Delgado Community College.
Tickets will be available at the gate at the cost of $6 for individuals age 12 and over and $3 for children under 12 years of age.
The initial game of the tournament will feature Jackson State, the perennial top seed from the Eastern Division, against Grambling State, the number two seed from the Western Division and a team seeking its first SWAC crown since 1985. This contest will have a 3 p.m. start.
"If my team plays with the same intensity they had against Alcorn State (May 1-2), I know we'll do well at the tournament this year," said JSU head coach Robert (Bob) Braddy. "But the team to beat this year will be Southern, because they've won the tournament the past three years.
"Right now, Southern's not feeling any pressure from the other teams because of their previous wins," added Braddy. "In order to break Southern's trend, we'll have to play some good ball in the tournament."
The JSU Tigers well enter tourney play on Friday as one of the conference's hottest teams, division notwithstanding. The Tigers sport records of 32-19 overall and 20-4 in the Eastern Division. They've won 10 of their last 11 games and 32 of 40 games since a horrible 0-10 start. JSU's star performers are batting aces Damion May (.394, 11 doubles, 5 home runs), Kareem Smith (.378) and Lavon Beard (.357, 12 doubles, 37 RBI) along with pitching stars Demetrius Mitchell (8- 3, 4.06 ERA), Otis Seaberry (7-2, 6.26 ERA) and Clinton White (7-4, 6.58 ERA).
Grambling State, meanwhile, owns the conference's best overall record at 35-12. GSU led the Western Division for much of the season before settling for second place with a 23-9 divisional record. GSU's championship hopes rests upon the shoulders of such performers as batting leaders Gilbert Lanoix (.427, 47 RBI, 6 home runs), Chris Cottonham (.421, 14 home runs, 62 RBI) and John Navarro (.406, 7 home runs, 35 RBI) and pitches leaders Roy Foster (7-1, 3.81 ERA), Rashad Washington (6-1, 2.50 ERA) and Marcus Morrison (4-0, 2.58 ERA).
In the opposite bracket, three-time defending SWAC champion Southern will again be the Western Division's top seed and it'll face the Eastern Division's number two seed, Alcorn State, 30 minutes following the opening game on Friday. The Southern Jaguars are seeking a fourth straight SWAC title and a seventh title of the 1990s. Southern owns a record of 25-13 overall and 23-7 in the Western Division. Alcorn State is 22-20 overall and 11-8 in the Eastern Division.
"It appears that we're peeking at the right time," stated Roger Cador, SU's head coach of 15 years. "The tournament is obviously a shortened season, so it'll be who can put it all together for one weekend.
"The key for us in the tournament will be good defense and pitching," added Cador. "We'll need to continue getting timely hitting. The backbone of our team this year has been everyone stepping up. With so many injuries, it hasn't been one person pull us through."
Southern's leading performers this season include batters Michael Woods (.409, 39 RBI, 17 doubles), Chris Atwell (.382, 32 RBI, 5 home runs) and Alva (Kione) Thompson (.361, 24 RBI, 6 home runs) as well as pitchers Jason Putman-Anderson (5-0, 3.35 ERA), Trammel Moore (4-0, 5.76 ERA) and Torik Harrison (6-3, 3.90 ERA).
The Alcorn State Braves, meanwhile, are gunning for their very first SWAC championship. ASU has been led this season by batters Dario Rosa (.381, 44 RBI, 6 triples), Devontae Carter (.358, 34 RBI, 18 stolen bases) and Nathan Kennedy (.343, 28 RBI) and pitchers Mark Phillips (6-4, 7.93 ERA) and Alejandro Carrasquillo (5-3, 7.22 ERA).
Following Friday's opening round action, the three-game Saturday schedule will include a losers' bracket game at 12 noon, a winners' bracket game 30 minutes later and the semifinal contest 30 minutes following the second ball game.
Sunday's championship game is slated for 2 p.m.
29 Apr
WILSON BECOMES OFFICIAL GAME BALL OF SWAC
NEW ORLEANS
-- The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced today that Wilson Sporting Goods has agreed to a pact to become the supplier of official game balls for the league in men's and women's basketball, baseball, football, softball and volleyball.
According to Rudy Washington, the commissioner of the SWAC, the contract with Wilson Sporting Good commences on July 1, 1999 and runs through June 30, 2004.
"We're certainly happy to have the involvement of Wilson Sporting Goods in our athletics programs," noted Washington. "Our long-term association with Wilson will assure our continued use of top-quality products. The conference office, our member schools and Wilson Sports Goods will all benefit from this association."
In addition to providing the official game balls for all of the SWAC's championship events, Wilson Sports Goods will give the league's member schools substantial discounts on the purchase of game uniforms and other gear.
26 Apr
Southern University by taking three of four games from Grambling last weekend moved into first place in the SWAC West. Jackson State remained on top in the SWAC East.
SWAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
BATTER OF THE WEEK
Armand Hill,
Prairie View A&M (6-2, So., RF/P, Port Arthur, Tex.): In Prairie View A&M's
doubleheader with Paul Quinn on April 24, Hill blasted three home runs while batting .667. He went
4-for-6 with three runs batted in and five runs scored. He had two homers in the Panthers' initial
game followed with another homer in the nightcap.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Lonnie Shelton,
Southern Univ. (5-8, Jr., Lefty, Pine Bluff, Ark.): In a weekend stand against
Western Division-leading Grambling State, Shelton registered two huge wins in one day that helped
catapult the Jaguars into first place. In a 7-6 win on April 24, Shelton allowed no runs or hits with
two walks while in a 12-11 win later, he allowed no runs with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts.
Alabama State remained on top in the SWAC East. As of 25 Apr, the Lady Hornets had a 17-0 conference record. Prairie View was first in the SWAC West.
Softball
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
BATTER OF THE WEEK
Latasha McNeal,
Prairie View A&M (5-10, Fr., OF, Houston, Tex.) -- Batted .667 during the
past week. Went 6-of-9, scored 4 runs, had 5 RBI, 1 double and 1 homerun.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Kimberly Thomas,
Prairie View A&M (5-9, So., Righty, Houston, Tex.)--In two wins versus Ark.-Pine Bluff, Thomas game up 4 runs, 4 hits and struck out 20 batters.
20 Apr
FORMER PRAIRIE VIEW FOOTBALL COACH BILLY NICKS SLATED
FOR INDUCTION INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
By Stefann Robinson
PRAIRIE VIEW, Tex.
-- The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame has revealed its 1999 Class of Inductees for the College Football Hall of Fame. Among the seven inductees is former Prairie View A&M University coaching legend William J. "Billy" Nicks.
Nicks, who served as the head football coach in 1946 and from 1951-65, is the winningest coach in the history of Prairie View A&M University football. In 16 years as the head coach at Prairie View, he recorded a 5-2-2 mark in 1946 and a 114-28-4 record from 1951-65. In his 24 years of coaching football, he compiled an impressive career record of 189-55-6, including a 70-22-5 record at Morris Brown College.
While at Prairie View, Nick's teams won five national championships, eight Southwestern Athletic Conference titles and produced five undefeated seasons. His teams produced back-to-back national championships in 1953-1954 and 1963-1964. In addition, Prairie View compiled a 11-1 record in bowl games under Nicks.
In the process, he received coach of the year honors in 1953, 1958 and 1964 by the Houston Informer, in 1963 by the NAIA, in 1958 by the Pittsburgh Courier, in 1959 by the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., in 1964 by the Southwestern Athletic Association and the 100% Wrong Club, and by the Atlanta Daily World in 1959 and 1964.
Among those who played under the athletic tutelage of Nicks are Pro Football Hall of Famer Kenny Houston and Otis Taylor, the 1971 AFC Player of the Year. Also, former AFL All-Pro running back Clem Daniels, defensive back Jim Kearney of the Kansas City Chiefs and tight end Alvin Reed of the Houston Oilers received their college training under Nicks. Nicks is the only college coach to produce a national championship in all three decades he coached (1930s, 1940s and 1950s). He had a winning record against every SWAC school, including Eddie Robinson at Grambling State, who's college football's all-time winningest coach.
Before his arrival at Prairie View, Nicks coached at Morris Brown College in Atlanta from 1930-42. He led his MBC teams to three black college national championships and four Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference crowns.
Nicks has also been inducted into the NAIA, Helms, Prairie View A&M, Morris Brown, the Atlanta University Center and SWAC halls of fame. In 1986, the athletic and intramural complex at Prairie View A&M was named in his honor and in 1995 the athletic field was graced with his name.
In addition to his football duties, Nicks has served as athletics director and coached basketball and baseball. His basketball and baseball teams won several conference championships.
A native of Griffin, Ga., Nicks received his undergraduate degree form Morris Brown and his M.S. degree from Columbia University. In addition to his profession in collegiate athletics, he served as director of the USO Club at Fort Stewart, Ga., director of the USO Club at Tuskegee Army-Air Field in Tuskegee, Ala. and Parks Director with the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
Coach Nicks will be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame during ceremonies scheduled for August 13-14, 1999 in South Bend, Ind.
Now 93 years of age, the legendary Nicks resides in Houston, Tex. with his wife, the former Lillie Bell Jackson.
"ASU" CAPTURES SWAC TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
JACKSON, Miss.
-- "ASU" won the Southwestern Athletic Conference men's tennis championship here on Saturday, April 17, 1999. Alcorn State University, that is. "ASU" also won the league's women's tennis crown. In this case, the winner was Alabama State University.
Both Alcorn State and Alabama State will now go on to become the SWAC's first-ever representatives in next month's NCAA tennis championships.
The SWAC men's and women's tennis championships were contested on April 15-17 at Tennis Center South in Jackson. The championships were hosted by Jackson State University, which failed in its bid to defend both titles which it won a year ago in New Orleans, La. "I feel that winning the SWAC championship was a real positive accomplishment for our tennis program," said Alcorn State head coach Anthony Dodgen. "I think that it'll be real helpful in helping us maintain a quality program.
"This is the first year that I had any of my own recruits," added Dodgen. "I suppose that it's a fairly good accomplishment in itself and I'm pretty happy about it." After a first round bye, the Alcorn State Braves, who entered the tournament as the number one seed, lived up to their billing by advancing to the championship match following a semifinal victory over Southern on April 16.
In the opposite bracket, the JSU Tigers, the defending champion, tallied wins over Texas Southern and Alabama State en route to gaining its spot in the title match, where they'd meet the only SWAC team to defeat them during the regular-season.
The Braves dethroned J-State in the championship match, winning 4-2. The title is Alcorn State's first-ever in the sport of tennis.
In women's action, Alabama State was the top seed and it, like Alcorn State, lived up to pre-tournament expectations, following a first round bye with wins over Prairie View A&M and Alcorn State to reach to title match.
Southern, the number two seed, registered a walkover victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in round one action and followed with a win over Jackson State.
In the women's championship match, Alabama State upended the Lady Jaguars, 5-2.
"By the grace of God, that's how we won," said Alabama State head coah Bernard Sewell, who was named the SWAC coach of the year. "We came close to winning it last year but it didn't happen. It was like the operation was a success (last year) but the patient died.
This year, there was a lot of anxiety coming into the finals because you can have a successful season and get to the final game and lose," Sewell continued. "That fear is terrifying. So the team and myself rallied on that fear and used it to our advantage."
The women's championship is Alabama State's second of the 1990s. The Lady Hornets were also victorious in 1995.
1999 INDIVIDUAL WINNERS
Men's Singles: Robert Blum, Alcorn State
Men's Doubles: Fred Lay/Jedidiah Dade, Alcorn State
Women's Singles: Kim Nabors, Southern Univ.
Women's Doubles: Nicole Syms/Tracey Harris, Alabama State

SWAC FORMS NEW COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK
NEW ORLEANS
-- Months of labor have resulted in the formation of a new sports broadcasting arm of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Rudy Commissioner, who's nearing the conclusion of his initial year as SWAC commissioner, announced on Tuesday the formation of a SWAC Communications Network. This new entity will consist of a television network as well as a radio network. Both will include the live broadcasts of numerous football and basketball games involving teams from the SWAC.
Additionally, Washington has announced that the first project for the SWAC Communications Network is an extensive four-year, 55-game television package for football and basketball. This project is slated to kick off this fall.
"This is huge for us," stated Washington. "The exposure that the conference will get will be extensive. The SWAC has needed something like this for a long time. We're finally beginning to make some headway in our quest to showcase the SWAC and its viable athletics programs."
The SWAC television package will kick off this fall with the broadcast of five football games, including the Jackson State vs. Southern game on October 16 in Jackson, Miss., the Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Grambling State game on October 23 in Shreveport, La. (The Red River Classic), the Alabama A&M vs. Alabama State game on October 30 in Birmingham, Ala. (The Magic City Classic), the Alcorn State vs. Jackson State game on November 20 in Jackson, Miss. (The Capital City Classic) and the inaugural SWAC championship game, which is slated for December 4 at a site to be determined. The conference is working on finalizing two additional games which would include Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern.
The initial football broadcasts will be followed by the televising of four games of the 2000 SWAC basketball tournament. Three of last year's tournament games were televised.
For the 2000 football season, a total of seven games will be televised followed by nine in 2001 and 10 in 2002.
Four regular-season and four tournament games will be televised in basketball in 2001 followed by four regular-season and eight tournament games in 2002.
Washington said the SWAC isn't stopping with its new television package. "We're currently working on a similar broadcast package for radio," noted Washington. "In the future, we'd like to produce a weekly highlights show. We're just beginning to scratch the surface."
The question is, which broadcast medium will carry these events.???
16 Apr
JACKSON STATE WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT WOMEN'S GOLF TITLE
JACKSON, Miss.
-- The Jackson State University Lady Tigers, winners of the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Southwestern Athletic Conference women's golf championships, captured the title for a fourth straight year here at the par 72 Shady Oaks Country Club on Friday, April 15.
JSU's Rachel Wallace won her first SWAC championship individual medalist title by leading the field with a two-day total 152. She shot a 74 on April 14 and a 78 on April 15. Rachel's twin, Naomi, had won three consecutive individual medalist titles prior to this year. Rachel says that she wasn't going out to specifically beat her sister.
"We are always competitive but always wish each other well," said Rachel, a junior from West Point, New Zealand. "The weather was quite windy today, so it was pretty tough on everyone. I think I just hit my drives better today."
Ironically, Rachel's two-day total 152 was the identical score Naomi posted at the 1998 championship. Other two individual scores were turned in by JSU's Naomi Wallace (154) and Jill Sivley (158), Alabama State's Mary Jo Smith (168) and Texas Southern's Gina Lee (172).
Rounding out the top 10 leader board were Texas Southern's Lynette West (176), Grambling State's Nia Wesley (177), Alabama State's Shuantell Wilson (181), Southern's Elizabeth Hughes (182) and Texas Southern's Tamala Johnson (186).
SWAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
19 Apr
BATTER OF THE WEEK

