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Savannah State athlete from north Georgia dies while evacuating ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Karissa Tatum was heading home to north Georgia when her car hydroplaned on Interstate 16 and struck a tree.

Author: Michael King
Published: 5:35 PM EDT September 6, 2019
Updated: 8:45 PM EDT September 6, 2019

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Family and friends of a 21-year-old Savannah State University volleyball player from Walker County are in mourning after she was killed in a wreck while evacuating ahead of Hurricane Dorian last weekend.

Karissa Tatum was a premier athlete at Lafayette High School and after she graduated, she received the opportunity to join Savannah State's team.

According to Savannah station WSAV, Tatum and some friends were driving home to Lafayette on Sunday ahead of the pending hurricane when Tatum's car hydroplaned on I-16 and struck a tree.

She later died at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.

"She was like a best friend, she was a great person," said roommate and teammate De'antonette Rodriguez. "She would give anything to anybody. She would do anything to make you smile."

Teachers and classmates at Savannah State plan to honor her memory when they return to class next week.

"Wonderful athlete, wonderful person, excellent smile -- she had the heart, the love for everyone," said Savannah State history professor Dr. Jamal Toure'.

Toure' teaches African American History at Savannah State University and was one of Tatum's instructors last fall.

"She touched all of us and that's what we want to honor her," Toure' said. "She had much love for her volleyball teammates and talked about and bragged about them and we love that about her."

Tatum's former teammates at Lafayette High School posted a tribute to the rising athlete following their game this week.

Friends said she was much more than just an athlete -- she was a friend, a shoulder to cry on, and someone who always made them smile.

"I don't think it's real yet, but I know it's real. It's just like it's a bad dream," said Rodriguez. "Everything I do from this day forward, it will be contributed to her."

Sports Forum / SSU football commit Kyle Frazier tackles cancer
« on: August 26, 2019, 10:14:07 PM »


AUGUSTA, Ga. – “God made this happen to me, so that he can see how I’m built, how my mindset is, and how strong I am,” says Kyle Frazier, a cancer survivor and Savannah State University football commit.

“If they would’ve took football and a cancer diagnosis it would have broke him,” says Kenya James, Kyle’s mother.

It was April 24th when Kyle Frazier found out he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The first thought that ran through his mind is if he would still be able to play football.

Fast forward to 4 months later on August 23rd family, friends, and Augusta Oncology doctors were able to celebrate Frazier ringing his cancer free bell.

“I just had a big relief. It was off my chest, because I was just ready to get it rock and rolling and be done with chemo. That was real hard. Like chemo was really hard,” says Kyle Frazier.

Throughout the chemo treatment Frazier tells us his little sister, Kianna, who was born with a rare disease, motivated him to fight and keep smiling.

“After she gets her treatment, I see her run and jump through anything. So, she really kept me strong through all of this. I was like if she can go through it I guess I have to be strong, too,” says Frazier.

Through his mother’s eyes, it was tough to witness.

“As a mom you want to fix things, and this is something that I couldn’t fix.This is something that Kyle had to endure,” says his mother.

But his mother says she had to remain strong and be a cheerleader.

Committed to play for Savannah State’s football team, Frazier fulfilled his promise to himself that he would not let cancer take away the game he loves.

“I wasn’t ready to let it up. I was going to be heartbroken if I couldn’t play. That’s my everything ever since I was little,” says Frazier.

Frazier says if he could describe himself in three words from this adversity, it would be…

“Optimistic, strong, and lion-hearted,” says Frazier

Kyle Frazier will start his freshman year and join his teammates at Savannah State University this upcoming January. Congratulations Kyle for tackling cancer!

Sports Forum / Edward Waters hopes experience pays off
« on: August 18, 2019, 08:28:06 PM »

Edward Waters hopes experience pays off

By Clayton Freeman
Posted Aug 17, 2019 at 12:45 PM

A more experienced Edward Waters team enters the 2019 college football season under second-year head coach Greg Ruffin.

Sitting in his converted football field house, a punt’s distance from the field Edward Waters College aspires to someday call a permanent home, head football coach Greg Ruffin doesn’t need long to highlight his team’s most important change from last fall.

“We had freshmen all over the place,” Ruffin said. “They’re a year older. That’s the biggest thing you can say.”

