Southern’s Lenard Tillery aims to make history in the SWAC

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The city of Baton Rouge has had it’s ups and downs in it’s long history. The 1953 Bus Boycotts in the city made history as many African American’s first stance against Jim Crow policies. In 1962, several Southern University students made history protesting at a Piccadilly lunch counter as part of the nation wide sit in protest. Former Southern University track star Rodney Davenport made history in the 1968 Olympics bringing home a gold metal. However, Baton Rouge has had it’s lows , just recently the shooting death of Alton Sterling and the lives of several BRPD officers being taken away by a gunman. The 2016 Flood has made national headlines as many people lost their homes to the massive disaster. But , there’s is a bright side to this……Football season approaches and that may be what the doctor ordered….

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Southern University’s Lenard Tillery has his sights set on a 2016 SWAC Championship but you would never know that he is already Southern’s all time leading rusher with 3,050 yards. However, Tillery is on the brink of making history in the SWAC. Baring no injuries and the Jaguar front can open holes, Tillery only needs 958 yards by season end to past Jackson State’s Destry Wright as the all time SWAC leading rusher. That would be a special feat for a kid who was a walk on from nearby McKinley High School.

 

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Lenard Tillery was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He attended McKinley High School where he was an all district performer for Coach Robert Signator. Tillery wasn’t highly recruited but he was a good kid. As Southern University was going through a coaching change following Stump Mitchell departure and Dawson Odums hire, former Co- Offensive Coordinator Chad Germany caught the eye of the kid and offered a walk-on opportunity. With Southern’s rushing attack being dormant, it gave Tillery , a red shirt freshmen an opportunity to show his skills. Three years later, Tillery has broken the school’s rushing record once held by Steven Worfford , two time All SWAC selection and now has an opportunity to make history as the league’s all time yardage man. 

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Tillery, now a Senior was just voted the 2016 SWAC Pre-season player of the year at the conference Media Day back in July. Since the Jaguars have reported to Fall Camp, he has taken leadership of the team and was voted captain for this year’s squad. He leads by example and that example can be seen on and off the field. He is a great player but even a great student. Coach Odums praises this kid as the ideal player to coach. But what’s more important is the fact that Tillery paid his first semester tuition as a freshmen walk on but later earned a full scholarship for his hard work which eventually turned into something special at Southern University. History will be made on the Bluff………..

 

 

 

 

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Lesson learned…GSU turns up the heat with FBS transfers …..Finally a break through?

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Coach Broderick Fobbs and his Grambling State Tigers watched hopelessly as the clock ticked away Alcorn State pick up their second SWAC Football Championship trophy plus punch a ticket to the inaugural Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a bitter sweet ending for a team that was picked to win the 2015 SWAC Championship hands down. Coach Fobbs and his staff went back to the drawing board and picked up several key addictions from FBS schools that will certainly make a difference this season as the Tigers look for revenge against those Braves of Alcorn. Former Ole Miss QB De Vante Kincade  , 6’1 200 specimen leads the group. Kincade was a highly sought QB coming out of high school , picked Ole Miss. However , playing sparingly and also with the emergance of Chip Kelly, Kincade decided to take his talents to northern Louisiana. Fobbs now has a QB who can rekindle what former Tiger QB Johnathan Williams did throwing for over 2500 yards. Kincade is a strong arm QB with great mobility to cause havoc.

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WR Montrell Meander , a former Texas Longhorn will be an added threat at WR to go along with returning starter Chad Williams. Meander , 6’3 210 adds size to the Tigers receiving core plus athleticism. Meander was in Coach Charlie Strong’s dog house so he decided to bolt to the hills of northern Louisiana also. Fobbs did better…Another FBS transfer , WR D.J Clark from the University of Arizona and Johnathan Williams , WR from Wake Forest plus other returnees could make the Tigers receiving corps the best in the country.