Franco Blackburn, Southern Univ. (6-0, So, OF, Huntsville, Ala.): In Southern's four-game sweep over Ark.-Pine Bluff, Blackburn was the Jaguars' offensive catalyst, tallying a .666 batting average while going 8-for-12 with two home runs, one triple and three doubles. He scored six runs and batted in 11 runs.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK Gabe Ashford, Southern Univ. (6-0, Jr., Righty, Starkville, Miss.): In a 12-0 victory over Ark.-Pine Bluff, Ashford earned his way into Southern's records book by throwing the first perfect game in school history. Not only did he earn his second no-hitter of the year, but he also didn't allow a single base-runner while recording four strikeouts.
AS of Monday, Jackson State led the SWAC East and Grambling led the SWAC West.
18 Apr
The 1999 NFL Draft
Chris Akins of Arkansas-Pine Bluff--picked sixth in round seven:
Scouting Report
Notes:
University of Arkansas transfer. Started at Pine Bluff in 1997 and '98. Has also run track as a sprinter. All-Southwestern Athletic Conference defensive back in '97, when he was in on 52 tackles, picked off six passes and returned both an interception and a fumble for scores. Positives: Has good speed for a safety and can run with most backs, some wide receivers and just about every tight end he faces. Makes some plays and some big plays.
Negatives: Is not as big and physical as scouts would like a safety to be. Average instincts.
Summary: Will need a great offseason workout to be drafted.
Information provided by Pro Football Weekly
Donald Driver of Alcorn picked 7th in seventh round:
Scouting Report:
Notes: Tremendous track-and-field athlete who has qualified for and competed in the Olympic trials. Has won the Southwestern Athletic Conference decathlon championship and been named the SWAC's outstanding track athlete. Has also high-jumped 7 feet 6 inches and long-jumped 25-5. Has shown great improvement on the football field the past three years. Caught 12 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown in '96, 21-556-6 in '97 and 55-1,128-10 as a senior. Averaged 26.5 yards per reception in '97 and 20.5 per grab in '98.
Positives: Superb athlete with outstanding speed and rare jumping ability. Improving hands and ball skills. Big-play maker. Gets deep and runs by people.
Negatives: Lacks experience. Missed spring practice for track. Needs work on running pass routes. Is not as quick into and out of his cuts as he needs to be. Hot-and-cold catcher who still drops too many.
Summary: Improving player with the speed and athleticism to develop into a home-run threat, but he is also still a developmental prospect who will need a lot of fine-tuning before he is ready to hum.
Information provided by Pro Football Weekly
Chris White--defensive lineman-Southern-40th pick in seventh round by Jacksonville..no report.
12 Apr
Jackson, MS(OTW)-The Jackson State men and women's golf teams will defend their SWAC titles starting on 14 Apr in Jackson, Miss. The men will start at 8 a.m. central time at the Castlewoods Country Club in Jackon, Ms. The women will start at 12 noon central at the Shady Oaks Country Club in Jackson, Ms.
Junior Chris Register will lead JSU's men's squad.
Senior Naomi Wallacewill seek her fourth straight individual title for JSU.
4 Apr
Houston, TX(OTW)-Texas Southrn improved it's record to 20-11, 13-7 (SWAC West) by whipping Prairie View twice (16-1, 12-0).
Game One
An 11-run fourth inning sealed PVs fate as Delvon Matthews was three-for three for PV with a three-run homer in the contest. Freshman hurler Marcus Winder of Las Vegas, got the win, improving his record to 5-1, tying teammate Ricardo Salazar for the league lead in wins.
Game Two
Sophomore picture Terry Burel threw a two-hitter as TSU rolled 12-0. It was Burel's fourth win and second complete game on the season.
Once again, Delvon Matthews went three-for-three at the plate, scoring three runs.
4 Apr
SWAC Softball Players of the Week
BATTER OF THE WEEK
Keneshia McKee,
Alabama State (5-7, Fr., SS, Columbus, Ga.) Went 9-for-18 in six games (.500 avg)., posting 4 RBI and 9 runs, 9 hits, 1 double and 1 triple.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Bridgette Partee,
Southern U. (5-10, Jr., Righty, Memphis, Tenn.) In a 5-4 win versus Texas Southern, Partee gave up 4 runs, 1 earned run, 7 hits and recorded 4 strikeouts.
SWAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (Mar 30)
BATTER OF THE WEEK
Stephen Cotton
, Texas Southern (5-8, Fr., OF/1B, Beaumont, Tex.): In the Tigers' four-game sweep over SWAC Western Division foe Grambling State, Cotton batted .583 while going 7-for-12 with five runs scored and three runs batted in. He added one double while drawing two stolen bases and three walks.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Torik Harrison, Southern Univ. (5-10, So., Righty, Houston, Tex.): In the Jaguars' 16-2 win over Prairie View on March 27, Harrison went the distance while allowing just one hit, one earned run and two walks. He garnered a season-high 10 strikeouts.
As of 30 Mar, Texas Southern led the SWAC West and Jackson State led the SWAC East.
27 Mar
Houston, TX(OTW)-Texas Southern swept Grambling in a doubleheader for the second consecutive day, moving into a first-place tie in the SWAC West. TSU won the opening game 12-4, and the second one 15-9.
In the first tilt, Texas Southern scored in every inning but the third. John Moore was two for two with a homer, three runs scored, and a pair of RBI. Terry Burel (3-0) got the win.
Grambling's John Navarro had three hits and two RBI.
Enrique Villanueva took the loss for the G-Men.
In game two, TSU's Elliot Gould keyed a nine-run first inning with a gram-slam home run as the Tigers beat Grambling 15-9.
Dwayne Pharue had a double and a three-run homer for the winners. Pharue had six RBI in the contest.Derrick Earthly got the win.
Jimmy Giles had two hits, including a home-run, and three RBI for Grambling.
26 Mar
Houston, TX(OTW)-David Bell was two-of-three in the first game and freshman pitcher Marcus Winder allowed four runs in 6.1 innings in the second game, as Texas Southern swept western division leading Grambling 6-3 and 6-4.
In the first game, TSU snapped a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth when Bell doubled in two runs. The winning pitcher was Ricardo Salazar who pitched his second complete game of the season, and improved his record to 4-1.
Joseph Williams had a hit and two RBI for Grambling, and John Navarro had two hits and one RBI for GSU (20-6, 10-4). Grambling had four errors in the contest.
In the second game, Aulston Taylor had a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth, giving TSU a lead they never relinquished on their way to the sweep.
Williams doubled and Navarro homered for Grambling in the nightcap.
TSU (15-10, 8-6) moved to within two games of Grambling with the sweep.
Grambling's Charles McClendon took the loss in the nightcap. Rashad Washington was the loser in game one.
SWAC Players of the Week: Baseball (Through Mar 21):
BATTER OF THE WEEK
Alberto Campbell, Grambling State (6-2, 220, Fr., OF/1B, Bastrop, La.): In a week in which the Tigers won three of four games vs. defending SWAC champion Southern, Campbell batted .438 while going 7-for-16 with four runs batted in and four runs scored. He also had one double and two home runs, including a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the 10th for an 11-10 GSU win on March 20.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Rashad Washington, Grambling State (6-3, 218, So., Lefty, Houston, Tex.): In GSU's series vs. Southern, Washington went six innings in recording a 7-6 victory. He garnered three strikeouts while allowing seven hits, four earned runs and two walks.
23 Mar
No Media Guides?????
by Bryan Steven Follins
Atlanta, GA
-According to the SWAC Office, consideration is being given by the conference to discontinue hardcopy media guides and instead put the information on the Internet. On the surface, this seems like a great idea. The information would be readily accessible to media members with a computer, and it would take up less bulk than hard copies. The decision is being pondered as early as the 1999 football season.
First of all, the Internet is a great informational tool, especially for conferences like the SWAC, who are virtually ignored by major media outlets. It (Internet) can provide endless amounts of information to people interested in their favorite schools. It is indeed a new way of life and a new way of doing things.
But the situation here is not the Internet, but are people willing to use it properly?? To maintain a web page with tremendous amounts of information as being proposed can be a daunting task. It takes time to create the website and it takes time to maintain it. On the other hand it may take time to put together a hard copy media guide, but there is no maintnance involved in it. Once it is done it is done. Speaking as a media member, a hard copy also allows for a person to ALWAYS have the info right at their fingertips. It allows for total control.
The Internet, while being an outstanding informational tool, does not allow for total control. There are numerous things that can go wrong. A server can crash, it can be hacked, there can be power failures (which will be discussed in more detail later), a computer can have hardware or software problems. These are just SOME of the problems the maintainer of the page can encounter. The SWAC needs to ask itself, what would happen if these problems occur, are we ready?? It may be cheaper at first glance to discontinue hardcopy media guides, but preparedness must be flawless when dealing with the Internet. If someone is NOT PREPARED they may wind up spending more money than they think.
From the user's side, the SWAC has to assume everyone will have all the tools to access this proposed sight. It's easy to assume this will not be a problem, but one never knows.
Getting back to power failures. Has the SWAC considered what impact Y2K would have on this decision? The fact remains that in the wake of all the hype and hysteria of Y2K problems, nobody REALLY KNOWS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. But, rest assured, SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN. One of the possibilities is severe power outages around the country as well as the world. If people have no power (for however long), they can't flip a light switch, let alone turn on a computer. So, they would not be able to access the Internet. This scenario may not happen, but then again, it might happen. Is the SWAC PRPEARED???? They better be. Not to prepare is fools play. Once again even if this does not happen, will the page be maintained and used properly. It seems easier, but so does the faxback system in place in the SWAC. This was designed so media could readily access information on the schools, but most sports information directors do not even update the faxbacks, and most athletics directors don't seem to care. So, like the faxback, the Internet seems easier, but will people have the initiative to take full advantage of it???
Food for thought. Peace.
22 Mar
SU'S SMYLIE HEADS MEN'S ALL-SWAC HOOPS TEAM
NEW ORLEANS
-- Adarrial Smylie, a junior center regarded as one of the most dominating basketball players in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, heads up a list of versatile student-athletes named to the 1998-99 All-SWAC basketball team.
The team, selected by a panel of league head coaches, sports information directors and beat reporters, was released on Thursday, March 4, 1999, the eve of the SWAC tournament's version of the Final Four. The unit consists of four position players from Southern, two from Alcorn State, two from Jackson State, one from Mississippi Valley State and one from Grambling State in addition to the special category awardees and the all-rookie team.
Smylie, a 6-7, 220-pound junior center at Southern, was a near unanimous selection as the first team All-SWAC center and he beat out Alcorn State guard Reuben Stiff for league player of the year. Through regular-season play, the Darrow, La. native led the SWAC in rebounding (8.9 pg) and field goal percentage (.573) while ranking second in scoring (19.5 ppg), fourth in blocked shots (1.71 pg) and 10th in free throw percentage (.729).
Smylie is joined on the first team by teammate Aaron Bates at forward and by the Alcorn State duo of Stiff at guard and Eddrick Wheaton at forward. The remaining first team selection is Mississippi Valley State's Faragi Phillips at guard.
During the regular season, Bates, a 6-5 senior from Toledo, Oh., ranked fourth in the SWAC in scoring (16.7 ppg), third in steals (2.76 pg) and ninth in free throw percentage (.737). He also contributed 5.0 rebounds per contest, third best on the SU team.
A 5-11 senior from Jackson, Miss., Stiff was the key playmaker during Alcorn State's return to the apex of the SWAC standings. He ranked 10th in the conference in scoring (12.8 ppg), fifth in steals (2.38 pg), third in assists (3.96 pg), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.355) and eighth in free throw percentage (.741).
Stiff''s teammate, Wheaton, ranked fifth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.350) and eighth in blocked shots (1.04 pg). The 6-8 senior from Bay Springs, Miss. also posted averages of 9.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest.
After sitting out the entire 1997-98 season with a back injury and then missing the start of this season with muscle spasms, MVSU's Phillips was nearly unstoppable once he returned to action. He entered postseason play as the SWAC's leader in scoring (20.7 ppg), steals (2.95 pg) and three-point field goal percentage (.382). A 6-3 senior from Grenada, Miss., Phillips also ranked second in the SWAC in free throw percentage (.770) and 10th in assists (2.55 pg).
Making second team All-SWAC are SU guards Dionte' Harvey and Devin Clark, Jackson State center Vincent Jones, MVSU forward David Burks and Grambling State forward Chris Thomas.
Harvey, a first team pick last season and the preseason SWAC player of the year this season, finished the regular-season ranking sixth in the league in scoring (15.7 ppg), eighth in steals (1.84 pg) and seventh in free throw percentage (.741). A 6-4 senior from Flint, Mich., Harvey's 37 points against MVSU on January 11 tied Smylie's 37 points versus Prairie View A&M on February 25 as the most points scored in a single-game by a SWAC player this season.
Although he didn't put up the points like teammates Harvey and Smylie did, Clark was vital in Southern's title chase this season nonetheless. A 6-0 sophomore from Baton Rouge, La., Clark has averaged just 7.6 points a game but he has led the league in assists almost from day one, entering the postseason with a SWAC-best average of 6.88 per contest. He also ranked fourth in steals with 2.64 per game.
JSU's Jones was the Tigers' defensive ace this season, ranking second in the SWAC in blocked shots (2.85 pg) and seventh in rebounding (6.5 pg). The 6-11 senior from Greenwood, Miss. led the Tigers in scoring with 12.6 points a game.
Burks, a 6-7 sophomore from Indianola, Miss., was the SWAC's fifth- leading rebounder after the regular-season (7.7 pg) and ninth-leading field goal shooter (.494). He also averaged 9.5 points a game, third-best on the team.
GSU's Thomas was the Tigers' scoring ace and the third-leading scorer in the SWAC with 19.7 points before the postseason. A 6-7 junior from Karnack, Tex., he also ranked third in the SWAC in field goal percentage (.547) and second on the team in rebounding with 5.8 boards a game.
The special category awards were won by players from four different schools.
Besides Smylie's player of the year honor, the defensive player of the year award was captured by GSU center Thomas Dodd, freshman of the year was won by Prairie View A&M guard Gregory Burks and newcomer of the year went to MVSU's David Burks.
Dodd, a 6-10 senior from Bradley, Ark., ranked seventh in the SWAC in scoring (14.3 ppg), second in rebounding (8.6 pg) and third in blocked shots (2.04 pg).
PVAMU's Burks, a 5-8 guard from Flint, Mich., finished the regular-season ranking 10th in the SWAC in steals (1.67 pg), sixth in assists (3.33 pg), second in three-point field goal percentage (.380) and third in free throw percentage (.759).
The honorary all-rookie team picks included Burks in addition to GSU's Jimmy Lawson (6-2, Fr., G, Oklahoma City, Okla.), Alabama State's Tyrone Levett (6-5, Fr., F, Notasulga, Ala.), Alcorn State's Marcus Fleming (6-8, Fr., F, Fayette, Miss.) and MVSU's James Nelson (6-5, Fr., F, Forest, Miss.). Finally, after returning to Alcorn State as head coach three seasons ago and then leading the Braves to their first SWAC championship since 1985-86 this season, the legendary Davey L. Whitney is the 1998-99 SWAC coach of the year, an honor that now automatically goes to the coach of the league's regular-season champion. This is Whitney's eighth SWAC coach of the year honor and his team's ninth league crown.
GSU'S MITCHELL HEADS WOMEN'S ALL-SWAC TEAM
NEW ORLEANS
-- Termika Mitchell of Grambling State University has been selected the women's basketball player of the year in the Southwestern Athletic Conference as well as a first team member of the 1998-99 All-SWAC team.
A 5-8 senior from Cleveland, Tex., Mitchell led the GSU Lady Tigers to a perfect 16-0 record in conference play. At the conclusion of the regular season, she led the SWAC in both scoring (17.6 ppg) and steals (4.00 pg) while ranking second in assists (4.92 pg) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.343).
Mitchell is joined on the All-SWAC first team by teammate and forward Felicia James, guard Sherry Surney of Mississippi Valley State, center Tameika Hill of Jackson State and forward Felecia Tarver of Prairie View A&M. James, Surney and Hill were members of the 1997-98 All-SWAC second team. James, a 5-11 senior from St. Croix, Virgin Islands, led the SWAC in both blocks (1.69 pg) and field goal percentage (.545) and was seventh in scoring (13.2 pg) during the regular-season.
Surney, a 5-6 senior from Ruleville, Miss., ranked third in the SWAC in both scoring (16.2 ppg) and steals (3.20 pg), sixth in free-throw percentage (.752), 10th in three-point field goal percentage (.293) and tied for 10th in rebounding (6.6 pg).
Hill, a 6-1 senior from Yazoo City, Miss., finished the regular-season as the SWAC's second-leading scorer (16.5 pg). She also ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage (.522), third in blocks (1.24 pg) and eighth in rebounding (7.7 pg).
Tarver, a 5-8 senior from Houston, Tex., led the SWAC in rebounding (10.6 pg) the entire season. She also ranked eighth in field goal percentage (.456) and was the only PVAMU player who ranked in the top 10 in the conference's individual categories.
The All-SWAC second team consists of guards Nichole Miller (5-8, Fr.) of Alabama State and Texas Southern's Sheila Pena (5-8, Sr.), center Nakesha Jewell (6-2, Jr.) of Grambling State and forwards Felecia Arrington (5-11, Sr.) of Alabama State and Tukeya Mackey (5-10, So.) of Alcorn State. Members of the honorary all-rookie team include Alabama State's Zandra Hall (5-8, Fr., G) and Miller, Grambling State's Natalie Thomas (5-9, Fr., G), Jackson State's Demetria Richard (6-2, Fr., C) and Texas Southern's Kanesha Randle (6-2, Fr., F).
Miller, who ranked fifth in the SWAC in scoring (14.6 ppg) and ninth in three-point field goal pct. (.319), was also tabbed freshman of the year. Newcomer of the year honors went to Southern's Starry Bady (5-7, Jr., G) and Grambling State's Jewell was named the SWAC's defensive player of the year. Grambling State head coach David Ponton won SWAC coach of the year honors for the second straight season.
18 Mar
Houston, TX(OTW)-Olympic gold medalist Michael Marsh and long jumper Dawn Burrell highlight a top-notch cast in the 48th Annual Texas Southern Relays this Friday and Saturday in Houston, Texas. Marsh won a gold metal in the 400 meter relay and the 200 meter dash in Spain in the 1992 Summer Olympics. Burrell is a two-time indoor national long jump champion and holds the TSU Relays record in that event. Former TSU track and field standout Yuan Hunt is also expected to participate in the event. University of Houston All-Americans John Davis (shot put) and Jenny Adams (long jump) will compete. Texas Southern All-SWAC sprinter Michael Martin will be on hand as well. Martin is the SWAC's 55 and 200 meter indoor champion.
12 Mar
Chapel Hill, NC(OTW)-Dominique Canty had 19 points and 13 rebounds as Alabama beat Grambling 80-68 in women's NCAA Tourney action.
Grambling's Termika Mitchell had a 31 points and seven rebounds. The Lady Tigers shot 28 percent from the field in the game.The loss eliminated Grambling from the tournament.
11 Mar
Seattle, WA(OTW)-Stanford, the second seed in the NCAA West Region, made 10 of 11 free throws late in the ball game, to beat Alcorn 69-57. The loss eliminated the Braves from the NCAA Tourney. The Braves trailed by 14 at the half.
Alcorn put up a good fight, coming back to tie the game at 53-53 on a Terrence Cameron three-pointer with 4:47 left to play.
Mark Madsen led Stanford with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Wallace Harris led Alcorn, the 15th seed in the West, with 17 points.
10 Mar
ALCORN TO FACE STANFORD IN NCAA TOURNEY,
BRAVES' POSTSEASON PLAY IS FIRST SINCE 1984
NEW ORLEANS
-- The Alcorn State University Braves are set to go this week where they haven't been in 15 years -- back to the NCAA basketball tournament.
The Braves, 23-6 overall (14-2 SWAC), will face Stanford in the NCAA tournament's West Regional First Round at Key Arena in Seattle, Wash. on Thursday, March 11 at approximately 2:15 p.m. ASU will enter as a 15th seed while the Cardinal is a second seed with a record of 25-6 (15-3 PAC-10).
Alcorn State's appearance in the NCAA tournament will be their first since 1984, when they beat Houston Baptist (79-60) in what was called the "pre- tournament" before falling by one point to Kansas (57-56). This week will mark the team's first postseason contest altogether since 1985, when the Braves lost to Louisville in the first round of the NIT, 77-75.
"Going to the NCAA tournament is something you dream about in high school," said ASU guard and Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament MVP Reuben Stiff. "I think I'm more proud of the team because I didn't have a very good tournament. I played alright during the year but in the tournament everybody stepped up and Wallace (Harris) had a great game. That's what it's all about -- team. No one person can take a team to the (NCAA) tournament. We have a pretty good team that I'm proud of."
While returning to the NCAA tournament is in itself a huge accomplishment for the Alcorn State program, how they got there is even more astonishing.
During their heyday in the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, head coach Davey "the Wiz" Whitney orchestrated a program regarded as one of the best in all of college basketball. In 1979, its first year as a Division I member of the NCAA, ASU became the first historically black school to compete in and win a game in the NIT, defeating Mississippi State, 80-78, before falling to Indiana, 73-69, and finishing the season with a 28-1 record.
For an encore, in 1980 the Braves became the first team from an historically black university to compete in and win a game in the NCAA Division I tourney, beating South Alabama, 70-62, before falling to LSU, 98-88, and finishing at 28-2.
The Braves would go on to compete admirably in NCAA tournaments in 1982 (lost to Houston, 94-84), in 1983 (beat Xavier-Ohio 81-75 and lost to Georgetown 68-65) and in 1984. Following their 1985 NIT appearance, however, things began to unravel for the Braves and a 16-13 finish in 1985-86 would be the school's -- and Coach Whitney's -- final winning season until this year. In fact, three consecutive losing seasons between 1986-87 and 1988-89 led to Whitney's ouster as the team's head coach.
Following two head coaching changes, ASU officials rehired Whitney prior to the 1996-97 season and the legendary coach made one simple promise -- to make the program competitive again. In his third season back at the helm, and his 23rd year at the school overall, he's certainly gotten the program back on track.
The Braves went 11-17 in 1996-97 before improving to 12-15 last season. This year's 23 victories are the team's most since an identical mark 15 seasons ago. Their SWAC regular-season championship is the school's first since 1985-86 and the SWAC tourney crown is the Braves' first since 1984.
"I came back for us to be very competitive," said Whitney in January as his team led in the SWAC standings by one game at the season's mid-point. "We're more competitive now than we were two years ago. I didn't promise a championship, I just promised to be competitive. If a championship comes, then that's good."
Well, that championship came and the Braves didn't stop there. They went on to cap the season with victories of 114-61 over Prairie View A&M in the first round of the SWAC tournament, 73-61 over Mississippi Valley State in the semifinals and 89-83 over Southern University in the title game on SU's home court. Following the title game, Whitney said he felt all along that the 1998-99 Braves were a special group of players.
"We never had any doubts in our minds that we had good enough athletes who were going to contend for the SWAC championship," said Whitney. "When they picked us as co-champs (with Southern) in the preseason, I thought that the team was going to make liars out of some people, that they'd just go on and win it."
Following the SWAC tourney title game, Whitney said his emotions didn't run too high. "We took the kids out to eat and they had a lot of fun," said Whitney. "I knew we had another game to play. I wasn't joyful too long.
"We don't know as much as we want to know about Stanford right now," Whitney continued. "I do know that they're a big, physical team and a front court team. They're one of the better teams in the country with the front court offense. "To be this far away from home, if we get a few fans for the game, that'll be a big thing for us," added Whitney. "The place seats 15,000, so we won't be heard very loud. But we've been getting a lot of media exposure. We're kind of an unknown situation. I felt we deserved a 14th seed."
GSU TO FACE ALABAMA IN NCAA TOURNEY
NEW ORLEANS
-- The Grambling State University Lady Tigers (25-4), winners of three consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles, will face the University of Alabama (19-10) in the first round of the 1999 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, Friday, March 12 at Chapel Hill, N.C. (U. of North Carolina). Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. EST (no television). GSU is the No. 12 seed in the Midwest, while Alabama is the No. 5 seed.
GSU earned a record fourth consecutive berth (fifth appearance overall) to the NCAA tournament by defeating Mississippi Valley State in the SWAC championship (80-60), March 6, at Baton Rouge, La. The Lady Tigers also defeated Prairie View A&M (85-56) in the first-round of the tournament on March 3 at Grambling, La., then beat Alabama State (100-60) in the semifinals on March 5 at Baton Rouge, La.
The Lady Tigers are 0-4 in NCAA Tournament appearances, and as a conference the SWAC is 0-7 overall. In 1994, the first year that the SWAC received an automatic berth, GSU lost to Vanderbilt (95-85). The Lady Tigers also faced Stanford (82-43) in 1996, Tennessee (91- 54) in 1997 and Texas Tech (87-75) in 1998. The team was seeded No. 16 versus both Vanderbilt and Stanford and No. 14 versus both Tennessee and Texas Tech. The No. 12 seeding is the best ever for a SWAC men's or women's team.
"We were extremely happy to get the higher seed. We feel we are finally getting some respect," said second-year head coach David "Rusty" Ponton. "With our record and our showing in the past, we feel we deserved this seed or an even better seed. The most important thing is we're glad we're playing on a neutral site and not on someone else's home court."
Currently on a 21-game winning streak, GSU went undefeated in conference play with a 16-0 record, accomplishing that feat for only the second time in both school and SWAC history. The Lady Tigers posted a 14-0 record versus conference opponents in 1996-97. The team also owns the nation's longest home-win streak with 55 consecutive games.
GSU is winless in four appearances versus Alabama; 1992-93 (117-51), 1993-94 (81-50), 1994-95 (90-70) and 1996-97 (70-67).
"They're a very good team and they're coached by a very good coach," said Ponton, who won SWAC coach of the year honors for the second straight season. "We do have a history with them. They know about us and we know about them."
Senior guard Termika Mitchell (5-8) leads the SWAC in both scoring (18.0 ppg) and steals (3.90 pg). She also ranks second in assists (4.86 pg) and sixth in three-point field goal pct. (.328).
Junior center Nakesha Jewell (6-2) leads the conference in double-doubles (12) and ranks second in rebounding (9.2 pg), fifth in field goal pct. (.478), sixth in blocks (0.97 pg) and eighth in free- throw pct. (.728).
Senior guard/forward Felicia James (5-11) leads the SWAC in both blocks (1.76 pg) and field goal pct. (.542). She's also fourth in steals (3.10 pg) and seventh in scoring (13.4 ppg). As a team, GSU leads the SWAC in scoring offense (87.4 ppg), scoring margin (+18.8) and rebounding margin (+7.4). The team is also second in the SWAC in field goal pct. (.419). In addition to being named MVP of the 1999 SWAC Basketball Tournament, Mitchell was earlier named the conference's player of the year. She was joined on the All-SWAC first team by James. Freshman guard Natalie Thomas (5-9) was named to the honorary All-Rookie team, while Jewell, an All-SWAC second team member, was named defensive player of the year.
7 Mar
Alcorn will battle Stanford Thursday, Mar. 11, in Seattle in the NCAA Men's Tournament.
Grambling (women) will play Alabama at Chapel Hill, NC Friday, Mar. 12, at 6 p.m. in NCAA Women's Tournament action.
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Wallace Harris scored 22 points, lifting Alcorn to an 89-83 win over Southern in the SWAC Men's Tournament finals. The win qualified the Braves (22-6) as an automatic entrant for the NCAA Tournament.
Alcorn had leads as big as 22 points in the game. Southern (21-7) cut the lead to three late in the contest, but got no closer.
Dionte Harvey and Aaron Bates scored 16 points for SU.
In women's action, Grambling advanced to the NCAA Tournament by beating Mississippi Valley 80-60 in the women's tournament championship game.
5 Mar
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Dionte Harvey scored 19 points as Southern edged Jackson State 67-66. The Jaguars moved into Saturday's championship game against Alcorn.
Tim Marks scored 16 for the Tigers
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Marcus Fleming scored 17 points as Alcorn beat Mississippi Valley 73-61.
Faragi Phillips had 26 points for Valley.
Alcorn moves into the SWAC finals against Southern.
In women's action, Mississippi Valley beat Jackson State 61-44, and Grambling beat Alabama State 100-60.
3 Mar
Opening Round SWAC Men's Tournament Action
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Marcus Fleming scored 21 second half points as Alcorn glided by Prairie View 114-61. The Braves advanced to Friday's semifinals against Mississippi Valley State. Alcorn jumped out to a 29-18 first half lead and never trailed.
Prairie View's Gregory Burks led all scorers with 28 points. PV was held to 27 percent shooting from the floor in the contest.
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Terry Bradley scored 14 points to lead Jackson State by Texas Southern 73-49. JSU, the hottest men's team in the SWAC right now, advances to play Southern in semifinal action Friday.
Texas Southern's Roderick Beechem led all scorers with 18 points.
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Aaron Bates scored 31 points as Southern beat Grambling 92-83. The Jags advance to play Jackson State in semifinal action Friday.
Thomas Dodd had 36 points and 12 rebounds for the G-Men.
Itta Bena, MS(OTW)-Faragi Phillips scored 20 points, and Henry Jordan had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and six blocked shots, as Mississippi Valley beat Alabama State 71-58. The Delta Devils will play Alcorn Friday in semi-final action.
Joey Ball scored 15 points for ASU.
In women's action, Jackson State beat Texas Southern 71-67 in overtime, Mississippi Valley dumped Southern 67-57, Alabama State edged Alcorn 56-55, and Grambling demolished Prairie View 85-56.
28 Feb
PAIRINGS SET FOR SWAC HOOPS TOURNEY,
GRAMBLING AND ALCORN TAKE TOP SEEDS