A year older. Maybe a year better.

That’s the hope for the Tigers and Ruffin, entering his second year in charge of the Northwest Jacksonville school, the second year of a rebuild for a program in transition.

In all, EWC included 54 freshmen on its roster last season. Most of them are back in orange, purple and white.

That experience, Ruffin hopes, will continue to boost a team that improved dramatically last year. A 1-10 team in 2017 — winless entirely except for a homecoming success against the University of God’s Chosen — turned into a respectable squad in 2018.

Against their schedule in 2019, “us beating us” is the last thing the Tigers can afford. When EWC meets Division I opponents Southern and Prairie View, the margin for error shrinks to near zero.

“You come out of those money games and you’re really trying to see how much fight you’ve got in you,” Ruffin said. “You never know what happens. You catch them the right season when they’re down and you’re on, you can come out of there and win one.”

The opportunity is particularly sweet against Southern, a traditional power that finished as Southwestern Athletic Conference runner-up in 2018. The Baton Rouge school will be coming off games against McNeese State and Football Bowl Subdivision program Memphis to enter the Sept. 14 matchup.

“They’re going to be gunning for one,” Ruffin said, “but we won’t flinch. We’re going to put our uniforms on and we’re going to go out and represent Duval.”

Along with the Division I foes, EWC has also scheduled eight teams from NCAA Division II as the college continues taking steps toward a potential eventual move from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics into the NCAA.

The team is set to play its 2019 season at First Coast High School on the Northside. The college is still planning for the development of a new field to the north of its Adams-Jenkins Sports & Music Complex.

Quarterback shapes up as a contest of Roshard Branch, Jayshawn Francis and Lee High School graduate Derrick Jones, who took the majority of the snaps last year. Wideout David Beeks returns after catching 26 passes for 322 yards last year, and Ruffin sees a new weapon in Matthew Wilkerson, a 6-6, 260-pound athlete from ASA College who’s expected to play both tight end and defensive end for the Tigers.

“We’re not starting at zero right now,” Ruffin said. “We’re connecting the dots, and we’re moving on to the next dot.”

Edward Waters

Coach: Greg Ruffin (4-7 at school, 11-19 overall).

2018 record: 4-7 overall, 2-4 in Mid-South Conference.

Top returnees: WR David Beeks, QB Derrick Jones, DB Christian Hayes, CB Donte LeCorn, LB Mitch Nguyen, DB Jalen Thomas

Top losses: OL Fedner Petit-Homme, OL Justin Slaughter, DB Kennard Mahone, DB Alfredrick Tyson

Schedule: With two Division I foes, EWC is taking on some of its stiffest opposition since resuming its football program. Instead of the usual opposition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Edward Waters faces 10 schools from NCAA institutions — the Oct. 12 homecoming against Allen is the lone exception — and two opponents, Southern and Prairie View A&M, from the Football Championship Subdivision. The Tigers must make the most of their games in October (Oct. 5 at Central State, Oct. 12 against Allen, Oct. 19 against Miles, Oct. 26 at Kentucky State and Oct. 31 against Tuskegee), where all of their foes were at or below .500 last year.

Outlook: Improving last year’s 4-7 record against this schedule will be no easy feat, but after lining up with more than 50 freshmen in 2018, Ruffin is optimistic that experience will make a difference. Defense returns much of its strength, particularly in the secondary, where Hayes and Thomas were key playmakers last season. But the Tigers must improve their efficiency in the passing game, where they completed only 45.2% of their attempts last season.


Savannah State opens fall football camp with grueling first practice

By Travis Jaudon
Posted at 5:17 PM Updated at 7:36 PM

Break something down to its very core to find out what it’s made of. On Friday, Aug. 9, at T.A. Wright Stadium, plenty of Savannah State football players found out what they were made of.

Savannah State opened its fall camp ahead of the 2019 season, the Tigers’ first in NCAA Division II within the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after competing as a DI FCS program. SSU, which was in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, was a member of the SIAC from 1969-98.

The practice was designed to rev up the squad with plenty of new and young faces, who were quickly made familiar with the ways of new head coach Shawn Quinn.