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Grambling also did itself a favor in welcoming some help on the defensive side of the ball. Safety Derick Dixon from Texas Tech could be the help the Tigers are looking for in the secondary. Dixon played sparingly for the Red Raiders in their secondary before getting into trouble with coach Cliff Kingsberry that eventually lead to his departure out of Lubbock. The Tigers will also get some help up front as former Oklahoma Sooner DL Courtney Garnett will add some weight to their defensive scheme.

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Two late addictions added to the Tigers roster were former Tulane Green Wave DB Dedric Shy , 6’2 athlete who will have 3 years of eligibility. Shy adds size to go along with speed in the Tigers secondary. LB Ed Williams , 6’3 240 joins Shy as the second Tulane Green Wave transfer. Williams adds size to the Tigers LB corps. while in New Orleans , Williams made 38 tackles for Tulane but academics was his weakness. Williams claims his academic troubles are over and he will have 2 years of eligibility. With several FBS addictions added to the already stable Tiger roster, Coach Fobbs and the Tigers look to break through in Houston and Atlanta.

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PVAMU opens up the 2016 Football season in a new dig….Southern finally gets some turf……Alcorn State gets a new scoreboard….

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Summer vacation is over, kids are now back in school and the 2016 Football season is upon us. However, a few Southwestern Athletic Conference schools have finally dug into their pockets and made much needed improvements on their athletic facilities. Prairie View A&M have been talking about a new stadium for the past 3 years or so. The Panther have played in the old Blackshear Field Stadium for many years. However, as the college landscape began to change with FBS schools improving their venues, HBCU schools were tongued tied as well as cash strapped to pull off any huge improvements. However, with cash donations from prominent alumni as well as help from state funds as well as government funds, Prairie View’s stadium came to a vision. The Panther’s played their 2015 home slate at nearby Waller High School while construction crews broke ground and started demolishing old Blackshear. Construction engineers gave way to blue prints of a upscale new stadium that seats over 10,000 with the possibility of expanding in the near future. Panther alumni visioned their team playing in a spanking brand new stadium and now on September 4, the annual LABOR DAY CLASSIC comes to the Hill as Texas Southern invades Panther Stadium. With new field turf and a new scoreboard plus a grande ole locker rooms, showers and team meeting rooms, the Panthers will have a new den to be pleased with.  

 

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Down in Baton Rouge, Southern University has added a new addiction to A.W. Mumford Stadium. The True Blue Foundation along with local sponsors have donated the funds for Southern to install new field turf in the stadium. Before then, the playing surface at Mumford has been horrible. Injuries along with poor drainage forced the Jaguars to come up with a plan not only to prevent injuries but a plan that would be a long term solution as far as saving money on grass maintenance. The new turf really brings out the stadium appeal as well as gives Southern University football a national brand appeal. 

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Over in Lorman, Mississippi, Alcorn State starts new with former Brave QB Fred McNair taking over as head coach. Former coach Hopson, left to take over at Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The Alcorn State Alumni group help raise money for the school to purchase a nice huge new scoreboard with video screen to make Spinks-Casem Stadium more fan friendly. Not only will the score board display the score but it will display sponsorship as well as replays, as well as live coverage during the game. It is said to be the largest scoreboard in the state of Mississippi. That’s a plus for the Brave Nation as well as future Braves also.

As we approach the 2016 football season , one thing for sure is a few SWAC teams are keeping up with the Jones as it relates to much needed athletic improvements…………..stay tuned….

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Realsportsrealtalk Midweek Commentary: MVSU is becoming relevant in SWAC Basketball again?