After a very competitive regular-season in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, it has all come down to this.
On Wednesday, March 3, the new format of the SWAC tournament will be debuted, as the top four men's seeds and the top four women's seeds host quarterfinal games on their respective campuses. The winners will then advance to Baton Rouge, La. for the semifinals and finals on March 5-6 on Southern University's campus.
In the first round of the men's tourney, Alcorn State will enter as the No.1 seed after winning the SWAC regular-season title with records of 20-6 overall and 14-2 in the league. ASU will host Prairie View A&M (6-20, 4-12) at 7:30 p.m.
Also at 7:30 p.m., No.2 Southern (19-6, 13-3) will host No.7 Grambling State (6-20, 5-11), No. 3 Jackson State (15-11, 11-5) will host No.6 Texas Southern (8-18, 6-10) and No.4 Mississippi Valley (13-12, 10-6) will host No.5 Alabama State (11-15, 8-8).
"I don't think that (hosting the tourney) will be a big factor," said SU head coach Tommy Green. "The other teams are there with one thing on their mind. Nobody really cares where they are playing. They're happy to be playing."
After cruising to their third straight regular-season crown with marks of 22-4 overall and 16-0 in the SWAC, the Grambling Lady Tigers will enter the tourney again as the top seed. They'll host No.8 Prairie View (6-20, 2-14) at 7:30 p.m.
"It's another stamp of approval for our authenticity for having a good program here," said GSU head coach Rusty Ponton. "Going 16-0 was a goal of the team. This senior team we have were members of the (1996-97) 14-0 team. We felt we had the ability to do it. With the blessing of God, it happened."
Mississippi Valley (15-10, 13-3), the No.2 seed, will host No.7 Southern (11-15, 5-11) at 5:30 p.m., No.3 Jackson State (17-8, 10-6) will host No.6 Texas Southern (11-18, 7-9) at 5:30 p.m., and No.4 Alabama State (14-12, 9-7) will host No.5 Alcorn State (15-11, 8-8) at 7:30 p.m.
27 Feb
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Reuben Stiff scored 21 points as Alcorn (20-6, 14-2) beat Prairie View 81-63. The win clinched the SWAC outright for Alcorn.
Jochquinn Arch scored 15 for PV.
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Antwan McAfee scored 14 points as Jackson State beat Alabama A&M 71-45. JSU (15-11) goes into the SWAC torunament with a seven game winning streak.
Fidel Woods scored 14 for A&M.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Adarrial Smylie had 26 points and 14 rebounds as Southern (19-6, 13-3) knocked off Texas Southern 90-74.
Leland Redmond scored 18 for TSU.
In other games, Mississippi Valley beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 83-77., and Alabama State edged Grambling.
25 Feb
Houston, TX(OTW)-Eddrick Wheaton made a free throw with just under six seconds to go, as Alcorn came from behind to edge Texas Southern 71-70. The win clinched a tie for first for the Braves (19-6, 13-2). Reuben Stiff scored 24 points for Alcorn, which trailed 46-28 at the half.
Leland Robinson scored 20 for TSU.
Prairie View, TX(OTW)-Adarrial Smylie scored 37 points and added 15 rebounds as Southern beat Prairie View 94-81. Smylie was 15-of-20 from the floor on the night.
Aron Thompson scored 20 for PV.
Jackson, TX(OTW)-Deon Burns had 13 points and 13 rebounds as Jackson State beat Alabama State 58-40. It was the sixth straight win for the Tigers.
Corey Williams had 13 markers for ASU.
In other SWAC action, Grambling beat Alabama A&M 81-77.
21 Feb
SWAC INDOOR TRACK & FIELD TITLES WON BY SU,
JAGS TAKE MEN'S CROWN IN DRAMATIC FASHION
BATON ROUGE, La.
-- From the outset, two things seemed reasonably sure about the 1999 Southwestern Athletic Conference indoor track and field championships.
For one, most people felt that Southern University would be an overwhelming bet to capture a record seventh consecutive SWAC women's title. And that the Lady Jaguars did, finishing the two-day meet with a conference record 186.5 points, 110.5 points ahead of second place finisher Alcorn State University.
The other near certainty was that defending champion Prairie View A&M University and perennial power Southern would battle it out for the men's crown. That, too, was the case as it took the final event of the evening to determine the championship, which Southern secured by just 4.5 points over the Panthers. The Jaguars took the crown with 150 points compared to Prairie View's 145.5.
The 1999 SWAC championships were contested for the third consecutive year at the LSU Field House on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on Saturday and Sunday, February 20-21. A near capacity crowd witnessed the dramatic developments on the final day of action.
"This was a great meet," said SU head coach Johnny Thomas. "The conference was exceptionally competitive this year. We managed to win the meet on the last event."
Heading into the all-important last event of the men's competition, which was the 4x400 meter relay, Southern was atop the standings by just a half point. The Jaguars, however, picked up 10 points in the event by virtue of a first place finish at 3:12.18, an NCAA qualifying standard. Prairie View, meanwhile, settled for a third place finish with a mark of 3:18.99, sealing their second place fate in the final standings.
"The competition was very tight," said PVAMU head coach Hoover J. Wright. "You couldn't afford to make a mistake and we made a big mistake in the high hurdles. My jumper jumped and he feels real bad about that. I'm just trying to make him feel better. "Last year we won the indoors and Southern beat us in the outdoors," added Wright. "We'll try to flip flop this time around."
Trailing Southern and Prairie View A&M in the final men's standings were Grambling State, which finished third with 75 points, Jackson State, 62, Alcorn State, 57.5, Texas Southern, 36, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 30, Alabama State, 26, and Mississippi Valley State, 2.
David Rop, Jackson State's sensational distance runner, won the league's most outstanding track performer award for a third consecutive year. He scored a meet high 40 points after first place finishes in the 800 meters (1:50.88), the 1,600 meters (4:14.6), the 3,000 meters (9:15.4) and the 5,000 meters (19:49.55).
Most outstanding field performer honors were landed by Ronald Nelson of Prairie View A&M, who scored a meet high 27 points in the field. Nelson won the high jump (7'03.75) while finishing third in the long jump (23'04), third in the pole vault (10'11.75) and fourth in the triple jump (49'06.5).
In the women's competition, Southern entered the final day of competition with a 15-point lead over Grambling State, outscoring the Lady Tigers 43.5 to 28.5. The Lady Jaguars then added 143 points to their total during the final round, cruising to the title. The team won six out of 14 events during the meet in addition to 10 second place event finishes. Thomas, who doubles as SU's head women's coach, said he figured his women would have an easier time capturing the SWAC crown than the men.
"After winning the championship six years in a row, I know that confidence and momentum were on the side of our ladies," noted Thomas. "But there were a lot of quality teams out there, so the team just had to go out and perform. I'm very proud of the way they met the challenge."
Alcorn State secured second place in the final women's standings with a total of 76 points. The Lady Braves were sparked by 5-10 senior Millicent Sylvan, who captured most outstanding field performer honors for the third straight year with a meet high 38 field points. The LaPlace, La. native won the high jump (5'05.75), the pole vault (7'07.25) and the triple jump (39'01.75) while finishing second in the long jump (39'01.75).
"I prayed about it and with the help of Jesus and my coach, I performed to my potential," stated Sylvan.
Following Southern and Alcorn State in the final women's standings were Grambling State, 70.5 points, Alabama State, 41, Jackson State, 40, Prairie View A&M, 39, Texas Southern, 22, Mississippi Valley State, 20, and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 11.
While Sylvan won most outstanding field performer honors, the most outstanding track performer honors went to Natasha Beaumont of Jackson State, who scored a meet high 30 points in the running events. Beaumont, a 5-4 junior from Kingston, Jamaica, won first places in the 800 meters (2:18.23), the 1,600 meters (5:18.75) and the 3,000 meters (11:13.34).
Besides the Southern men's team performance in the 4x400 meter relay, NCAA qualifying times were garnered by SU's Robert Wilson in the 400 meters (46.94), SU's Erica Burrell in the 55 meters (6.84) and Texas Southern's Michael Martin in both the 55 meters (6.24) and the 200 meters (21.41). Wilson's 400 meter time is currently the ninth fastest time in the event this season.
1999 SWAC INDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
DAY TWO RESULTS - FEB. 21, 1999 - BATON ROUGE, LA
OFFICIAL DAY TWO MEN'S RESULTS:

POLE VAULT: 1. Cortrell Davis (SU), 11'05.75 (3.50m); 2. John Dimas (PV), 10'11.75 (3.35); 3. Ronald Nelson (PV), 10'11.75 (3.35); 4. Vincent Jones (ALC), 10'06.00 (3.20); 5. Jeuance Cramiel (ALC), 10'00.00 (3.05) and Donald Driver (ALC), 10'00.00 (3.05); 7. Vincent Johnson (ALC), 9'06.25 (2.90); 8. Tranton Harris (PV), 9'06.25 (2.90).
TRIPLE JUMP: 1.Craig Geter (SU), 51'01.00 (15.57m); 2. Anthony Austin (PV), 51'00.00 (15.54); 3. Donald Driver (ALC), 50'06.00 (15.39); 4. Ronald Nelson (PV), 49'06.25 (15.09); 5. Marlin Hargrove (PV), 48'09.50 (14.87); 6. Kelly Galtney (TSU), 46'10.75 (14.29); 7. Duncan Florence (PV), 46'02.00 (14.07); 8. Ed Odum (GSU), 45'06.25 (13.87).
55 METER: 1. Michael Martin (TSU), 6.24; 2. Lewis Turner (PV), 6.35; 3. Vernon Pitcher (SU), 6.39; 4. Ryan Lewis (SU), 6.52; 5. Ebony Brown (PV), 6.53; 6. Darrell Gillespie (ALC), 6.54; 7. John George (SU), 6.57; 8. Terrance Blackwell (SU), 6.58.
1,600 METERS: 1. David Rop (JSU), 4:14.60; 2. Brent Clay (SU), 4:22.96; 3. Conor Marsh (PV), 4:23.92; 4. Cedric Johnson (UAPB), 4:24.68; 5. Jason Webb (ALA), 4:25.55; 6. Victor Tanui (JSU), 4:25.65; 7. Marvin Beharry (GSU), 4:28.69; 8. Earnest McClinton (UAPB), 4:31.20.
400 METERS: 1. Robert Wilson (SU), 46.94; 2. Dedrick Evans (GSU), 47.48; 3. Nathaniel Gross (PV), 48.01; 4. Jamal Jones (SU), 48.11.2; 5. Antwon Dussett (GSU), 48.11.6; 6. Jebreh Harris (ALA), 49.12; 7. Michael Conley (PV), 49.52; 8. Antonio Johnson (GSU), 49.89.
55-METER LOW HURDLES: 1. Vernon Pitcher (SU), 7.33; 2. Horace Townsend (SU), 7.48; 3. Ronald Landry (SU), 7.51; 4. Goldy Jackson (TSU), 7.51; 5. Sean Henry (ALC), 7.80; 6. Devonte Taylor (TSU), 7.87; 7. Nick Brown (ALC), 8.18.
800 METERS: 1. David Rop (JSU), 1:50.58; 2. Jebreh Harris (ALA), 1:54.97; 3. Elton Ervin (GSU), 1:55.16; 4. Melvin Landry (SU), 1:55.62; 5. David Houston (SU), 1:55.75; 6. Jason Webb (ALA), 1:55.86; 7. Houston Watson (PV), 1:58.46; 8. Antonio Johnson (GSU), 1:58.50.
200 METERS: 1. Michael Martin (TSU), 21.41; 2. Nathaniel Gross (PV), 21.73; 3. Lewis Turner (PV), 21.74; 4. Robert Wilson (SU), 21.84; 5. Dedrick Evans (GSU), 21.87; 6. Goldy Jackson (TSU), 21.98; 7. Jamal Jones (SU), 22.07; 8. Lewis Edmonson (PV), 22.26.
5,000 METERS: 1. David Rop (JSU), 14:49.55; 2. Brent Clay (SU), 15:45.65; 3. Conor Marsh (PV), 15:56.05; 4. Victor Tanui (JSU), 16:12.66; 5. Carlos Robinson (GSU), 16:22.15; 6. Marvin Beharry (GSU), 16:29.44; 7. Justus Nyamweya (JSU), 16:29.51; 8. Earnest McClinton (UAPB), 17:07.17.
4x400 RELAY: 1. Southern Univ., 3:12.18; 2. Grambling State, 3:14.47; 3. Prairie View A&M, 3:18.99; 4. Alabama State, 3:23.72; 5. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 3:24.52; 6. Alcorn State, 3:25.64; 7. Texas Southern, 3:28.25; 8. Miss. Valley State, 3:40.30.
FINAL MEN'S STANDINGS: 1. Southern Univ., 150 pts.; 2. Prairie View A&M, 145.5; 3. Grambling State, 75; 4. Jackson State, 62; 5. Alcorn State, 57.5; 6. Texas Southern, 36; 7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 30; 8. Alabama State, 26; 9. Miss. Valley State, 2.
OFFICIAL DAY TWO WOMEN'S RESULTS:
POLE VAULT: 1. Millicent Sylvan (ALC), 7'07.25 (2.32m).
55 METERS: 1. Erica Burrell (SU), 6.84; 2. LaChina Clay (SU). 6.91; 3. Angelina Edwards (ALA), 7.01; 4. Tia Talley (PV), 7.14; 5. Maharlin Mesidor (ALA), 7.22; 6. Claudia Dumas (PV), 7.23; 7. Samantha Pollard (ALC), 7.26; 8. Ashley Thompson (PV), 7.38.
1,600 METERS: 1. Natasha Beaumont (JSU), 5:18.75; 2. Cicely Pinkston (TSU), 5.23.98; 3. Shaunticia Crawford (GSU), 5:28.41; 4. Christina Brown (GSU), 5:31.22; 5. Kenya Shields (MVSU), 5:32.08; 6. Sahaja Pitre (SU), 5:32.27; 7. Ebony Anderson (GSU), 5:34.50; 8. Maranda Holmes (ALC), 5:35.45.
400 METERS: 1. Ebony Chavis (SU), 56.88; 2. Tina Hull-Payne (SU), 56.92; 3. Samantha Pollard (ALC), 57.71; 4. Maharlin Mesidor (ALA), 58.58; 5. Nicole Griffin (UAPB), 58.90; 6. Ta'Meka Chopp (PV), 1:00.88; 7. Kera Walker (GSU), 1:03.15.
55-METER LOW HURDLES: 1. Noelle Salley (SU), 8:11; 2. Cassie Jackson (SU), 8.16; 3. Millicent Sylvan (ALC), 8.16; 4. Trudy Bihm (SU), 8.17; 5. Shontell Moore (ALC), 8.24; 6. Shakeetha Payne (SU), 8.28; 7. Erica Johnson (SU), 8.30; 8. Kia Callendar (SU), 8.36.
TRIPLE JUMP: 1. Millicent Sylvan (ALC), 39'01.75 (11.93m); 2. Kia Callender (SU), 38'05.00 (11.71); 3. Daniell Livingston (GSU), 37'06.00 (11.43); 4. Ariane LaCog (SU), 37'06.00 (11.43); 5. Erica Jones (SU), 37'00.50 (11.29); 6. Laura Bailey (PV), 36'07.00 (11.15); 7. Ursula Handy (SU), 36'05.50 (11.11); 8. Shakeetha Payne (SU), 36'00.00 (10.97).
800 METERS: 1. Natasha Beaumont (JSU), 2:18.23; 2. Cicely Pinkston (TSU), 2:19.96; 3. Claudia Anthony (SU), 2:20.43; 4. Kenya Warren (SU), 2:24.10; 5. Ebony Anderson (GSU), 2:24.30; 6. Meisi Monroe (SU), 2:26.35; 7. Kesha McDonald (ALC), 2:29.00; 8. Shaunticia Crawford (GSU), 2:29.47.
200 METERS: 1. LaChina Clay (SU), 24.63; 2. Erica Burrell (SU), 24.85; 3. Tia Talley (PV), 24.87; 4. Ashley Thompson (PV), 25.52; 5. Ebony Chavis (SU), 25.57; 6. Maharlin Mesidor (ALA), 25.63; 7. Samantha Pollard (ALC), 25.75; 8. Kera Walker (GSU), 26.19.
3000 METERS: 1. Natasha Beaumont (JSU), 11:13.14; 2. Leah Walker (SU), 11:15.84; 3. Christina Brown (GSU), 11:21.71; 4. Ebony Anderson (GSU), 11:27.61; 5. Kesha McDonald (ALC), 11:44.99; 6. Julie Swaney (JSU), 11:48.43; 7. Patricia Robinson (JSU), 11:48.88; 8. Sahaja Pitre (SU), 11:52.74.
4x400 RELAY: 1. Southern Univ., 3:50.77; 2. Alabama State, 3:54.72; 3. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 3:55.36; 4. Prairie View A&M, 3:59.32; 5. Grambling State, 4:01.05; 6. Alcorn State, 4:01.73; 7. Texas Southern, 4:04.13; 8. Miss. Valley State, 4:41.90.
FINAL WOMEN'S STANDINGS: 1. Southern Univ., 140 pts.; 2. Prairie View A&M, 139.5; 3. Grambling State, 67; 4. Jackson State, 62; 5. Alcorn State, 54.5; 6. Texas Southern, 14; 7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 26; 8. Alabama State, 21; 9. Miss. Valley State, 1.
21 Feb
SU CAPS UNDEFEATED YEAR WITH BOWLING CROWN
BATON ROUGE, La.
-- The Southern University women's bowling team was the epitome of a rags-to-riches story, rising from a 1-5 record and seventh place finish in the Southwestern Athletic Conference a year ago to an undefeated season and the league's second-ever championship this year.
The Lady Jaguars sport a 12-0 record after winning the SWAC title with a huge 321-pin victory over Texas Southern University in Saturday's championship match, which was contested here at the Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union on SU's campus. Southern finished the title match with a score of 2277 while TSU settled for 1956.
"They (Lady Jaguars) played their hearts out under tough conditions," said SU head coach Karen Couvillon. "The lanes were difficult and the shots were tough.
"As a team, they played together real well," added Couvillon. "They supported each other." Southern, which earned a berth to the championship after defeating Alcorn State on Friday in first round action, topped Texas Southern in the singles (500-417) and doubles (993-886) before winning the Baker's match, 784 to 653.
In Saturday's consolation match, Alcorn State defeated Alabama State 1984 to 1949. The Lady Braves won the singles (476-448) and tied the doubles (828-828) before winning the Bakers (680-673).
As has been the case much of the season, Dixie Melton, a freshman from San Diego, Calif., paced the Lady Jaguars, winning MVP honors with a two-day combined score of 1893. Four of her teammates also made the all-tournament team, including Michelle Rangel (1886), Beverly Burns (1874), Essence Harris (1861) and Twyla Joseph (1832).
The other members of the all-tournament team include Karla Moore (1850) and Temeka Parham of Alcorn State (1850), Kristy Blevins of Texas Southern (1814) and Sonya Skinner (1712) and Candace Stiger (1709) of Alabama State.
20 Feb
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Adarrial Smylie scored 21 points as Southern edged Alcorn 67-66, and remain alive for the SWAC title.
Reuben Stiff scored 18 points for the Braves.
Itta Bena, MS(OTW)-Vincent Jones scored 21 points with 15 rebounds as Jackson State picked up a 71-63 road win at Mississippi Valley State.
Marcus Metcalf scored 14 points for the losers.
Normal, AL(OTW)-Damien Crayton scored 19 points as Alabama A&M beat Texas Southern 79-68.
Leland Redmond scored 18 points for TSU.
Montgomery, AL(OTW)-Corey Williams and Terrance Simmons scored 15 points as Alabama State whipped Prairie View 88-75.
Jocquinn Arch scored 19 points for PV.
Pine Bluff, AR(OTW)-Thomas Dodd had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Grambling by Arkansas-Pine Bluff 87-69.
PV AND SU HOPE TO RETAIN SWAC INDOOR CROWNS
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A year ago, the Prairie View A&M University Panthers were a surprise winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference men's indoor track and field championship, beating out favorite and three-time defending champion Southern University for the title. It was the Panthers' first-ever league indoor crown.
In the women's championship, Southern's Lady Jaguars cruised to the 1998 crown, winning by a comfortable margin of 42.5 points over second place finisher Alcorn State University. The title was Southern's sixth straight.
On Saturday and Sunday, February 20-21, 1999, the Panthers and the Lady Jaguars will be out to prove that they're still the best in SWAC indoor track and field when the conference holds its annual championships for the third consecutive year at the LSU New Field House here in Baton Rouge. Field events get underway both days at 9 a.m. with running events starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Hoover J. Wright, Prairie View A&M's men's head coach, said his Panthers will have to improve upon last year's performance this weekend if they plan to retain their championship. "We'll need to score as many points as we did last year and improve on what we did at last year's meet," said Wright, whose team scored 114.5 points in 1998, 15.5 points better than Southern's runner-up total. "In careful observation and keeping up with the progress of the other teams in our conference, some have made vast improvements. Just to do as well as we did last year won't be sufficient."
Wright said several teams are capable of finishing where his team finished last year -- in first place. He listed Southern, Grambling State, Alabama State and Alcorn State as teams all capable of presenting the most serious threats to his team's defense of its championship.
"Southern has tradition and they don't like to lose the championship," said Wright. "Grambling has vastly improved and Alabama State has made quite some improvements. Alcorn State has come along likewise, but I think their women are a little stronger than their men."
Will "defending champion" status give the Panthers momentum going into this year's meet?
"We have to be very careful about that," noted Wright. "As a coach, you'd hope so, but sometimes after you win a championship like we did last year with a lot of young people, they tend to get a little complacent. They think that victories will just be handed to them. We're trying to keep them awake."
Southern's six straight women's SWAC titles are already a record. The Lady Jaguars are now gunning to solidify that record as they eye a possible seventh straight league crown.
"Right now, I think our women can run with anybody in the SWAC, especially in the 55 meters, the 200 and the 400," said SU head coach Johnny Thomas. "But it's questionable after that because we have a lot of freshmen and we don't know how they're going to react in their first SWAC championship. Our jumpers haven't jumped up to par thus far either."
Thomas isn't as optimistic about his men's team's chances of regaining the SWAC championship, but he's not ruling that out either.
"In that so many of our athletes haven't participated in a meet, I have no idea how they're going to perform," stated Thomas. "The teams in the SWAC have improved greatly and with the conference adding the 5,000-meter race to the men's championship, I think Jackson State would have to be the favorite going in, because they dominate the distances with the excellent distance runners that they have."
Willie McCoy, Jackson State's head men's and women's coach, said personnel numbers could likely keep either of his teams from winning the title.
"Prairie View and Southern are favorites in the men's championship because they have full teams -- 25 to 30 athletes," said McCoy. "They basically have the same teams back from last year. They can place athletes in every event.
"I favor Southern or Alcorn State to win the women's championship for the same reason as the men -- they have full teams," added McCoy. "Some schools can't put people in every event.
"We'll score all of our points in the distance events," said McCoy. "Unfortunately, there aren't enough distance events to win the meet. We need sprinters and field events people."
This year, there'll be a few new wrinkles in the SWAC indoor championships. Added to the women's schedule of events is the pole vault while the 5,000-meter run has been added to the men's schedule.
NEW CHAMP TO BE CROWNED AT BOWLING TOURNEY
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Defending champion Grambling State University won't be in the field of teams competing for the second annual Southwestern Athletic Conference bowling tournament, which will be held here on Friday and Saturday, February 19-20 at the Southern University Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union Lanes. Competition starts at 9 a.m. both days.
Also missing from the lineup will be Prairie View A&M University, last year's runner-up, as well as Mississippi Valley State University, which finished fourth at last year's tourney in Vicksburg, Miss.
This year's tournament, which will again feature the top two teams from the SWAC Eastern Division as well as the top two teams from the Western Division, will feature just one "oldtimer" along with three new teams.
Alcorn State University, the lone returning team from last year's inaugural tournament, sported an unblemished record before losing to Alabama State on February 12. The Lady Braves are 7-1 on the season, 5-1 against SWAC Eastern Division teams. Last year, ASU finished third at the tournament, a position head coach Anthony Woolfolk hopes to improve upon this time around.
"Since we're the only returning team from last year, we should have the experience to go into the tournament with a positive attitude," said Woolfork. "Southern wasn't in the tournament last year and neither were Texas Southern nor Alabama State.
"I think our team has been doing real well this season," added Woolfork. "Karla Moore is our top bowler and she should be able to win the singles title. With her and Tameka Parkham, who was All-SWAC last year, I hope that we can do okay in the tournament."
The Eastern Division's top seed will be Alabama State University, which is 8-2 overall on the season and 5-1 in conference play. The Lady Hornets edged Alcorn State for the top seed, based upon point spread in the head-to-head matches which they split.
"I think my bowlers are ready for the challenge," stated ASU head coach Latonia Thirston. "We're going to be prepared for the championships. This is what we have worked for all year."
The Western Division will be represented by Southern University and Texas Southern University, which easily finished first and second, respectively, in divisional play.
Southern's Lady Jaguars are the conference's only undefeated team. The Lady Jaguars posted a regular-season mark of 10-0 overall, 8-0 in the conference. Head coach Karen Couvillon said she's excited about her team's chances but hopes her bowlers aren't overconfident.
"I'm excited about the championships and I'm confident the team will do well," said Couvillon. "The girls are well-prepared and they're very good.
"I am concerned about overconfidence, but only because the girls seem to get a little more lax facing SWAC competition after having gone against some of the best in the country," added Couvillon. "But I'm thrilled to be a part of the championships. I think it's great for women's sports."
The number two seed from the Western Division will be Texas Southern University, which enters the tourney with records of 6-2 overall and in the conference. Head coach Rick Holden said beefed up recruiting has helped his program as well as the others in the SWAC.
"This conference will be the most competitive bowling conference in America," said Holden. "People around the country are calling in and inquiring about our program.
"We have three new young ladies who've come in and energized our team to the extent that we feel we have a very good chance of either winning or competing well," added Holden. "Our competitiveness level has increased a thousand percent. Kristy Blevins has provided leadership for us and we've improved in our bowling and overall play because of her. With good luck, we hope to win the entire thing this weekend."
1998-99 SWAC EASTERN DIVISION STANDINGS
(Through matches of Feb. 17, 1999)
- CONFERENCE - - OVERALL -
SCHOOL W L PCT STR W L PCT STR
Alabama State Univ.* 5 1 .830 W-4 8 2 .800 W-4
Alcorn State Univ.* 5 1 .830 L-1 7 1 .880 L-1
Miss. Valley State Univ. 1 4 .200 L-4 1 6 .140 L-6
Jackson State Univ. 0 5 .000 L-5 0 5 .000 L-5
1998-99 SWAC WESTERN DIVISION STANDINGS
(Through matches of Feb. 17, 1999)
- CONFERENCE - - OVERALL -
SCHOOL W L PCT STR W L PCT STR
Southern Univ.* 8 0 1.000 W-8 10 0 1.000 W-10
Texas Southern Univ.* 6 2 .750 W-1 6 2 .750 W-1
Grambling State Univ. 3 4 .430 W-1 3 4 .430 W-1
Prairie View A&M Univ. 2 6 .250 L-4 2 7 .290 L-4
Univ. of Ark.-Pine Bluff 0 7 .000 L-7 0 7 .000 L-7
*These teams have clinched berths to the second annual SWAC Bowling Tournament,
which will be hosted by Southern Univ. in Baton Rouge, La. on February 19-20, 1999.
15 Feb
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Terrance Cameron scored 17 points as Alcorn trashed Alabama State 78-53. The Braves shot 56 percent from the floor in the game.
Terrance Simmons scored 14 points for ASU.
Alcorn finishes the regular season with three straight road games (at Southern, Texas Southern, and Prairie View).
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Dionte Harvey scored 29 points as Southern pounded Alabama A&M 97-65 to stay alive in the SWAC title chase. Adarrial Smylie added 12 rebounds for the Jags.
Steven Ward had 13 points for A&M.
Prairie View, TX(OTW)-Omari Traylor had 15 points and 19 rebounds, and teammate Aron Thompson had 17 points and 18 rebounds, as Prairie View whipped Arkansas-Pine Bluff 106-81.
Terrance Duncan had 14 points and 10 rebounds for UAPB.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Faragi Phillips scored 28 points as Mississippi Valley State whipped Texas Southern 82-75 in overtime.
Ifey Anyanwu scored 18 for TSU.
The Women:
Houston, TX(OTW)-Sherry Surney scored 39 points (8-12 on 3-pointers, 13-20 FGs in game)) to lead Mississippi Valley 13-9, 11-2) to an 85-79 overtime win over Texas Southern.
Texas Southern's Sheila Pena was almost identical to Surney, scoring 39 points on 13-20 FGs overall. Pena was 7-10 on 3-pointers.
14 Feb
Texas Southern Takes Two From Alcorn
Play Ball!!
Houston, TX(OTW)
Game One-Alston Taylor
had two hits (including a double) and three RBIs as Texas Southern won the first game of a doubleheader from Alcorn 12-6 Sunday. TSU erased a 5-4 deficit by scoring four runs in the fourth inning. Ricardo Salazar got the win for the Tigers.
Alcorn third-baseman Dario Rosa had three hits and two runs batted in for the Braves. Carl Moore was the losing pitcher.
Game Two-Michael Goodie socked a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, breaking a 5-5 tie, and helped propel Texas Southern to a 9-7 win over Alcorn. The Tigers swept the doubleheader and the four-game series from the Braves.
TSU's Jason Roy had two hits and three RBIs in the contest.
Lonnie Satcher, a shortstop for Alcorn, homered in the contest.
TSU's Robert Heath picked up the win.
Brave Tilden Young took the loss.
13 Feb
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Reuben Stiff scored 18 points as Alcorn edged Alabama A&M 77-68.
Terrance Vanlier scored 19 for the losers.
Prairie View, TX(OTW)-Faragi Phillips pumped in 36 points, (6-11 3-pointers) as Mississippi Valley buried Prairie View 84-63.
Omari Traylor scored 15 for PV.
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Adarrial Smylie had 20 points and 12 rebounds as Southern pounded Alabama State 71-54.
Tyrone Levett had 12 points for ASU, which shot only 29 percent from the floor in the game.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Derick Malone and Leland Redmond scored 17 points apiece as Texas Southern beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 84-68.
Terrance Duncan scored 14 for the Lions.
In other action, Deon Burns tapped in a missed shot at the buzzer to give Jackson State a 65-63 win over Grambling.
The Women:
Houston, TX(OTW)-Pashon Murrayhad 15 points as Texas Southern defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 60-43.
Cherbritta Scott was the only UAPB player in double figures with 13 points.
12 Feb
Houston, TX(OTW)-Texas Southern head men's basketball coach Robert Moreland will not be on the bench Saturday night, when TSU hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Moreland was hospitalized after Thursday's practice due to dizziness. Tests are being run to find out the cause. Assistants Chris Parker and Kevin Adams will coach the team Saturday night.
11 Feb
UAPB NAMES NEW DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
PINE BLUFF, Ark. -- Earl Buckingham
, defensive line and special teams coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for the past six years, has been promoted to defensive coordinator. He replaces LaTraia Jones, who resigned in January to become the head football coach at Mississippi Valley State University.
Buckingham, a native of Pine Bluff, was a two-year starter at defensive tackle for Lou Holtz and the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. After an impressive senior season with the Razorbacks, he was chosen to the All-Southwest Conference squad and the Green Bay Packers signed him to a free agent contract. He also had brief stints with the Cleveland Browns and Hamilton of the Canadian Football League.
Before coming to UAPB, Buckingham coached the offensive linemen at Southern Arkansas University from 1990-92. He also served as offensive and defensive line coach from 1988-89 at Northwestern (La.) State University.
"Earl has done an outstanding job over the past six years," said UAPB head coach Lee Hardman. "He's one of the hardest working coaches on the staff. It's a great opportunity for him and I feel that he's going to do an excellent job for us as defensive coordinator."
11 Feb
SU QUARTERBACK SAM GEORGE TO APPEAR IN OLIVER STONE FILM
BATON ROUGE, La.
-- Southern University quarterback Stephen "Sam" George has been selected to play football in a film directed by the acclaimed Oliver Stone. The film is entitled, "On Any Given Sunday."
George will double for actor/comedian Jamie Foxx on the football field in a film about a young black quarterback acclimating himself to life in the NFL.
Jamie Foxx, having seen George perform in the 1998 Bayou Classic, chose George for the role after considering such talents as Doug Flutie and Kordell Stewart.
George became the Jaguars' sixth-leading passer after only eight starts during the 1998 season. The senior completed 133 of 261 passes for 1,935 yards, 20 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. George led the Jaguars to a record of 9-3, an undefeated conference record of 8-0 and a 28-2 McDonald's Heritage Bowl victory over Bethune-Cookman.
8 Feb
SWAC PRESIDENTS APPROVE FOOTBALL TITLE GAME
NEW ORLEANS
-- A proposed football championship game for the Southwestern Athletic Conference received a thumbs up from the league's Council of Presidents here on Monday.
The SWAC presidents, convening here at the Louisiana Superdome in a special session to discuss several important matters, gave the conference the go-ahead to finalize plans for the title game, which will make its debut in December.
"We're happy that the Council of President share our sentiments that a championship game in football will serve as the premiere sporting event in the SWAC," said league commissioner Rudy Washington. "We envision this game being more than just a football game. It'll mirror the pageantry of the biggest classics we have in addition to pumping much needed dollars into the coffers of our member institutions. We're convinced that this game will be humongous."
With membership in the SWAC growing to 10 after the addition of Alabama A&M University, the league voted last fall go implement divisional competition in every sport except for men's and women's basketball. Consequently, the new football championship game will pit the winner of the SWAC Eastern Division against the winner of the Western Division for the title and the ensuing berth to the McDonald's Heritage Bowl.
The SWAC Eastern Division will consist of Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University and Mississippi Valley State University. The Western Division will be comprised of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Grambling State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University and Texas Southern University.
Washington said the immediate tasks at hand will be to finalize a date for the game as well as a site.
"Right now, our options are to play the championship game either the first or second weekend in December," noted Washington, who's in his first year as SWAC commissioner. "Three cities have expressed interest in possibly hosting the game, those being Birmingham, Houston and New Orleans. We expect to make decisions on those matters within the next few weeks."
The SWAC football championship game will be the first of its kind for an NCAA Division I-AA conference. Several Division I-A conferences hold title games, including the Southeastern Conference, the Big 12 and the Western Athletic Conference.
The Southern-Praire View band incident was cleared up at this gathering. Nobody would go into any specifics, only to say the situation had been rectified.
8 Feb
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Vincent Jones had 21 points as Jackson State edged Prairie View 75-72.
Jocquinn Arch had 22 points for PV.
Pine Bluff, AR(OTW)-Reuben Stiff and Terrance Cameron had 14 points each as Alcorn smothered Arkansas-Pine Bluff 92-70.
Itta Bena, Miss(OTW)-Faragi Phillips scored 18 points as Prairie View routed Southern 86-58, putting a serious dent in SU's title hopes.
Aaron Bates scored 14 for the Jags.
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Thomas Dodd had 23 points and 11 rebounds as Grambling beat Texas Southern 69-66.
Ifey Anyanwu scored 17 for TSU.
In a non-conference game, Belmont beat Alabama A&M 86-68.
The Women:
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Felicia James
had 25 points and Nakesha Jewell had 12 rebounds as Grambling pounded Texas southern 90-58.
Grambling extended its home winning streak to 52 games, longest in the nation.
Elonna Britton and Shelia Pena had 11 points each for TSU.
6 Feb
Itta Bena, MS(OTW)-Karl Jones scored 15 points as Alcorn State maintained a cushion on first place with a 79-74 win at Mississippi Valley.
Marcus Metcalf scored 24 points for Valley.
Pine Bluff, AR(OTW)-Dionte Harvey scored 25 points as Southern beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 90-72, to maintain striking distance of Alcorn.
Terrance Duncan scored 14 for UAPB.
Montgomery, AL(OTW)-Terrance Simmons scored 25 points with 14 rebounds as Alabama State beat Alabama A&M 97-86.
Miguel Smith led A&M with 21 points.
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Deon Burns scored 14 points to lead Jackson State by Texas Southern 59-54.
Ifey Anyanwu led TSU with 17 points.
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Jochquinn Arch had 24 points as Prairie View shocked Grambling 95-89.
Thomas Dodd added 20 points for Grambling.
5 Feb
Prairie View and Southern Schedule Meeting
PRAIRIE VIEW, SOUTHERN TO RECONCILE DIFFERENCES
NEW ORLEANS
-- Officials of Prairie View A&M University and Southern University are scheduled to meet here on Monday, February 8, 1999 to put to rest the tensions between the two universities which have existed since the schools' marching bands were part of an altercation during halftime of a football game in Beaumont, Tex. last September.
This "reconciliation meeting" is slated for 12 noon at the Board Room at the Louisiana Superdome. It'll be part of a larger meeting of all of the Southwestern Athletic Conference presidents, who'll be in town to also discuss a proposed SWAC football championship game for this fall as well as the league's proposed television package. Only the reconciliation meeting will be open to the media.
"We're extremely delighted that the president of Prairie View A&M and chancellor of Southern are taking the steps necessary to bring this band incident to a close," said William Harris, the president of Alabama State University and the president of the SWAC Council of Presidents. "Last fall's incident was an unfortunate one and now, perhaps, the healing process between the two schools can begin."
Charles A. Hines, Prairie View A&M's president, and Edward Jackson, Southern's chancellor, will both be in attendance when the Council of Presidents convenes on Monday. SWAC commissioner Rudy Washington said both seem to be determined to bring the band matter to a close.
"While we can't go back and change history, we can do things now that can positively affect our future," stated Washington. "This meeting of the minds is one such thing. I believe the two institutions are ready to extend an olive branch to each other. That's good, not only just for Prairie View A&M and Southern, but it's good for our conference and for college sports overall."
2 Feb
According to a story by ESPN, former Chicago Bear and Jackson State football great Walter Payton needs a liver transplant. Peyton has been diagnosed with a disease called sclerosing cholangitis, a malady which blocks the bile ducts. According to Peyton's physician, Dr. Joseph Lagattuta, people in this condition can survive two years without a transplant.
Peyton is a the National Football League's all-time leading rusher.
2 Feb
Prairie View, TX(OTW)-Derick Malone scored 16 points and as Texas Southern defeated Prairie View 69-61. It was the fourth straight win for Texas Southern.
Gregory Burks had a game-high 31 points for PV.
2 Feb
SWAC Hoops
PHILLIPS BATTLES BACK FROM INJURY