“It’s good to get out here today; it’s been a long process to get to this point,” said Quinn, who was named the full-time coach on March 7 after serving on an interim basis in the early off-season. “You know, as a head coach, you enjoy the on-field stuff. So I’m excited to finally get to some football. We’ve got a lot of new players, too, so I’m excited to see what they do.”
Savannah State opens football camp on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019

Friday’s football was not for the weak, as just over 100 players were pushed close to their limits physically in an effort to separate the men from the boys. At one point during the two-hour practice, the heat index registered at 101 degrees.

Quinn says its part of becoming a team, his team.

“There’s a whole lotta’ gelling that has to go on,” he said before using an analogy, one of his signatures with the media. “It’s like the Rolling Stones. You hit the high note and I’ll hit the low note. Somebody plays the bass and somebody is the drummer.

“It’s all in concert, and football is a sport where it takes a whole lot of people to win. It takes a community.”

Tiger tales

— Projected starting quarterback D’Vonn Gibbons sat out the practice due to some minor clerical issues with his school paperwork, Quinn said after the session. “Just got an off-field thing, a clerical thing that they are waiting on,” he said before confirming Gibbons as the No. 1 signal caller on the depth chart heading into camp. “He should be good to go by (Friday) afternoon. I expect him back at practice tomorrow (Saturday), and he had earned that (starting job) right in the spring.”

— Without Gibbons taking snaps, Quinn and co-offensive coordinator Russell DeMasi turned to several new faces at QB for the opening practice. Most notably, a redshirt freshman transfer from the University of Georgia, Mason Wood, looked seasoned in the offensive system even on his first day taking reps with the first team. An Alexander High School (Douglasville, Ga.) product, Wood was a preferred walk-on at UGA in the class of 2017 and redshirted last season in Athens. He’s considered a dual-threat and Quinn confirmed his eligibility.

″(Wood) did a good job today, so we’re excited about him and what he’ll bring to the table,” Quinn aid. “He’s on the roster, immediately eligible. Mason is a great kid.”

Others at quarterback Friday included highly touted true freshman J.T. Hartage and an Islands High School product, true freshman Cole Donahue.

— Donahue was one of several locals to take the field at T.A. Wright for the first time Friday. Do-it-all running back Jordan Grant (Savannah Christian), Jaylon Thompson (linebacker, Bluffton High, S.C.), Namon Pointer (DB, Johnson), Jaylien Duncan (RB, Benedictine) and Julian Roberts (DE, Memorial Day) were seen getting reps, and Quinn said he liked what he saw from them.

“We have a lot of those local guys playing for us, and a lot of them have some length and can really run.”

Quinn was asked what role he envisions for Grant, a standout quarterback and running back at SCPS in his four years there.

“Without giving too much away to our opponents,” he began, “he’s going to do a lot. It’s a little like Tim Tebow, let’s put it that way. But he is a really good football player for us.”

General Discussion Forum / SSU Alum Supports Senate Bill 278
« on: August 08, 2019, 09:25:34 PM »

Support of Senator Jackson’s Senate Bill 278

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

I am writing in support of Senator Dr. Lester Jackson’s Senate Bill 278.  I am an alumnus of Savannah State University and I remain vigilant of its past, its present and its future.  I wholeheartedly believe that such passage of such a bill would provide a major contribution to the beginning of a solution to address the financial problems of Georgia”s public Historically Black Colleges and Universities in general and Savannah State in particular.  It is no secret that Savannah State is currently experiencing and most devastating collapse in its 129 year history.  Enrollment has plummeted to its lowest level in over a decade.  And since the funding formula for educational institutions in the state of Georgia’s University’s system is tied to enrollment, the loss of students adds up to the loss of revenues.

Senate Bill 278 provides a creative and innovative approach to insulate HBCU’s from unanticipated and unpredictable enrollment declines by moving or shifting state funding directly to HBCU’s instead of providing that flow of funds that comes directly through the University System with its flawed funding policy.  The current funding formula takes into account equity but not parity and since Georgia’s HBCU’s don’t boost enrollment above 5,000, with the exception of Albany State.  Any significant decline in enrollment automatically places such institutions in peril, but, thrive while insuring that their historical missions are preserved.  This proposed landmark legislation would strengthen HBCU’s while simultaneously maintaining their own race-based admissions practices focusing on diversity and inclusion.

