Sports news and notes, 7/21
The CIAA, Pigskin Preview, MEAC – football luncheons are in full throttle. If you missed the first two or can’t make the third, broadcaster Donal Ware is hosting BOXTOROW’s third annual Countdown to Kickoff radio show this Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. live from Jimmy V’s Osteria & Bar inside the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel in downtown Raleigh.
Seven CIAA and MEAC coaches are scheduled to appear: St. Augustine’s Tim Chavous, Shaw’s Adrian Jones, N.C. Central’s Jerry Mack, Winston-Salem State Kienus Boulware, Elizabeth City State’s Earnest Wilson, Livingstone’s Daryl Williams and Johnson C. Smith’s Kermit Blount. N.C. A&T coach Rod Broadway had a late cancellation to attend a funeral.
Fans can either listen on WAUG-AM 750 or attend the event free of charge. Come out and wear your favorite school colors, and get a chance to ask questions, as well as win prizes.
• Same ol’, same ol’: The CIAA Football Media Day was Thursday morning in Salem, Virginia. No surprise for the top spots. Winston-Salem State is the No. 1 overall seed (How many times have folks written off the Rams since Connell Maynor left?) Bowie State was picked to win the North. What was surprising was St. Augustine’s getting the No. 3 pick in the South over Shaw, Johnson C. Smith and Livingstone. Either coaches know something we don’t, or the South is as weak as day-old dishwater.
• Star of the show: As much as North Carolina Central is included in the process, it’s no secret that the Bill Dooley Triangle Pigskin Preview is heavily centered on the three ACC teams. But despite playing in a lower division, Jerry Mack was the only conference champion sitting at Thursday’s table. And he’s the only three-time champ in consecutive seasons.
One nice change this year was a more personal touch about the coaches’ lives, instead of the usual season preview stuff. There’s always time for that later.
Best recruiting story: Mack told of a recruit from Virginia that kept calling and asking if he was still coming. When he arrived, the family ordered a “$5 Little Caesar’s pizza.” As they were eating, the recruit told Mack he had a friend who lived down the road that was a good running back. After Mack finished talking with the second recruit, the first one says he has another friend who plays defensive tackle. He’s at the YMCA. They go and visit the third recruit. All three end of getting scholarships and were starters on the team. That was some bargain $5 pizza.
Engagement proposal: Both families were in town to celebrate the future Mrs. Coach’s graduation from graduate school. Mack was still in college. After a while, she couldn’t understand why everybody was still hanging around. Finally, when she walked out of the kitchen, there was Mack on one knee in front of all the relatives. But that’s just the beginning. Mack says the couple plan to renew their vows next year and “I’ll have a better story.”