A year ago, Faragi Phillips watched basketball games from the stands, recovering from a debilitating back injury that not only kept him from playing the game he loved, but it prevented him from even being able to lift a ball.
A grueling rehabilitation process now has Phillips back on the court and leading the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils' hopes of a late-season charge towards a winning season and a shot at the Southwestern Athletic Con- ference championship.
A 6-3 senior guard from Grenada, Miss., Phillips fractured several discs in his back prior to the start of the 1997-98 season and had to miss the entire year.
"It was real tough. Those were the worst days of my life," recalled Phillips. "I had never missed a game with an injury. A lot of people told me I wouldn't be the same, so I thought it would be hard for me to get back to where I was before the injury.
"My first game back, I was very excited," said Phillips. "I can't even explain how I felt. But I was sort of out of control. I had to get used to it again."
Fortunately for Phillips, it didn't take long for him to get back in the groove and he's now one of the premiere guards in the SWAC. His 20.8 scoring average paces the SWAC as does his average of 3.47 steals per contest. He ranks fourth in the league in three-point shooting (.382), sixth in free throw percentage (.743) and 10th in assists (2.20 pg). In essence, he's more of a complete player now than he's ever been.
"Faragi's our leader. He's been getting the job done for us," said MVSU head coach Lafayette Stribling. "He's been on championship teams before and he knows what it takes to win.
"We expect a lot of Faragi, maybe sometimes too much," added Stribling. "He gets the chemistry going on our team."
Is his recovery complete? Stribling said it's close.
"He had to get his game back," Stribling continued. "Being out a year, it was difficult. But looking at where he is now says a lot about his character.
"He's a tough kid," added Stribling. "He's not at full strength, but I'd rather have 80 percent of Faragi than 100 percent of some others. He's something special."
SWAC MEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Feb. 1, 1999)

TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Alcorn State 9-1 .900 14-5 .737
Southern Univ. 8-2 .800 13-5 .722
Miss. Valley 5-4 .556 8-10 .444
Jackson State 5-5 .500 8-11 .421
Alabama State 5-5 .500 7-12 .368
Texas Southern 4-4 .500 6-11 .353
Grambling State 3-7 .300 3-16 .158
Prairie View 2-6 .250 3-14 .176
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-8 .111 2-16 .111
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Adarrial Smylie, Southern Univ. (6-7, Jr., C, Darrow, La.): In wins over Grambling (82-60) and Jackson State (84-73), Smylie averaged 22.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 3.0 blocked shots. He had 21 points, 11 boards and five blocks vs. GSU and 23 points and 8 boards vs. J-State.
SWAC WOMEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Feb. 1, 1999)

TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Grambling State 10-0 1.000 15-4 .789
Miss. Valley 7-2 .778 9-9 .500
Jackson State 6-4 .600 12-6 .667
Alabama State 6-4 .600 11-8 .579
Texas Southern 4-4 .500 8-12 .400
Alcorn State 4-6 .400 10-9 .526
Southern Univ. 3-7 .300 9-10 .474
Prairie View A&M 1-7 .125 3-13 .188
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-8 .111 1-17 .056
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Felicia James, Grambling State (5-11, Sr., G, Virgin Islands): In wins over Southern (89-83) and Alcorn State (86-74), James posted averages of 20.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 3.5 steals and 1.0 blocked shots. Her averages included 25 points, seven rebounds and six steals at SU as well as 16 points and three boards at ASU.
MEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE - The ASU Hornets' up-and-down season continued during the past week as they beat Ark.-PB 69-55 before falling to Miss. Valley, 67-63. The starting five scored only 33 of ASU's 63 points vs. UAPB and only 32 of the 63 points vs. MVSU. Morever, the starting guards scored a total of just 14 combined points in the two games.
ALCORN STATE - The ASU Braves securely held onto the SWAC lead with impressive wins over Jackson State (75-62) on Jan. 30 and 93-62 over Grambling on Feb. 1. Reuben Stiff had 22 points to lead ASU past JSU while Eddrick Wheaton had 18 vs. GSU. ASU is 14-5 overall and 9-1 in the SWAC.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF - The Golden Lions broke a 10- game skid with a huge 109-91 road win over Alabama A&M on Feb. 1, marking just their second win in 18 games. Forward Shawn Eldridge was UAPB's star with 29 points, six rebounds and four assists in this non-conference clash.
GRAMBLING STATE - The Tigers dipped to 3-16 overall and 3-7 in the SWAC following big losses at Southern (82-60) on Jan. 30 and Alcorn St. (93-62) on Feb. 1. The losses broke a two-game GSU winning streak.
JACKSON STATE - JSU's three-game winning streak halted with back-to-back losses at Alcorn St. (75-62) on Jan. 30 and Southern (93-62) on Feb. 1 after leading at halftime of both games. The Tigers were outscored by 15 points in the second half vs. ASU and by 16 in the second half by SU.
MISS. VALLEY STATE - Following a 15-point non- conference (95-80) loss at Alabama A&M on Jan. 30, the MVSU Delta Devils rebounded with a 67-63 SWAC win at Alabama St. two nights later. The win gave MVSU sole possession of third place in the conference.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - The Panthers' lone game of the week resulted in a 10-point loss at Texas Southern (83-73) on Jan. 30. The two rivals are slated to play again on Feb. 2 at PV.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - The Jaguars kept pace with league- leading Alcorn State with big wins over both Grambling (82- 60) on Jan. 30 and Jackson St. (84-73) on Feb. 1. In the win over JSU, the Jags hit 30 of 46 free throw attempts while JSU shot 20 of 30. SU's 13-5 overall and 8-2 in the SWAC.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - The TSU Tigers were victorious in their only outing of the week, an 83-73 home win over rival Prairie View. After a 1-10 start, the Tigers are 6-11 after winning three straight games of five of their last six contests.
WOMEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE - ASU moved into a third-place tie in the SWAC standings with a 6-4 record following a 66-43 win over Ark.-PB on Jan. 30 and a 54-35 win over Miss. Valley on Feb. 2. Currently 11-8, the team is attempting to post its first winning season since going 15-13 in 1993-94.
ALCORN STATE - Quersiton Hayes scored 20 points and four other players scored in double figures, but it wasn't enough to avert an 86-74 loss to Grambling on Feb. 1. Currently 10-9 overall, ASU is fighting to avoid its first losing season since 1988-89 when the team went 11-16.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF- The UAPB Lionettes' trying season continued on Jan. 30 with a 66-43 loss to Alabama St. Akeshia Robinson scored 11 points, the only UAPB player in double figures.
GRAMBLING STATE - Termika Mitchell became the SWAC's second-leading scorer on the season (16.7 ppg) following a 24-point performance in an 86-74 win over Alcorn St. on Feb. 1 as head coach Rusty Ponton celebrated his 35th birthday. The team is on an 11-game winning streak and has an NCAA-leading 50-game home court winning streak.
JACKSON STATE - Denise Franklin scored 21 points in a 61-52 win vs. Alcorn State on Jan. 30 and poured in 27 points in a 70-68 win over SU on Feb. 2. Currently tied for third in the conference standings with a 6-4 record, JSU is the SWAC's top defensive team, allowing 60.4 ppg.
MISS. VALLEY STATE - MVSU lost a non-SWAC contest to Alabama A&M (69-56) on Jan. 30 and a SWAC game to Alabama State (54-35) on Feb. 2. MVSU scored just nine first-half points vs. Alabama State, the second lowest figure by a SWAC team this season.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - With just three wins on the year, PVAMU needs four more to equal last season's total of seven. The team's record dropped to 3-13 on Jan. 30 with a 61-54 loss vs. TSU.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - Letitia Hall scored 25 points and made seven assists in an 85-80 loss vs. Tex.-Pan American on Jan. 27 and scored 27 points and made seven assists in an 89-83 loss vs. Grambling on Jan. 30.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - TSU's three-game winning streak is the team's longest since the 1992-93 season. The team's latest win was a 61-54 victory over Prairie View on Jan. 30, improving its home record to 6-2.
1 Feb
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Eddrick Wheaton scored 18 points as Alcorn beat Grambling 93-62. Alcorn won it's 12th straight game at home.
Kenneth Haynes scored 21 for Grambling.
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Adarrial Smylie scored 23 points as Southern beat Jackson State 84-73. The Jags remained two games behind Alcorn.
Antwan McAfee scored 11 for Jackson State.
Normal, AL(OTW)-Shawn Eldridge scored 29 points as Arkansas-Pine Bluff shocked Alabama A&M 109-91.
Terrance Vanlier had 31 points and 11 rebounds for A&M.
UAPB shot 56 percent from the floor in the game.
In another contest, Mississippi Valley picked up a big road win, defeating Alabama State 67-63.
30 Jan
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Reuben Stiff scored 22 points as Alcorn defeated Jackson State 75-62, putting a serious dent in any regular season title hopes for the Tigers.
Marino Walker scored 13 points for J-State.
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Adarrial Smylie had 22 points as Southern coasted by Grambling 82-60.
Chris Thomas had 16 points for the G-Men.
Normal, AL(OTW)-Terrance VanLier had 29 points as Alabama A&M cruised by Mississippi Valley 95-80.
Faragi Phillips and Marcus Metcalf scored 20 points each for Mississippi Valley.
A&M (9-9, 6-4) begins to look like a serious darkhorse in the SWAC race.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Roderick Beechem scored 18 points as Texas Southern whipped Prairie View 83-73.
It was the third straight win for TSU (6-11, 4-4). Ifey Anyawu had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the winners.
Gregory Burks scored 18 points for Prairie View.
The Women:
Houston, TX(OTW)-Elonna Britton had 13 points and 10 rebounds as Texas Southern beat Prairie View 61-54.
PV's Felicia Tarver had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
26 Jan
BRAVES BACK IN FAMILIAR SPOT - #1
It may have taken them 13 years to return to that plateau, but the Alcorn State University Braves have finally ascended to the top of the Southwestern Athletic Conference basketball standings.
Sporting SWAC-best records of 7-1 in the league and 12-5 overall, the Braves are showing glimpses of their old glory days, when they were a national power, becoming the first team from an historically African- American university to play in and win games in the NCAA Div. I tournament as well as the NIT. From the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, ASU won seven SWAC regular-season titles and eight SWAC tourney crowns en route to earning four NCAA and two NIT berths.
But after ASU fell on hard times in the late 1980s, heralded head coach Davey Whitney was ousted in 1989. Two head coaching changes later, he was rehired in 1996 and he already has the Braves back on track.
"I didn't give any thought to returning here when I left," recalled Whitney. "But when the job last opened up, I reluctantly applied because several (ASU) alumni asked me to.
"I came back for us to be very competitive," added Whitney. "We're more competitive now than we were two years ago. I didn't promise a championship, I just promised to be competitive. If a champion- ship comes, then that's good."
What's good for the ASU faithful is the fact that the Braves have taken on the best the SWAC has to offer and they've faltered just once, that a humiliating 70- 53 loss to rival Jackson State on Jan. 2. The team's last outing saw them dismantle a Southern Univ. squad which was picked to tie ASU for the SWAC title. After leading by as many as 26 points, ASU won 82-67.
"We've played very well the last three games," said Whitney. "Our defense has been good all year, especially against Southern. The point margin certainly was surprising. I had no idea the game would go like that."
Whitney said balance is the name of the game at ASU. He stated, "The strength of our ball club is depth. We have no letup after we substitute. We've had people to step up for us all season."
SWAC MEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 25, 1999)

TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Alcorn State 7-1 .875 12-5 .706
Southern Univ. 6-2 .688 11-5 .706
Jackson State 5-3 .625 8-9 .471
Miss. Valley 4-4 .500 7-9 .438
Alabama State 4-4 .500 6-11 .353
Texas Southern 3-4 .429 5-11 .313
Grambling State 3-5 .375 3-14 .176
Prairie View 2-5 .286 3-13 .188
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-7 .125 1-15 .063
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Thomas Dodd, Grambling State (6-10, Sr., C, Bradle, Ark.): In wins over Ark.-PB (89-74) and Miss. Valley (76- 64), Dodd averaged 20.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 3.0 blocked shots. He had 27 points and 11 boards vs. UAPB and 13 points and 18 boards vs. MVSU.
SWAC WOMEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 25, 1999)

TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Grambling State 8-0 1.000 13-4 .765
Miss. Valley 7-1 .875 9-7 .563
Jackson State 4-4 .500 10-6 .625
Alcorn State 4-4 .500 10-7 .588
Alabama State 4-4 .500 9-8 .529
Texas Southern 3-4 .429 7-12 .368
Southern Univ. 3-5 .375 9-7 .563
Prairie View A&M 1-6 .143 3-12 .200
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-7 .125 1-15 .063
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kanesha Randle, Texas Southern (6-1, Fr., F/C, San Angelo, Tex.): In wins over Alabama A&M (79-63) and Alabama St. (59-56), Randle averaged 21.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.0 blocks. She had 24 points and 9 boards vs. AAMU and 18 points with 10 boards vs. ASU.
MEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE - ASU split games in Texas on Jan. 23 and 25, beating Prairie View (58-50) before losing to Texas Southern (79-73). The Hornets failed in their bid to win back- to-back games for only the third time this season.
ALCORN STATE - The ASU Braves are alone atop the SWAC standings at this stage of the season for the first time in 13 years, the last time the team won a SWAC title. Their six-game winning streak is the longest in the SWAC this season. ASU dismantled Southern (82-67) in their last outing.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF - Since beating Miss. Valley on Dec. 7 (75-62), the UAPB Golden Lions haven't tasted victory, losing nine consecutive games. The lastest losses were at Grambling on Jan. 23 (89-74) and at Jackson State on Jan. 25 (70-59). The team's 1-15 overall, 1-7 in the SWAC.
GRAMBLING STATE - After starting off the season at 0-12, the GSU Tigers have won three of their last five contests, including back-to-back wins at home over Ark.-PB (89-74) on Jan. 23 and Miss. Valley (76-64) on Jan. 25. Senior center Thomas Dodd is the SWAC player of the week after averaging 20.0 pts., 14.5 rebs., 3.0 asts., 3.0 blks. and 2.5 stls.
JACKSON STATE - The up-and-down JSU Tigers are currently up after beating Ark.-PB (70-59) in Jackson on Jan. 25, two nights after a down episode against Miss. Valley, a game they lost by 10 points (89-79).
MISS. VALLEY STATE - MVSU's Faragi Phillips continues to blaze the trails, solidifying his SWAC scoring lead with 30 points at Jackson St. on Jan. 23 and 15 points at Grambling on Jan. 25. His season average stands at 21.7 ppg.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - The Panthers have lost eight of their last 10 games following back-to-back home defeats to Alabama St. (58-50) on Jan. 23 and Alabama A&M (96-83) on Jan. 25. The team's 3-13 overall and 2-5 in the SWAC.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - SU's 10-2 season is now 11-5 as the team's lost three of four games. Following a huge 92-67 defeat at Alcorn St. on Jan. 23, the team narrowly beat heavy underdog Texas College in Baton Rouge on Jan. 25 (84-82).
TEXAS SOUTHERN - After being one of the SWAC's coldest teams for much of the season, TSU's now one of the hottest, having won four of their last five games, including back-to-back wins over Alabama A&M (65-60) and Alabama St. (79-73), both in Houston. The team's 5-11 overall and 3-4 in the SWAC.
WOMEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE - Not one ASU player scored in double figures in the team's 52-39 loss at PVAMU on Jan. 23. Leikeisha Broughton, who leads the SWAC in field goal pct. (.610), led the team in scoring with nine points.
ALCORN STATE - ASU hosted SU on Jan. 23, winning 72- 60. Daisha Reed led all scorers with 18 points. Quersiton Haynes added 15 points and Cherea Wood scored 14 points. Wood leads the team and ranks 10th in the SWAC in scoring with a 12.7 average.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF - Juwanna Polk led the team in scoring with 19 points in a 95-68 loss at GSU on Jan. 23. She leads the SWAC in blocks with a 1.75 avg. and ranks second in rebounding with 9.2 boards a game.
GRAMBLING STATE - GSU extended the nation's longest home court win streak to 50 games with a 95-68 win over Ark.-PB on Jan. 23 and a 101-72 win over Miss. Valley on Jan. 25. GSU now has the ninth longest home court winning streak of all time. Entering the MVSU contest, both teams were 7-0.
JACKSON STATE - Tameika Hill, the SWAC's leading scorer (17.3 ppg), scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 67-61 loss vs. MVSU on Jan. 23. Jillian Reynolds has missed just five free throw attempts on the year (45-of-50) and leads the SWAC with a .900 pct.
MISS. VALLEY STATE - MVSU missed an opportunity to take the sole lead in the SWAC standings after suffering its first conference loss of the season at Grambling on Jan. 25 (101-72). Team leader Sherry Surney failed to score vs. GSU.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - Felecia Tarver, the SWAC's top rebounder (11.4 pg), grabbed 14 boards in PVAMU's 52-39 win over Alabama St. on Jan. 23. Four players posted double figures in the team's 66-60 win vs. Alabama A&M on Jan. 25.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - Starry Brady moved from fifth to fourth place among the SWAC's scoring leaders with a 14.6 average following a 14-point performance in a 72-60 loss at Alcorn St. on Jan. 23.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Kanesha Randle led all scorers with 24 points in TSU's 79-63 win vs. Alabama A&M on Jan. 23 and again with 18 points in a 59-56 win vs. Alabama State on Jan. 25, winning SWAC player of the week. The team's seven victories are double the wins they've mustered the past two seasons.
25 Jan
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Vincent Jones had 20 points as Jackson State subdued Arkansas-Pine Bluff 70-59.
Terrance Duncan scored 11 points for the losers.
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Chris Thomas had 23 points and 14 rebounds as Grambling beat Mississippi Valley 76-64. The loss dealt a serious blow to the Delta Devils' regular season title hopes.
Marcus Metcalf had 17 markers for the losers.
Prairie View, TX(OTW)-Terrance Vanlier scored 30 points as Alabama A&M beat Prairie View 96-83.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Patrick Dyse scored 23 points as Texas Southern beat Alabama State 79-73.
Courtney Stephens scored 19 points for ASU, who lost despite shooting 56 percent from the fiels.
In a non-league game Southern beat Texas College 84-82.
Adarrial Smylie had 27 points and 10 rebounds for SU.
The Women
Houston, TX(OTW)-Kanesha Randle scored 18 points as Texas Southern (7-12, 3-4) edged Alabama State (9-8, 4-4) 59-56. Randle also had 10 rebounds.
Felicia Arrington scored 14 for the losers.
23 Jan
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Reuben Stiff had 21 points, five assists, and six rebounds, as Alcorn belted Southern 82-67. The Braves moved two games out in front of Southern with the win.
Adarrial Smylie led SU with 17 points. The Jags lost their third straight game.
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Faragi Phillips scored 30 points as Mississippi Valley whipped Jackson State 87-79. The win put the Delta Devils in a third-place tie with Southern.
Vincent Jones had 25 points and 11 rebounds for JSU.
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Thomas Dodd had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Chris Thomas had 26 points and 12 rebounds as Grambling upended Arkansas-Pine Bluff 89-74.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Derick Malone had 16 points as Texas Southern beat Alabama A&M 65-60 in a mild upset.
Miguel Smith led A&M with 15 points.
In other action, Alabama State beat Prairie View 58-50.
The Women:
Houston, TX(OTW)-Kanesha Randle scored 24 points as Texas Southern pounded Alabama A&M 79-63.
Cecilia Snipes scored 12 for A&M.
SWAC NAMES NEW COORDINATORS OF OFFICIALS
COLEMAN HIRED AS FOOTBALL OFFICIALS
COORDINATOR
NEW ORLEANS -- George H. Coleman,
a former official in the National Football League as well as three collegiate conferences, has been hired as the new coordinator of football officials for the Southwestern Athletic Conference. His appointment becomes effective immediately.
A 1975 graduate of Bishop College in Dallas, Tex., Coleman's responsibilities with the SWAC will include the recruitment of football game officials, on-going training of officials and the assignment of officials to athletic contests. He'll also be responsible for devising and implementing an evaluating tool for officials.
Coleman said the experience he has gained in his 21 years as an official should help him in his quest to elevate the image of officiating in the SWAC.
"Having had an opportunity to work with officials all over the country and to work with the best officials around should be an advantage for me," said Coleman. "You can't work in those situations and not learn. It's given me valuable hands-on experience."
From 1984-87, Coleman worked as a football official in the Lone Star Conference. That was followed by stints as an official in the Southland Conference (1987-89) and the Southwest Conference (1987-92). He then worked as an NFL official from 1993-97. He's currently serving as a scout for the NFL.
"We're pleased to be able to hire someone with Coleman's vast experience to head our football officiating program," said SWAC commissioner Rudy Washington. "Although it'll be a step-by-step process to improve officiating in our conference, I believe Coleman will be able to make an immediate positive impact."
Coleman, who mentored 10 football officials who're now working on the NCAA Division I-A level, is married to the former Jodie Jessie of Tyler, Tex. The couple has two daughters, the youngest a freshman at the University of Texas at Arlington.
* * * * *
McELROY NAMED SUPERVISOR OF BASEBALL OFFICIALS
NEW ORLEANS -- Charles McElroy,
an active official in three collegiate conferences, has been hired as the new coordinator of baseball officials for the Southwestern Athletic Conference. He'll work alongside retiring coordinator Lawrence Collins during the 1999 season and will assume full responsibilities afterwards.
A native of Jackson, Miss., a graduate of Wiley College in Marshall, Tex. and a 1984 inductee into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, McElroy has officiated baseball games in the Atlantic Coast Conference (1993-present), Conference USA (1993-present), the Gulf South Conference (1980-present), the Metro Conference (1980-86) and the SWAC (1985). He's umpired in seven NCAA regional tournaments between 1990 and 1997 as well as two NAIA regionals (1993 and 1997). He's the founder and former president of the Mississippi Collegiate Umpires Association.
"I'm a firm believer in mechanics and in educating officials," said McElroy. "I want to make all of our officials accountable for their actions.
"It'll be a tough road ahead of me, but through clinics, etc., I believe that we can get officiating in the SWAC up to a level that we can be pleased with," added McElroy.
Off the field, McElroy works as a phlebotomist with Saint Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Miss., performing lab testing and typing of red blood cells.
"McElroy is a well-respected individual both on and off the baseball field," said SWAC commissioner Rudy Washington. "His work habits and the quality of his work have distinguished him in the sports world as well as in the workplace."
SWAC Hoops
GSU TAKES NCAA HOME COURT LEAD
One of the most respected and awesome powers in all of women's basketball is also now the home to the nation's longest home court winning streak.
Grambling State Univer- sity, 11-4 overall and 6-0 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, has won an incredible 48 consecutive home games since 1994. That mark is the longest active streak in NCAA Div. I women's basketball, thanks to a recent Connecticut loss, which stopped its streak at 54.
"I'd attribute our success at home to the fact that we've developed a good basketball program here," said David Ponton, in his third season as GSU's head coach. "There's an im- mense amount of pride among our young ladies and our fans. We have a tremendous amount of support from our pep band and our cheerleaders. It makes it tough on opposing teams."
The last time the Lady Tigers' suffered a loss at home was back on Jan. 27, 1994 when they fell to Ole Miss, 73-55. Since then, the squad has been unstoppable at home, a fact attested to by several GSU opponents.
"It's tough to play anywhere, but Grambling has athletes who believe they can win and believe no one is supposed to come on their home court and beat them," said Alcorn State's Shirley A. Walker. "They have the people who can do the job. They believe no one in our conference can come close to beating them. It's not so much GSU's home court as it is the talent that they have."
Andrew Pennington, whose Jackson State team is usually one of the squads battling GSU for SWAC titles, said GSU is hard to beat at home and away.
"Probably in the conference, if Grambling isn't the toughest place to play at, then it's near the top," said Pennington. "Their arena is a small place, it's usually warm and the close proximity of the fans to courtside makes it tough. Plus, their arena is always close to capacity every time we play them."
What does having the NCAA's longest home court winning streak mean to the GSU program?
"It verifies the fact that we have a good program here," said Ponton. "Every one has stood by us in good times as well as bad."
SWAC MEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 19, 1999) TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Southern Univ. 6-1 .857 10-4 .714
Alcorn State 6-1 .857 11-5 .688
Jackson State 4-2 .667 7-8 .467 Alabama State 3-3 .500 5-10 .333
Miss. Valley 3-3 .500 6-8 .429
Prairie View 2-4 .333 3-11 .214
Texas Southern 2-4 .333 3-11 .214
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-5 .167 1-13 .071
Grambling State 1-5 .167 1-14 .067
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Faragi Phillips, Miss. Valley (6-3, Sr., G, Grenada, Miss.): In wins over Prairie View (82-74) and Texas Southern (65- 63), Phillips averaged 24.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals. He hit a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left for the win over TSU, a game in which he had 23 points, 6 rebounds, two assists and one steal.
SWAC WOMEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 19, 1999) TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Grambling State 6-0 1.000 11-4 .733
Miss. Valley 6-0 1.000 8-3 .727
Alabama State 4-2 .667 9-5 .643
Jackson State 3-3 .500 9-5 .643
Southern Univ. 3-4 .429 9-6 .600
Alcorn State 3-4 .429 8-7 .533
Texas Southern 2-4 .333 5-12 .294
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-5 .167 1-13 .071
Prairie View A&M 0-6 .000 1-11 .083
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nicole Miller, Alabama State (5-8, Fr., G/F, Detroit, Mich.): In wins over Southern (67-54) and Alcorn State (67-64 in 2 ot), Miller averaged 22.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals. She had 22 points, four boards, one assist and three steals in the overtime win over ASU.
MEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE - ASU split league games at home with Southern (97-87 win) and Alcorn St. (65-59 loss) but remains just two wins out of first place with records of 3-3 in the SWAC and 5-10 overall. Freshman forward Tyrone Levell averaged 17.5 points and 4.5 boards in the two games.
ALCORN STATE - Their 65-59 win at Alabama St. coupled with Southern's 97-87 loss at 'Bama St. two nights earlier placed the ASU Braves in a first place tie with SU with a 6-1 mark (11-5 overall). Head coach Davey Whitney said, "I think we've found a little bit of a niche in that we can play ball together."
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF - Home wasn't kind to the UAPB Golden Lions as they lost close games to Texas Southern (69- 60) on Jan. 16 and Prairie View (8-79) on Jan. 18. The losses kept UAPB tied with Grambling for last place in the SWAC with records of 1-5 in the league and 1-13 overall.
GRAMBLING STATE - The Tigers' only game of the week was an 84-74 defeat at home to Jackson St. GSU is tied with Ark.-PB for last in the SWAC with marks of 1-5 in the SWAC (1-14 overall).
JACKSON STATE - JSU's 84-74 win at Grambling gave JSU a 4-2 record in the SWAC (7-8 overall) and placed the team a game-and-a-half out of first place. Center Vincent Jones had two blocks vs. GSU, giving him a season average of 3.0 per game, No.2 in the SWAC.
MISS. VALLEY STATE - Wins at home over Prairie View (82-74) and Texas Southern (65-63) evened MVSU's SWAC record at 3-3 (6-8 overall). It took a Faragi Phillips' 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to propel the team past TSU on Jan. 18.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - The PVAMU Panthers overcame an 82-74 loss at Miss. Valley with an 80-79 win at Ark.-PB on Jan. 18. Greg Burks came off the bench to net 19 points in the win over UAPB.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - The red hot SU Jaguars went ice cold in their swing through Alabama, losing at Alabama St. on Jan. 16 (97-87) and at Alabama A&M on Jan. 18 (104-90). They lost sole possession of first place in the SWAC but are tied with Alcorn State at 6-1 (10-4 overall).
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Following a 69-60 win at Ark.-PB on Jan. 16, the TSU Tigers came less than three seconds of beating Miss. Valley but lost when MVSU's Faragi Phillips hit a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, losing 65-63.
WOMEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE - In ASU's 67-64 2-OT victory against Alcorn St. on Jan. 18, Nichole Miller led all scorers with 22 points. She also led the team in scoring with 23 points in a 67-54 win over Southern on Jan. 16. In the process, she earned SWAC player of the week honors.
ALCORN STATE - ASU's conference record dropped to 3-4 following a 67-64 loss at Alabama St. on Jan. 18. Cherea Wood led the team in scoring with 13 points following a 23- point effort vs. Alabama A&M on Jan. 16. Head coach Shirley Walker stated, "Wood has played real well for us and she is our go-to person."
GRAMBLING STATE - GSU owns the nation's longest home court win streak (48 games) following an 86-66 win over Jackson St. on Jan. 16. Junior LaKinya Currie suffered a season-ending injury to her right knee in GSU's Jan. 12 game vs. Texas Southern Two seasons ago, as a freshman, she suffered a season-ending injury to her left knee, causing her to miss a significant part of that season as well.
JACKSON STATE - Tameika Hill became the SWAC's leading scorer (17.9 ppg) following a 26-point performance in an 86-66 loss vs. Grambling on Jan. 16. She also ranks second in the SWAC in blocks (1.86 bpg) and is third in field goal pct. (.545).
MISS. VALLEY STATE - MVSU sports a 6-0 SWAC record and is tied with GSU for first place. Tonya Turner, who's ranked seventh in the conference in scoring this week (14.0 ppg), has somewhat replaced sharpshooter Sherry Surney as the team's primary point-producer. Turner led the team in scoring with 25 points vs. Texas Southern on Jan. 18 and with 19 points vs. Prairie View on Jan. 16.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - Elisha Winters grabbed 10 rebounds in a 76-63 loss at Miss. Valley on Jan. 16 and Letisha Washington pulled down 10 rebounds in a 61-53 loss vs. Ark.- PB on Jan. 18.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - Starry Brady, the SWAC's No.5 scorer (14.7 ppg), led the team in scoring with 15 points in a 67-54 loss vs. Alabama St. on Jan. 16 and with 17 points in a 63-58 win vs. Alabama A&M on Jan. 18.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Kanesha Randle scored 16 points, the only TSU player in double-figures, in a 54-53 win at Ark.-PB on Jan. 16. Sharpshooter Sheila Pena was held to just 9 points but she rebounded in an 80-66 loss at Miss. Valley with a 21- point performance, making 5 three-pointers.
**********************************
18 Jan
Montgomery, AL(OTW)-Eddrick Wheaton scored 14 points as Alcorn defeated Alabama State 65-59, and took the lead in the SWAC race.
Tyrone Levett scored 22 points for the Hornets.
Huntsville, AL(OTW)-Terrance Vanlier scored 35 points with 11 rebounds as Alabama A&M hounded Southern 104-90. Miguel Smith added 19 for the Bulldogs.
Aaron Bates led SU with 23 points.
Itta Bena, MS(OTW)-Faragi Phillips scored 21 points as Mississippi Valley State edged Texas Southern 65-63. The Delta Devis (6-8, 4-3) remained in striking distance of Alcorn and Southern with the win.
Patrick Dyse and Leland Redmond scored 12 each for TSU.
In another score, Prairie View edged Arkansas-Pine Bluff 80-79.
The Women:
Itta Bena, MS(OTW)-Tonya Turner scored 25 points (11-14 Fts) as Mississippi Valley beat Texas Southern 80-66. MVSU maintained a perfect conference record (6-0).
Shelia Pena scored 21 for TSU.
16 Jan
Montgomery, AL(OTW)-Jasaun Moncrief scored 25 points and Terrence Simmons added 21, as Alabama State beat Southern 97-87 in OT. The Hornets (5-9, 3-2) outscored the Jags 17-7 in overtime.
Aaron Bates led SU with 25 points.
Huntsville, AL(OTW)-Reuben Stiff scored 21 points with five assists as Alcorn did in Alabama A&M 96-86. The Braves (10-5, 6-1) shot 53 percent from the floor in the game, and moved into a first place tie with Southern.
Miguel Smith scored a game-high 34 points for A&M.
Pine Bluff, AR(OTW)-Ifey Anyanwu scored 14 points to lead Texas Southern past Arkansas-Pine Bluff 69-60.
Dwayne Stephens scored 17 points for the losers.
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Joseph McKinney scored 18 points as Jackson State defeated Grambling 84-74.
Chris Thomas scored 20 points for Grambling.
Itta Bena, MS(OTW)-Faragi Phillips had 25 points as Mississippi Valley State (5-8, 3-3) whipped Prairie View 82-74.
PV's Jocquinn Arch scored 35 points in the contest.
SWAC HOOPS NEWS
MVSU MOVING UP IN WOMEN'S HOOPS