HBCU’s have been getting by with less for decades but now the time has arisen whereby the playing field has to be made level.  The demand for an educated work force unable of supplying the manpower needed to drive a technologically structured global workforce is paramount.  HBCU’s have been and continue to be major providers of those manpower needs.  More than 40 percent of the degrees at the baccalaureate level received by African Americans and students of colors are provided by HBCU’s.  This speaks to the importance an indispensability of HBCUS.

Going forward, it is imperative that SSU hire competent leaders with administrative management and leadership experiences with vision to insure the availability and accessibility of educational capital to generations of college bound youngsters who are not yet unborn.  That means a national search must be led by a committee composed by competent conscientious and consecrated members who have the good of the University and community at heart.  This is why I, commend Sen. Jackson for having the financial acumen, the philanthropical sensitivities and a political and economic mentality of thinking outside the box.  The time is now.

Jerome Woody
B.S., 1974, MPA 1999


2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Brett Sylve, RB, Kentucky State University

by Damond Talbot
August 1, 2019

•Name: Brett Sylve
•Height: 5’8
•Weight: 200
•Position: RB
•College: Kentucky State University
•Twitter: @Tigerbby23

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
•I am from Hammond, La, a small town in south Louisiana. I enjoyed growing up in my hometown, but I spent a lot of my youth playing sports. There is not a lot to do there and it is hard to make it out. This made me dream big, and even though I’m not where I want to be, I am making strides towards where I need to be. In my hometown you can’t go too far without finding someone you’re related to. What I love the most about it is my family, as well as it being a country town, it is quiet an you can go outside an relax under the stars 

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
•First would have to be strength and conditioning, this would be how you spend your offseason. Next would have to be practice, because practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. Last but certainly not least would be film study, because you have to know your opponent or maybe you’re studying yourself to see what you can do better.

What do you worry about, and why?
•I worry about my family, because family is everything to me.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
•My example would have to be my high school career, the team I played for was never known for being successful. With each loss this pushed me to work harder. I’m not a person that accepts losing, so this experience played apart in shaping me into the person I am today.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
•They would probably say leadership, because I feel that we all should play a role in helping each other develop. We shouldn’t have to rely on just coaching to get better, this is what you have teammates for to hold each other accountable. In many situations, in the running back huddle they may have made a cut and I saw something differently or vice versa. That in my opinion is how you grow as a player.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
•Keelan Cole, I played against him my freshman year and he finished with 5 touchdowns and over 200 yards receiving.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
•I am very business minded, and I was always told that if you want to be a billionaire you should have 7 different forms of income. I could not say what one career I would be in, but I would surely be working towards my own businesses starting with a trucking company.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
•Room, this is my foundation, this is where you begin and end your day.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
•I’m most definitely saving the family member, family comes first and I am going to assume that the family member is my mom. I would do anything for my mom, no question.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
•I would choose Tommy Pickles from Rugrats. That is my all time favorite cartoon, they literally lived there best lives without a care in the world. In the words of Tommy “A baby’s got to  do, what a baby’s got to do.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
•My biggest adversity was self doubt, with people in your ear always telling you you’re not good enough, not fast enough, not tall enough, you start to believe them. I taught myself to use all these negatives as motivation, I better myself in spite of these events and I don’t do it for the naysayers. I feel that if you want something bad enough you’re going to work for it. You learn to silence the noise.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
•My most embarrassing moment happened my sophomore season, we were playing Morehouse on the road down 3 with around 2 minutes left in the fourth. I had just ran a punt return back for a touchdown an they punted it to me again around the 20. I went to fair-catch it and took my eyes off the ball for one second and I muffed it. They went on to score and put us away. I was embarrassed and hurt because I felt like I let my team down when they needed me the most.

What was the most memorable play of collegiate career?
•My most memorable moment as a college athlete would have to be scoring a touchdown at Lucas Oil Stadium against our rivals.