 

MVSU_Delta_Devils_Athletics_Logo1Good Morning, OK Let’s get to it……As we head into weekend three of the SWAC basketball slate, we know that defending champ Texas Southern and runner up Southern University will be fighting to stay on top. TSU heads into Grambling State with a 3-0 mark. Southern stumbled early on the road but broke even with wins over GSU and Jackson State to a 2-2 record. However, the most surprising team thus far is the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils who sit at 2-1 behind leader TSU. The sole lost is a 75-74 OT lost at Alabama State. The Devils started league play winless 0-14 before picking up their first win. MVSU has gone through several issues and chamges. Just four seasons ago, the Devils won the SWAC under former coach, Sean Woods . That year, MVSU went underfeated in SWAC play as well as winning the tournament and heading into NCAA post season. Woods left and Chico Potts took over. Under Potts, things didn’t go to well as the losses mounted, players left the program and questions about Potts management of the team arose. Shortly after Potts was released and an interium coach was in place. Heading into the 2014-2015, Valley officials reached into the NAIA ranks and hired Andre Payne, former Wiley and Texas College head coach to lead the program. Last season , Payne got things in order and finished 6-25. This year, the guys have bought into his program and after losing 14 straight games , MVSU finally benefited from the tough competition. Not only gaining much needed funds from big money games , the Devils were able to compete and win games in SWAC play. Dominating UAPB, AAMU and losing to Alabama State in OT after dominating the Hornets the entire game was a huge plus. MVSU has now gained the respect of other league schools as well as the respect of the Payne. Payne’s recruiting and his philosophy has finally took hold. This year’s team is paced by Marcus Romain with a 16.5 pts a game. Damian Young sits at 10 pts a game. There are a bevy of players who average between 8 to 4 points a game. I call that a balance attack. Another added demension Payne has added is on the bench. Former JSU star and assistant coach, Eric Strothers brings experience as well as on the court knowledge to MVSU . Strother’s presence has been a great one to MVSU program. As the Devils prpare for an indian invasion by Alcorn State on Saturday night, MVSU plans on writing another chapter as the SWAC season moves on.

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TSU/PV ….SU/GSU Highlight this weekend SWAC Matchups…

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Good Morning, OK….The NCAA College basketball conference slate is in full swing. Even though it’s early, a few teams are making surprising statements . Within the SWAC, Grambling State has made a statement for everyone in the league to know. The Tigers are 2-0 and look to continue their climb on the road as they visit the struggling Southern Jaguars in a pivotal game for SU. Coach Shawn Walker has won his players over with his style of play and closing out games has been to tone for the GMEN. Coach Roman Banks feels that the Jags has lost their swag after losing 2 key games on the road in SWAC play. Banks will use the next two games, GSU and JSU to re-evaluate his teams desire to win again. GSU’S Nigel Ribero paces the Tigers at 14 points a game. Southern’s Adrian Rogers and Trulan Banks have paced the Jags with a 16 point clip a game.

Houston will be the place to be as the Labor Day Classic takes place on the hardwood as the PVAMU Panthers visit the surging TSU Tigers. After upsetting Southern on Monday , the Panthers finally broke into the win column. Zach Hamilton and Tevin Bellinger leads the Panther attack. TSU’S Chris Thomas , Malcolm Riley and Derrick Griffin forms a 3 headed monster for the Tigers.

Jackson State is off the a surprising start as well. The Tigers visit upstart Alcorn State this weekend. JSU is coming off two wins over the Alabama schools at home. However, heading into nthe reservation could be tough. JSU will counter with Paris Collins 16.4 pts a game. The Braves Marquis Vance leads a well balanced team at 10.6 points a clip.

Mississippi Valley broke into the win column on Monday at home against UAPB. Now the Devils must take on an angry Alabama State team in Montgomery. Coach Lewis Jackson’s Hornets are hungry to get back into the race. MVSU Damian Young 13.2 clip leads the Devils. ASU’S Jamal Waters 14.0 a clip paces the Hornets.

UAPB heads into Huntsville looking to steal one from AAMU, also sitting at 0-2 in the SWAC race. UAPB is paced by JoVaugh Love 10.6 a clip. AAMU is lead by Ladaris Tabb 23.4 clip. The Bulldogs look to get back into the race as well.

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Realsportsrealtalk: GMEN , JSU…PUSHOVERS NO MORE!!