In the preseason, the Mississippi Valley State University women's basketball team was picked to finish a modest fourth place in the nine-team field of teams eligible to capture the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.
Through games of Jan. 11, the Devilettes were one of two teams still undefeated in the SWAC with records of 4-0 in the conference and 6-3 overall. Head coach Jessie Harris said there's a simple reason for his team's surprising start.
"In every game, a different player steps up and does something big for us," said Harris. "It's a team effort. Everybody knew about Sherry Surney at the start of the season, but it hasn't been one or two people doing things for us. Team play is our strength."
A look at the Devilettes' last two games verifies Harris' sentiments.
At Alcorn State on Jan. 9, the visiting Devilettes upended the perennial Lady Braves convincingly, winning by 14 points, 84- 70. Lavetta King was the star of the day with 21 points.
Then, on Monday, Jan. 11, Surney, the team's superstar and last week's SWAC player of the week, had an off night in a one- point come-from-behind win at Southern but Tonya Turner turned it on, scoring 21 points following a 14- point night in the win over Alcorn State.
"Surney got hurt against Alabama A&M and that has slowed her somewhat," said Harris. "But she's still the same Surney. She won't let anything stop her."
Through nine games, Surney still leads the SWAC in scoring (17.9 ppg) and steals (4.11 pg). She also averages 8.6 boards a game.
With their good start, including the huge road wins over Alcorn State and Southern, do the Devilettes have added momentum for the rest of the season?
"We should, but you just don't know what'll happen," said Harris. When we won the way we did at Alcorn, I thought we were ready. But sometimes when you feel you're there, then you have a game like we had against Southern.
"The conference is so balanced," added Harris. "I don't think any team will go through the conference undefeated.
SWAC MEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 11, 1999)
TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT

Southern Univ. 6-0 1.000 10-2 .833
Alcorn State 5-1 .747 9-5 .643
Jackson State 3-2 .600 6-8 .429 Alabama State 2-2 .500 3-9 .250
Miss. Valley 1-3 .250 4-8 .333
Prairie View 1-3 .250 2-10 .167
Texas Southern 1-3 .250 2-10 .167
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-3 .250 1-11 .083
Grambling State 1-4 .200 1-13 .071
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Adarrial Smylie, Southern Univ. (6-7, Jr., F/C, Darrow, La.): In wins over Ark.-PB and Miss. Valley, Smylie averaged 23.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 3.0 blocked shots. His top game was 28 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks and one assist vs. UAPB.
SWAC WOMEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 11, 1999)

TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Grambling State 5-0 1.000 10-4 .714
Miss. Valley 4-0 1.000 6-3 .667
Jackson State 3-2 .600 9-4 .692
Southern Univ. 3-3 .500 7-5 .583
Alabama State 2-2 .500 7-5 .583 Alcorn State 3-3 .500 6-5 .545
Texas Southern 1-3 .250 4-11 .267
Prairie View A&M 0-4 .000 1-9 .100
Ark.-Pine Bluff 0-4 .000 0-12 .000
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sherry Surney, Miss. Valley State (5-6, Sr., G, Ruleville, Miss.): In wins at Alcorn State and Southern, Surney averaged 15.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 4.0 steals. Her top game (vs. SU) included 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and five steals.
MEN'S TEAM NOTES ALABAMA STATE - In the Hornets' lone game of the week, poor shooting led to a 76-63 loss at rival Alabama A&M on Jan. 9. ASU hit just 30.5 percent from the field, 23.1 from three-point range and 63.2 percent from the charity stripe.
ALCORN STATE - The Braves' regrouped from back-to-back losses with back-to-back SWAC wins at home over Miss. Valley (73-66) and Ark.-PB (103-63). Reuben stiff scored 22 vs. MVSU and Wallace Harris netted 20 vs. UAPB.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF - The Golden Lions added to their tough season with huge losses of 97-78 at Southern on Jan. 9 and 103-63 at Alcorn State on Jan. 11. UAPB is 1-11 on the season, 1-3 in SWAC play.
GRAMBLING STATE - The Tigers broke a 12-game season losing streak with a 75-56 win at Prairie View on Jan. 9. Forward Thomas Dodd sparked the team with 15 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. However, that win was followed with a 89-59 defeat at Texas Southern on Jan. 11.
JACKSON STATE - In JSU's swing through Texas, the Tigers beat Texas Southern (74-59) before losing to Prairie View (88-65). In the PV loss, JSU's starters were held to a combined 28 points as the team shot 31.5% from the field.
MISS. VALLEY STATE - Senior guard Faragi Phillips not only cracked the SWAC statistics this week, but his debut saw him take the lead in both scoring (21.2 ppg) and steals (3.56 pg). He's also ranked third in 3-point shooting (.422).
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - The Panthers handed Grambling its first win of the season as the visiting Tigers beat PV 75-56, a game in which the Panthers hit just four of 21 free throws. Two nights later, however, PV made 25 of 46 free throws in an 88-65 demolition of visiting Jackson State.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - SU remains the SWAC's hottest team as evidenced by wins of 97-78 over Ark.-PB on Jan. 9 and 111-89 over Miss. Valley on Jan. 11. The home wins upped SU's home court winning streak to 12. Dionte' Harvey scored a SWAC season high 37 points vs. MVSU.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Following a 74-59 loss to Jackson State on Jan. 9, the TSU Tigers picked up their first SWAC win of the season with an 89-59 victory over Grambling on Jan. 11. TSU outrebounded GSU, 47-to-20.
WOMEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE - Nichole Miller scored 21 points in ASU's 63-54 victory over Alabama A&M on Jan. 9. Lakeisha Broughton leads the SWAC in field goal pct. (.655) and Felecia Arrington ranks seventh in scoring (13.2 ppg).
ALCORN STATE - The Lady Braves lost to MVSU by the score of 84-70 on Jan. 9, but rebounded immediately with a 74-62 victory over Ark.-PB on Jan. 11. Tukeya Mackey and Daisha Reed led the team in scoring vs. MVSU with 16 points each, while Cherea Wood had 13 points vs. UAPB.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF- UAPB remains winless so far this season with records of 0-12 overall and 0-4 against SWAC opponents. Shantell Reed led the team in scoring with 20 points in a 74-62 loss versus Alcorn State on Jan. 11.
GRAMBLING STATE - The Lady Tigers, undefeated in SWAC play with a 5-0 record, lead the SWAC in won-loss pct. (.714), scoring offense (83.6 ppg), scoring margin (+12.4) and rebounding margin (+9.7). The team's 48-game home win streak remains unchanged.
JACKSON STATE - JSU's 14-game winning streak over TSU was snapped in a 56-44 loss on Jan. 9. In a 48-29 win over PVAMU on Jan. 11, JSU held the Pantherettes to just eight first half points.
MISS. VALLEY STATE - Tonya Turner became the SWAC's 10th leading scorer (12.2 ppg) after scoring 21 points in a 68- 67 win over SU on Jan. 11 and 14 points in an 84-70 win over Alcorn State on Jan. 9. Sherry Surney leads with a 17.9 scoring average.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - The Pantherettes scored just eight first half points in a 48-29 loss to JSU on Jan. 11. Not one PV player scored in double-figures but Felecia Tarver, who leads the SWAC in rebounding (13.7 rpg), grabbed 18 boards.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - SU placed four players in double figures against MVSU on Jan. 11 but it wasn't enough to avert a 68- 67 loss. Starry Brady led the team in scoring with 17 points.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Sheila Pena shot a SWAC season high .875 from 3-point range, making 7-of-8 attempts in TSU's 91- 78 loss versus GSU on Jan. 11. In all, TSU made 11 three- pointers in the game. TSU snapped a 14-game losing streak to JSU with a 56-44 win on Jan. 9.
11 Jan
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Dionte Harvey fired in 37 points as Southern fired up Mississippi Valley 111-89. The Jags shot a sizzling 55 percent from the floor in the game.
Faragi Phillips scored 20 for Mississippi Valley.
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Wallace Harris scored 20 points as Alcorn ripped Arkansa-Pine Bluff 103-63. The win keeps the Braves on the heels of Southern in SWAC action.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Ifey Anyanwu scored 18 points as Texas Southern stopped Grambling 85-59.
Chris Thomas scored 20 for the losers.
In another contest Prairie View belted Jackson State 88-65.
The Women:
Houston, TX(OTW)-Ashanna Wright
scored 23 points and Termika Mitchell added 22 as Grambling teed off on Texas Southern 91-78. GSU now 10-4, and 5-0, outscored TSU 44-12 in the paint in the contest.
TSU's Sheila Pena had a game-high 26 points.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Angela Lewis had 18 points as Texas Southern whipped Jackson State 56-44. The win snapped a 14 game losing streak for TSU.
9 Jan
Baton Rouge, LA(OTW)-Adarrial Smylie had 28 points and 14 rebounds as Southern clawed Arkansas-Pine Bluff 97-78. The Jags shot 51 percent from the floor in the game.
Shawn Eldridge scored 11 for UAPB.
Huntsville, AL(OTW)-Miguel Smith scored 21 points and Terrance Vanlier scored 17 points with 12 rebounds, as Alabama A&M dogged Alabama State 76-63.
Richard Millsaps scored 12 points for the losers.
Lorman, MS(OTW)-Reuben Stiff scored 25 points with five assists as Alcorn beat Mississippi Valley 76-63.
MVSU 6-10 center Henry Jordan had 23 points and four blocks.
Alcorn (8-5, 4-1)kept pace with league leader Southern, who is still unbeaten in league play.
Prairie View, TX(OTW)-Thomas Dodd and Chris Thomas scored 16 points each as Grambling sliced up Prairie View 75-56.
Ivan Coulter tallied 15 markers for PV.
Houston, TX(OTW)-Vincent Jones had 16 points and 11 rebounds as Jackson State whipped Texas Southern 74-59.
Derick Malone and Leland Redmond scored 17 points each for the losers.
The Women
Houston, TX(OTW)-Angela Lewis scored 18 points as Texas Southern whipped Jackson State 56-44. The win snapped a 14-game winning streak for TSU.
Tamekia Hill had 14 points for JSU.
SWAC HOOPS NEWS
SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
JAN. 05, 1999
TEAM PLAY KEEPS SU IN SWAC LEAD