What song best describes your work ethic?
•Dedication- Nipsey Hustle ft Kendrick Lamar

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
•I think the mental aspect is very important. You have to be mentally prepared for the grind, weak minded people don’t last in any aspect of life.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
•My auntie, I was so close to my aunt and I never got the chance to say goodbye but I know she is watching over me and she is proud of the man I am becoming.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
•The most underrated player in the NFL is Jarvis Landry. No matter how hard he works he is always overshadowed, even recently with the Browns new pickup of Odell. He is already being put on the back burner.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
•I would rather be respected, because respect goes a long way

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
•I feel for Colin Kaepernick, because he was standing for something he believes in and they basically told him that he can’t play football because  people felt offended.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
•I hate to lose with a passion, but losing teaches you lessons that winning can’t.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
•My parents have been my biggest influences, my mom has always been there to push me through the ups and downs. Making sure I stay humble and not getting the big head. I say my father because he has literally been with me every step of the way, there was a time after high school when we literally sat down and sent my film to every d-1, d-2, and JUCO coach in America. They are my support system.

Sports Forum / CAU’s offensive line is Young and Restless
« on: August 06, 2019, 02:04:17 PM »

CAU’s offensive line is Young and Restless

  |   August 06, 2019
By Donnell Suggs | The Atlanta Voice

The Clark Atlanta University football season begins just weeks from now when the Panthers and first-year head coach Tim Bowens, a former assistant at Georgia State University, begin things with a home opener under the lights at CAU Panther Stadium against Livingston College on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.
That game and the remainder of the 2019 schedule will be a challenge for the Panthers who are picked to finish fifth in the six-team Eastern Division (just above Savannah State University) according to the SIAC preseason predictions. Part of the reasoning, whether it is warranted or not, may have to do with the fact that the Panthers offensive line will be one of the most inexperienced in the league.

Bowens and his staff, in particular offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Greg McLain, will have to work with what they have and that includes SIAC Preseason second team all-conference selection Paul Coleman. The 6-1, 275-pound versatile lineman had a strong freshman season and looks to add to that this campaign. At least on paper, the Panthers have one of the top 5 guards in the conference and that is a good thing. Now for the bad news.

Clark Atlanta will have three freshman and a newcomer playing major minutes this season. Junior College transfer Joseph Taylor comes home to Atlanta (he’s a Riverdale native) following a stint at Eastern Arizona Community College. Along with Taylor, the Panthers will need major minutes from freshmen Isaiah Goolsby, Johndre Wilson and Jalen Wilcox. To say the five upfront will be young is an understatement of immense order.

The Panthers quarterback rotation will have three experienced players; juniors Charles Stafford, Elijah Odom and P.J. Samford, but if there isn’t any protection that won’t matter much.

Wilcox, a Valdosta High School standout, comes to the Atlanta University Center with high  marks after a stellar career in one of the state’s most highly regarded regions, Region 1-AAAAAA. Wilson, a Detroit native, is 6-2, 300 pounds and also comes to the program with high expectations.

Expectations won’t block the quarterback this season however and the Panthers are going to need outstanding play if they are going to prove the league’s coaches and preseason polls wrong.


Longtime Paine College president Julius Scott dies

By Tom Corwin
Posted Aug 1, 2019 at 4:10 PM Updated Aug 1, 2019 at 8:18 PM

Dr. Julius Scott, who served as president of Paine College and Medical College of Georgia among seven presidencies he held during his career, has died, Paine College confirmed Thursday.

His longtime friend and fellow educator Ellis Johnson said Scott passed away Thursday morning. He and his wife, Anne, had just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary the previous weekend, said Johnson, who was friends with Scott for over 50 years.

“There’s no question that he was a scholar,” Johnson said. “He was an intellectual. He was very very smart. People respected him for his leadership ability, his capabilities, his ability to give sound advice and good advice.”

Scott served as president of Paine twice, from 1975 to 1982 and then again from 1988 to 1994. He also served as president of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and served as interim president a number of times, twice at Albany State University, once at MCG and at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark.

″“I learned a lot in each of these encounters,” Scott said in 2005, when he agreed to his last interim appointment at Albany State. “The more you do, the more you learn.”

He served as interim president of MCG in 2001 after the retirement of Dr. Francis Tedesco, a longtime friend, and before Dr. Daniel Rahn took over as president. He was also an influential member of the board of directors of MCG Health Inc., the operating company for the hospital and clinics, from its inception in 2000 to 2010, when reforms Scott had pushed to the governing structure reduced the number of board seats and ironically eliminated him from the board, which he said was fine.