 

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Good morning, OK..Let’s get to it. The First weekend of SWAC Men’s hoops ended with a few surprises. Southern University, which was suppose to challenge Texas Southern for rights to the SWAC Throne has stumbled out the gate to an 0-2 record after losing to PVAMU 71-65. Alabama State has stumbled as well to an 0-2 record. The surprise is the Grambling State Tigers which have broken their record of consecutive D I losses after picking up wins against AAMU and the Hornets. The Tigers along with JSU have a 2-0 record heading into weekend two coming up. Texas Southern held their own with wins over Southern and Alcorn to stand pat at 2-0 also.

Texas Southern didn’t mess around as the Tigers roared to a 74-58 victory over the Braves. Derrick Griffin paced the Tigers with 13 before being ejected for fighting. Octavious Brown paced the Braves with 19 points.

Prairie View finally broke into the win column with a 71-65 victory over Southern. Jaryd Johnson paced the Panthers with 21 points. Zachary Hamilton added 12. Southern was lead by Chris Hyder’s 16 followed by Adrian Rogers 15. Trulan Banks chipped in 16 as well.

Grambling sqeezed by Alabama State 84-81. The GMEN were paced by Remond Brown 23. Three other players chipped in 14. ASU was paced by Steve Rogers 19. Four other Hornets players reached double figures also. 

Jackson State got by AAMU 67-66. The Tigers were paced by Reaford Worsham 25 points. Chance Franklin chipped in 14 and Kervain Bernard added 12. The Bulldogs were paced by Jacob Perry 18 points.

MVSU finally got into the win column as the Devils defeated UAPB 66-60 in the Valley. MVSU was paced by Marcus Romain 20 points. UAPB was paced by Charles Jackson 13 points. 

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SWAC Basketball is back!!!…..TSU TIGERS LOOK TO ROAR AGAIN…..GSU BREAK THROUGH!!…

 

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Happy New Year to all my sports collegues. OK…NCAA basketball is starting to go into full stride as conference play begans for all team. In SWAC play Southern looked like the team to be reconed with as the Jags pulled a few upsets prior to league play. However, opening up at defending champion Texas Southern wasn’t easy. The Jags jumped out to an ealy 10 point lead however, TSU roared back and never looked back as the Tigers stormed passed Southern 88-66. Tigers were lead by Chris Thomas 25 points. Jose Rodriguez chipped in 18. Derrick Griffin and David Blacks chipped in 11 and both had a double double. Thomas also had a double double. The Tigers shot nearly 50% behinbd the arc. The Jaguars had five players in double figures lead by Adrian Banks 14 points. However, horrific shooting doomed the Jaguars. 

The GMEN ended their drought of Division I losses as they break through at home against AAMU 81-78. The Tigers were paced by Mark Gray 18 points. Deonte Hearns and Remond Brown chipped in 15 respectively. AAMU was paced by Nick West 19 points.

Jackson State held on to defeat the Alabama State Hornets 68-61 in Jackson, Ms. The Tigers were lead by Paris Collins 12 points. The Hornets were paced by Bobby Brown 18 points.

Alcorn State got off on the right foot as the Braves stole one from the PVAMU Panthers 73-70 in Priarie View. The Braves were lead by Octavious Brown 22 points. Tamarcio Wilson netted 19 for Alcorn State. PVAMU was paced by Zachary HAMILTON’S 31 points. 

As we move on ahead……Monday’s match up’s

Southern ( 0-1 )  @ PVAMU ( 0-1 ) 7: 30pm

Alcorn State ( 1-0 ) @ TSU ( 1-0 )   ESPNU 8 PM

Alabama State ( 0-1 ) @ GSU ( 1-0 ) 7: 30pm

AAMU ( 0-1 ) @  Jackson State ( 1-0 ) 7:30pm 

UAPB ( 0-0 ) @ MVSU ( 0-0 ) 7:30PM 

 

 

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