WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — On July 25, the official, unofficial start of the 2013 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s football season began with its annual media day on the campus of Winston-Salem State University.
The beauty of such events is that you’ll get all of the coaches in one room, in one venue and you’ll get to see the brotherhood that a conference like the CIAA has. All 12 coaches have their own unique personalities, each one meshing with the others seamlessly, even with verbal jabs thrown at one another.
It’s more like a family because everyone is real close. We all know each other, we all know each other’s background and where we all came from. -Kharea Roseboro, Saint Augustine’s University
Virginia Union hasn’t won a CIAA football title since 2001, coincidentally that season was the next to the last time the title game was played at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem until being moved back there for the upcoming season. Reminded of the correlation by emcee Stan Lewter of Urban Sports Inside the Game, Union’s coach Michael Bailey said, looking down at the helmets lining the front of the stage.
“Those two helmets are over there for a reason,” Bailey said motioning to the VUU and WSSU helmets side by side.
Bowie State’s coach Damon Wilson corrected Bailey while at the same time cutting down his championship aspirations.
“Those helmets, coach Bailey, are in alphabetical order that’s why your helmets are side by side. Just a F.Y.I.”
Bowie State and Union are in the same division.
Elizabeth City State’s coach Waverly Tillar, whose squad has lost to WSSU the past two years in the CIAA championship game, used a parable to pass along a message to Rams coach Connell Maynor.
“This guy was walking along the California beach,” Tillar began. “He picked up this bottle. Up jumped a genie. The genie said, ‘I’ll grant you one wish.’ The man said, I don’t fly and I’m afraid of ships. I would l like for you to build me a bridge to Hawaii.
“The genie looked puzzled and said do you know how much it’ll cost to build a bridge to Hawaii? Make another wish.
“The man thought for a minute. I’ll like to beat those Rams.
“The genie said, how many layers on the bridge you want one or two?”
Continued Tillar, “The moral of the story is, Connell if you think you’re going to beat those Vikings in the 2013 championship, you better bring your genie.”
There was a format change in this year’s program allowing for the student-athletes to address the room which ended up being some of the most memorable moments of the day.
“Just obtaining a degree as an African American male where the statistics show it’s low, so being an African American male with a degree is very prestigious to me, almost as awarding as getting the opportunity of playing college football,” said defensive lineman Justin Smith of Johnson C. Smith about what it would mean graduating from JCSU.
St. Augustine’s defensive back Kharea Roseboro spoke about the unity that the Falcons players and coaching staff share.
“It’s more like a family because everyone is real close,” Roseboro said. “We all know each other, we all know each other’s background and where we all came from.”
Reigning CIAA defensive player of the year Carlos Fields, Jr., the anchor of the Rams defense at linebacker that paced WSSU to the Division II championship game and Black College Football national title expressed his fears.
“Getting on a plane,” Fields said. “I know about 50 percent of the guys never rode on a plane before, including myself, so I was scared from taking off to going down.”
Bowie State quarterback summed up the day like this:
“This is a great experience. The setup was beautiful and to see all of the students athletes outside the equipment and to interact with them a little bit and see their personalities is great.”
For a more in-depth look from media day, log onto http://www.hbcugameday.com/
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