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. Julius Scott, a notable Augusta leader and a longtime friend to Augusta University and its health system,” AU President Brooks Keel said. “Dr. Scott served with great distinction as the interim president of the Medical College of Georgia long before consolidation and was an active member of our health system board for 10 years. A true visionary, Dr. Scott contributed exceptional insight and expertise in all his roles, including as a special assistant to the president for diversity initiatives. He was a positive force for change and growth in academics and in the greater community, and he will be greatly missed.”

Scott had actually retired after his last stint at Paine in 1994, but then kept getting calls to come back and serve as interim president when the University System of Georgia needed him or other places called. Scott said he never just occupied an office in those interim posts but always tried to improve upon what he found and make the transition easier for the person who took the permanent job after him.

Scott was always “kind, cordial and courteous,” with everyone, Johnson said.

“He was confident and people respected that and that’s why he was able to lead so successfully,” he said. “He will be missed.”

Sports Forum / Allen hires new AD
« on: July 23, 2019, 08:52:20 PM »

Thompson Named new Athletic Director
AU - Mon, Jul. 22, 2019 at 10:55 AM

Gregory Thompson Named the new Athletic Director at Allen University.

(Columbia, S.C.) –  A 30-year athletics administration veteran, Gregory Thompson, has been hired as the athletics director for Allen University, officials announced Wednesday. Thompson began his new post July 15. "We are pleased to announce that Coach Gregory Thompson has joined us as director of athletics. His experience as a football coach and athletics administrator comes to us in a propitious moment in the growth of the university and athletics," said President and CEO Dr. Ernest McNealey.

Thompson was the former director of athletics and head football coach for Stillman College. Among his accomplishments at the Tuscaloosa, Ala. institution, he led the college's reclassification and certification from Division III to Division II within the NCAA. He also held coaching and administrative positions at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Ga. and Southern University and A&M, located in Baton Rouge, La.

Thompson will manage the operation of Allen's athletic programs, currently comprised of 11 men and women's sports teams. He will also oversee a planned expansion with the addition of new sports programs and a bid to move from the NAIA to NCAA Division II.

"Allen University has a longstanding record of superior athletic performance. I am honored to join an institution that not only takes pride in the athletic abilities of its students, but also one that revels in its legacy of academic excellence," said Thompson.

"I look forward to helping build an athletic powerhouse, where maximizing student success is a priority," Thompson continued.

An inductee into both Morris Brown College Hall of Fame and the Atlanta University Center Athletic Hall of Fame, Thompson earned his Bachelor of Science in physical education from Morris Brown College.

Fans, friends and supporters are invited to meet Thompson, along with Vice President of Institutional Advancement Dub Taylor and Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Director of Development Dr. Teesa Brunson, who also recently joined university leadership, at a Meet and Greet reception. The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23 at the Mattie Scott Room, located in the Willie H. Johnson Conference Center, 2300 Taylor Street, Columbia. RSVPs by Monday, July 22 to are requested.

Sports Forum / 2019 SSU Football Schedule
« on: April 04, 2019, 07:26:08 PM »

By Jake Wallace | April 4, 2019 at 5:13 PM EDT - Updated April 4 at 5:13 PM

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah State football schedule is set for 2019 and the Tigers’ return to the Division II ranks.

SSU unveiled the schedule Thursday afternoon, and the slate features a renewal of several old rivalries.

The Tigers will play four home games this season, including a season opener at T.A. Wright Stadium for the first time since 2011. The schedule also includes a stretch of five consecutive road games between September 21 and October 19. The road trip will send the Tigers to Atlanta and the state of South Carolina twice along with a trip to Lorman, Mississippi.

Homecoming will be on October 26 as the Tigers welcome old SIAC rival Albany State to the Hostess City. It will be the 62nd all-time meeting between the Tigers and Golden Rams, and first in eight years.