The quick start and overall success of the Southern University Jaguars this season are evidenced by the most recent league statistics.
In the four major individual statistical categories, four different SU players pace the Southwestern Athletic Conference. A fifth player ranks among the league's best in four categories.
In scoring, 6-4 senior guard Dionte Harvey leads the SWAC with an average of 18.7 points a game. He also ranks second in free throw percentage (.766), sixth in steals (2.40 pg) and ninth in field goal percentage (.452).
In rebounding, 6-7 sophomore forward Greg Martin paces the conference with 8.0 boards per contest. In assists, 6-0 sophomore guard Devan Clark is the pacesetter with an average of 7.70 an outing. He also ranks fourth in steals (2.50 pg) and third in free throw percentage (.759).
Aaron Bates, a 6-5 senior guard/forward, leads the SWAC in steals with a 3.60 average. He also ranks third in scoring (17.6 ppg), sixth in rebounds (6.1 pg), seventh in field goal percentage (.465), sixth in free throw percentage (.696) and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.343).
Bates says team play has definitely been the key to the Jaguars' 4-0 conference and 7-3 overall start.
"Defense has been the big thing for us," said Bates. "We've been able to play hard on defense, get out on the lane and get easy buckets.
"We basically try to work as a team and pull and play off each other," added Bates. "We help each other out."
A year ago, the Jaguars got off to an outstanding start only to falter at the finish. Bates said that won't happen again this season.
"Last year was a learning process for us with all the new players we had," said Bates. "This year, we know what it takes to win. We know we have to stay humble because a couple of wins don't make an entire season."
SU's fifth starter, 6-7 senior center and forward Adarrial Smylie, is No.2 in the SWAC in rebounds (7.6 pg) and field goal percentage (.553), No.4 in scoring (17.0 ppg) and No.7 in blocked shots (1.10 pg). SWAC MEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 04, 1999)

TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT
Southern Univ. 4-0 1.000 7-3 .819
Alcorn State 3-1 .750 7-5 .583
Jackson State 2-1 .667 5-7 .417
Alabama State 2-2 .500 3-8 .273
Miss. Valley 1-1 .500 4-6 .400
Ark.-Pine Bluff 1-1 .500 1-9 .100
Prairie View 0-2 .000 1-9 .100
Texas Southern 0-2 .000 1-9 .100
Grambling State 0-3 .000 0-12 .000
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Adarrial Smylie, Southern Univ. (6-7, Jr., F/C, Darrow, La.): In wins over Grambling (88-76) and Jackson State (84-76), Smylie averaged 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocked shots. He had 21 points and 8 rebounds vs. JSU and 18 points and 5 rebounds vs. GSU.
SWAC WOMEN'S STANDINGS
(Through games of Jan. 04, 1999)
TEAM SWAC PCT ALL PCT

Grambling State 3-0 1.000 8-4 .667
Miss. Valley 2-0 1.000 4-3 .571
Jackson State 2-1 .587 8-3 .727
Southern Univ. 2-2 .500 6-4 .600
Alcorn State 2-2 .500 5-4 .556
Alabama State 2-2 .500 6-5 .545
Texas Southern 0-2 .000 3-10 .231
Prairie View A&M 0-2 .000 1-7 .125
Ark.-Pine Bluff 0-2 .000 0-10 .000
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sherry Surney,
Miss. Valley State (5-6, Sr., G, Ruleville, Miss.): In wins over Alabama A&M (73-59) and Alabama State (58-56), Surney averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 1.5 assists. She had 30 points and 7 boards vs. AAMU and 11 points with 10 rebounds vs. ASU.
MEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA STATE
- The ASU Hornets defeated Ark.-Pine Bluff (79-74) on Jan. 2 before falling to Miss. Valley (80-73) on Jan. 4. Head coach Rob Spivery stated, "We let the Valley game get away. I don't know how, but we have to regroup and get ready for (Alabama) A&M."
ALCORN STATE - After a disappointing 70-53 whipping at rival Jackson State on Jan. 2, the ASU Braves narrowly escaped a second SWAC loss at Grambling two nights later, garnering a 62-61 win on a last second basket by Marcus Fleming. ASU's now 3-1 in the SWAC and 7-5 overall.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF - The UAPB Golden Lions are 1-9 overall following losses over the weekend at home to Alabama State (79-74) and Alabama A&M (82-65). The team's lone victory was a 75-62 win over Miss. Valley back on Dec. 7.
GRAMBLING STATE - The GSU Tigers are still the only winless team in SWAC hoops this season as they fell to 0-12 overall and 0-3 in the SWAC with defeats at home to both Southern (88-76) on Jan. 2 and Alcorn State (62-61) on Jan. 4. Said head coach Lacey Reynolds, "We did everything but win the (ASU) game. I've never been 0-12 but I've been in situations like that."
JACKSON STATE - Junior guard Timmy Marks scored 37 points over two games as the JSU Tigers cruised by Alcorn State (70-53) on Jan. 2 before losing by eight to Southern (84- 76) on Jan. 4. JSU's 5-7 overall and 2-1 in the SWAC (3rd).
MISS. VALLEY STATE - Henry Jordan, a 6-10 sophomore center for the MVSU Delta Devils, had an incredible weekend, tallying 18 blocked shots in two games. He had nine in a 74- 73 win over Alabama A&M on Jan. 2 as well as nine in an 80- 73 win over Alabama State on Jan. 4, both in Itta Bena.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - The PVAMU Panthers are 1-9 on the year following four straight losses. A SWAC clash with Grambling on Jan. 9 will be the team's first game since a 111- 50 trashing at Ole Miss on Dec. 29.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - The SU Jaguars lead the SWAC with records of 7-3 overall and 4-0 in league play. Back-to-back wins at Grambling (88-76) on Jan. 2 and Jackson State (84- 76) on Jan. 4 are the school's first two-game road sweep since 1993, when they defeated both PVAMU and Texas Southern.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - The TSU Tigers are 1-9 overall and 0-2 in the SWAC, having last seen action in a 71-56 loss to Drexel on Dec. 30.
WOMEN'S TEAM NOTES
ALABAMA A&M
- Cecila Snipes scored 25 points in a 74-68 win at UAPB on Jan. 4. Snipes connected on 7-of-15 field goals, 6-of-13 three-pointers and was perfect from the free throw line, making 5-of-5 attempts. The team is 2-7 overall.
ALABAMA STATE - Nichole Miller scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 63-52 win over UAPB on Jan. 2. Miller, the SWAC's third-leading scorer, averages 13.2 ppg.
ALCORN STATE - Cherea Wood ranks seventh in the SWAC in scoring (13.3 pg) and is tied for seventh in rebounds (7.8 pg). The Lady Braves have lost two straight games, including a 50-44 decision to JSU on Jan. 2 and a 78-54 loss at GSU on Jan. 4.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF- Juwanna Polk ranks second in the SWAC in both rebounds (9.5 pg) and blocks (1.70 pg). Her 20-rebound performance versus MVSU on Dec. 7 is the best so far by any conference player this season.
GRAMBLING STATE - The Lady Tigers extended their home win streak to 48 games (second-longest in the nation behind UConn) on Jan. 4 with a 78-54 win over Alcorn State. In that game, Termika Mitchell led all scorers with 21 points.
JACKSON STATE - Four players scored in double figures in JSU's 72-63 win over Southern on Jan. 4. Tameika Hill led the team with 15 points, Jillian Reynolds scored 13 points, and both LaKimberely Johnson and Denise Franklin added 10 points each.
MISS. VALLEY STATE - Sherry Surney, who leads the SWAC in scoring with an 18.6 avg., scored just 11 points in MVSU's 58-56 win versus Alabama State on Jan. 4. In that game, however, Surney also grabbed 10 rebounds.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M - Felicia Tarver continues to lead the SWAC in rebounding with a 12.4 pg average. In a 72-45 loss at Texas A&M on Dec. 30, she pulled down 15 boards.
SOUTHERN UNIV. - Letitia Hall, who leads the SWAC in assists with 7.60 pg, dished out seven in a 102-82 loss at GSU on Jan. 2, and later posted five in a 72-63 loss at JSU on Jan. 4. She also ranks 8th in the SWAC in steals (2.80 pg).
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Sheila Pena leads the SWAC in three- point field goal pct. (.444) and is 2nd in free throw pct. (.839). She has connected on 36-of-81 three-point field goal attempts. As a team, TSU leads the SWAC in three-point field goals made with 79, an average of 6.08 pg.
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4 Jan
Jackson, MS(OTW)-Kendrick Davis scored 22 points, (64 percent) from 3-point territory, as Southern beat Jackson State 84-76.
Vincent Jones had 22 points and 14 boards for JSU.
Pine Bluff, AR(OTW)-Jamar Miles had 26 points and nine rebounds as Alabama A&M whipped Arkansas-Pine Bluff 82-65.
Dwayne Stephens scored 13 for the losers.
Grambling, LA(OTW)-Eddrick Wheaton scored 16 points as Alcorn edged Grambling 62-61.
Thomas Dodd had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Tigers.
Itta Bena, MS(OTW)-Faragi Phillips scored 34 points as Mississippi Valley stopped Alabama State 80-73. Phillips was 5-8 in 3-pointers in the game.
Corey Williams had 17 markers for the ASU.
HOUZAH, MORRIS CAPTURE TOP HONORS
NEW FACES PLENTIFUL ON ALL-SWAC FOOTBALL TEAM

NEW ORLEANS -- The 1998 All-Southwestern Athletic Conference football team has been released and the 50-man unit includes only 11 repeat winners from a year ago.
The team, selected by the league's head coaches, sports information directors and beat reporters, was released on Wednesday, November 26, just prior to the final two regular-season games of the year, the 75th annual Turkey Day Classic between Alabama State and Tuskegee in Montgomery, Ala. (Nov. 27) and the 25th annual Bayou Classic between Grambling State and Southern in New Orleans (Nov. 29).
For a third consecutive season, linebacker Terry Houzah of Mississippi Valley State has captured one of the SWAC's top honors as he has been named the SWAC defensive player of the year. Meanwhile, wide receiver Sylvester Morris of Jackson State made a huge debut onto the All-SWAC team, winning the league's offensive player of the year award. Morris, as well as Larry Dorsey, Houzah's coach, expressed jubilation over the honors.
"Houzah really deserves it," said Dorsey. "He worked hard. He was a guy that played even when things were bad and he kept up his performance through that. That's an indication of the type of person he is. It's been an honor to coach him."
On winning the offensive player of the year award, Morris stated, "It feels great. I never set being named SWAC MVP as one of my goals. As the season progressed, it became a thought. I'll tell you it feels great to receive this honor.
"It's amazing to start off the season the way I did and then accomplish those things," added Morris, who caught 62 passes for a SWAC-best 1,258 yards and 17 touchdowns. "It's nothing but God blessing me. My goal always is to get better. I want to do better next year than I did this year."
The first team All-SWAC offensive unit is a smorgasbord of players from different schools, six teams to be exact.
The tight end hails from Alabama State in the form of Johnny Huggins, a 6-3, 250-pound senior from Zachary, La. who's caught 36 passes for 506 yards and six touchdowns. Teammate Damon Hodge, a 6-2, 195-pound junior from Thomaston, Ala., was named to one of the wide receiver slots. He currently leads the SWAC in receiving with 77 catches for 929 yards and eight touchdowns.
The offensive line is comprised of three repeat first-teamers in Southern stars Chris Williams (6-6, 338, Sr., Houston, Tex.) and Brett Clark (6-1, 281, Sr., Bakersfield, Calif.) along with the mainstay of the line at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Terrance Beadles, a 6-4, 291-pound junior from Atlanta, Ga. The other two first team All-SWAC offensive linemen are David Mason (6-2, 275, Sr., Jackson, Miss) of Texas Southern and Tony Blackshear (6-3, 365, Sr., Meridian, Miss.) of Jackson State.
Jackson State's Mark Washington won first team All-SWAC honors at the quarterback slot. The 6-4, 208-pound junior from San Antonio, Tex. owns the league's highest passing efficiency rating (151.5) and he's thrown for more yards than any of his peers this season (2,232). Washington completed 134 of 257 passes with a SWAC-high 26 touchdowns along with nine interceptions.
The first team running backs are also the two tailbacks who ranked No.1 and No.2 in rushing yards this season, Destry Wright (5-10, 204, Jr., Clarksdale, Miss.) and Rodney Thomas (5-10, 225, Jr., Houston, Tex.). In 11 games, Wright had 267 carries for 1,528 yards and 10 touchdowns, an average of 138.9 yards per game. In 10 contests, Thomas picked up 1,286 yards on 271 carries with five scores, averaging 128.6 yards per ball game.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Richard Pena is the first team placekicker. A 5-9, 180-pound junior from Dallas, Tex., Pena connected on 32 of 39 PATs and 10 of 14 field goals for 62 total points.
On the other side of the ball, eight of the nine SWAC schools eligible for all-conference consideration placed players on the All-SWAC first team defensive unit.
The defensive line consists of Charlie Edwards (6-4, 236, Jr., Rembert, S.C.) of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Julius Gardner (6-3, 280, Jr., Prentiss, Miss.) of Alcorn State, Anthony Bonner (6-2, 275, Sr., Marks, Miss.) of Mississippi Valley State and Chris Lazard (6-2, 230, Sr., Opelousas, La.) of Grambling State. Edwards garnered 64 tackles and 7.5 sacks this season while Gardner contributed 41 tackles and 7.5 sacks. Bonner added 57 tackles and three sacks and Lazard led the SWAC with nine sacks along with 30 tackles.
The first team linebackers consist of Houzah along with Charmmarcus Holloway (6-1, 246, Sr., Little Rock, Ark.) of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Channing Warner (6-1, 232, Jr., Marrero, La.) of Southern. Houzah led the SWAC in tackles with 130 on the year while Holloway ranked second with 95 and Warner fourth with 80 in addition to three sacks.
The defensive secondary is manned by Chris Akins (6-0, 201, Sr., Little Rock, Ark.) of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Levon Edwards (6-0, 200, Sr., Talladega, Ala.) of Alabama State, Scott Harrell (6-0, 185, So., Livingston, Tex.) of Texas Southern and Harold Wooten (6-1, 209, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.) of Jackson State. Akins' five interceptions for 150 yards (2 TDs) were league highs while Edwards ranked eighth in the league in tackles with 75. Harrell had 66 tackles and Wooten amassed 52 tackles.
The first team All-SWAC punter is Southern's Matt Bushart, who has led the conference in punting average practically all of the year. A 6-4, 258-pound junior from Baton Rouge, La., Bushart is the only SWAC punter to average 40 or more yards per punt. Through 10 games, he sports a 45.2 average with long punt of 71 yards.
Joey Jamison (5-9, 160, Jr., WR, Jacksonville, Fla.) of Texas Southern is the league's kick return specialist after totaling 33 punt returns for 505 yards (15.3 avg.) with one touchdown as well as 11 kickoff returns for 399 yards (36.3 avg.) with one score. The 1998 SWAC freshman of the year is Prairie View A&M's Deontay Wilson (5-8, 165, WR, Miami, Fla.). Wilson ranked sixth in the SWAC in receiving with 45 catches for 693 yards and three touchdowns.
The newcomer of the year is Alcorn State's Damon Ford (6-4, 195, QB, Dallas, Tex.). Ford ranks fourth among the conference's passers, completing 124 of 268 passes for 2,164 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Unlike in prior years, the SWAC coach of the year award will go to the head coach of the team which wins the SWAC championship. Inasmuch as Southern has already clinched at least a share of the crown, head coach Pete Richardson will at least share coach of the years honors for 1998. Should the Jaguars defeat Grambling in Saturday's Bayou Classic, Richardson will win the honor outright. If the Jaguars lose, he'll share coach of the year honors with Jackson State coach James Carson.