Sept. 7- Florida Tech

Sept. 14- Virginia University of Lynchburg

Sept. 21- at Benedict

Sept. 28- at Morehouse

Oct. 5- at Charleston Southern

Oct. 12- at Alcorn State

Oct. 19- at Clark Atlanta

Oct. 26- Albany State (Homecoming)

Nov. 2- Fort Valley State

Nov. 9- at Edward Waters College

Sports Forum / Lake Wales catcher signs softball offer with FAMU
« on: March 20, 2019, 04:10:15 PM »

Lake Wales senior catcher Destiny Cuevas signed her letter of intent with Florida A&M to play Division I college softball. She is the latest in the Lake Wales-to-FAMU softball pipeline.

Earlier, pitcher Nadia Zenteno and outfielder Melkayla Irvis had signed with FAMU, and the trio will join former teammate Jamesia Stoudemire, who is already at the school.

A versatile player, Cuevas has also played shortstop at Lake Wales and has been on of the Highlanders’ top hitters since her freshman season. In nine games this season, she is the Highlanders’ leading hitter with a .367 batting average along with two home runs and nine RBIs.

One of Lake Wales’ top hitters last season in the run to the final four, she battled .394 with five home runs and 33 RBIs. She batted .523 with four home runs and 26 RBIs as a freshman and hit .353 as a sophomore when she played in 16 of the team’s 27 games.

Sports Forum / SSU volleyball coach leaves for JUCO job
« on: March 20, 2019, 04:06:27 PM »

ON April 1, coach Edric C ‘Drips’ Poitier is expected to take on a new role at Florida State College at Jacksonville where he coaches their Blue Waves women’s volleyball and reconstructs their beach volleyball programme after a three-year coaching sting at Savannah State University.

“I’m confident coach Poitier will continue to grow on the success of FSCJ Volleyball,” said FSC Athletic Director Ginny Alexander.

Sports Forum / Bozeman Out at Morgan State
« on: March 20, 2019, 04:01:44 PM »

Morgan’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Edward Scott announced today his decision to not renew Todd Bozeman‘s contract as head coach of the Morgan State University men’s basketball program. Bozeman served as the Bears’ head coach since joining the University in 2006.

STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) - Racist images are being uncovered in dozens of decades-old yearbooks, including one local university's.

It’s likely the recent blackface scandal involving Gov. Ralph Northam prompted others to dig into school archives.

Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook showing students in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan hood received national backlash.

The George-Anne, official student newspaper of Georgia Southern University (GS), recently discovered multiple culturally inappropriate photos in their school’s yearbooks.

Three instances of GS students with painted black faces were found in the yearbooks: two from a minstrel show performance and another from a 1986 "Haunted Forest" event.

Minstrel shows were founded on racial stereotypes. The performances typically featured white men who caricatured the singing and dancing of slaves with their faces painted black.

The newspaper also found a photo from a 1970 yearbook of Kappa Alpha fraternity members posing with a rebel flag.

GS Director of Marketing and Communications Jennifer Wise told The George-Anne that the images are offensive and do not reflect the university’s inclusive values.

Within the week, multiple reports of racist photos in old yearbooks have surfaced in our region.

In Emory University yearbooks, portrayals of blackface and a theatrical mock lynching were found. Likewise, photos of University of South Carolina students who were white and wore black face paint were uncovered.

Officials from both schools condemned the images. Emory said it was forming a commission to review the photos.

Sports Forum / Three in hunt for SSU head football coach
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:38:45 PM »

By Jake Wallace | February 17, 2019 at 12:31 AM EST - Updated February 17 at 12:31 AM

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah State is down to three in their search for a new head football coach.

Athletic director Opio Mashariki confirms to WTOC the Tigers have their finalists to lead the football program, including interim head coach Shawn Quinn.

Quinn is joined in the final group by Southern University co-offensive coordinator Chennis Berry and Edward Waters head coach Greg Ruffin.

Quinn took over as the Tigers’ interim head coach in December after Erik Raeburn’s dismissal. The SSU defensive coordinator led the program through signing day and has dove head first into his efforts to earn the job.

Berry is a Savannah State alum who earned Black College All-American Honorable Mention honors in 1994, and began his coaching career as a student assistant. He’s been with the Jaguars for the past six seasons.

Ruffin spent last season leading the Edwards Waters Tigers, and has several years of coaching experience at HBCUs at the Division I or Division II level.

Mashariki says he hopes to have a new head football coach for Savannah State by March.

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