Celebration Bowl Set for December 15, Will Open 2018 Bowl Season on ABC

ATLANTA – The Celebration Bowl will be televised live on ABC  to open the 2018 bowl season for the fourth consecutive year. The postseason college football bowl game will kick off at noon ET, on Saturday, Dec. 15, from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The Celebration Bowl, which showcases the heritage, legacy, pageantry and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), features the conference champions from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The MEAC leads the series 2-1 with both wins coming from North Carolina A&T, whose last minute 21-14 win over Grambling State in 2017 capped the first unbeaten season in MEAC history. Grambling won the SWAC’s first title in 2016 with a thrilling 10-9 victory over North Carolina Central.

The average margin of victory in the event’s history has been just five points, making the Celebration Bowl one of the most exciting games of the bowl season. The event has also performed well with television viewers as one of the most watched pre-Christmas bowl games in each of its three years of existence.

Three bowl alumni have gone on to be selected in the NFL Draft, including three-time MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year Brandon Parker (North Carolina A&T – Oakland Raiders) just last week. 2015 Offensive MVP Tarik Cohen (North Carolina A&T – Chicago Bears) and 2016 champion Chad Williams (Grambling State – Arizona Cardinals) were both chosen in the 2016 NFL Draft.

“We are proud that once again the Celebration Bowl will kick off the college football bowl season on ABC in Atlanta, Georgia,” said John Grant, Celebration Bowl Executive Director. “We are pleased to feature the champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) verses the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in this nationally televised championship game. Each of the past three years we have presented exciting games that went down to the wire in determining who would claim the coveted Celebration Bowl trophy.”

“I would like to thank ESPN for their vision and dedication to establishing the Celebration Bowl as one of the top collegiate bowl games,” said SWAC Interim Commissioner Edgar Gantt. “We are excited and look forward to participating in this year’s bowl. Our student-athletes, coaches and fans have enjoyed this first class event.”

“We are elated to know that the 2018 Celebration Bowl will be on ABC again,” said MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis E. Thomas. “The exposure for our conference and institutions on a national level is tremendous for our branding. To start the 2018 bowl season is an excellent opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches and institutions as they play on a national platform. ESPN continues to be a great partner and should be commended for providing this avenue of exposure for the MEAC and SWAC football champions.”

Tickets for the game, a full ancillary event schedule and discounted rates at downtown Atlanta hotels will be available this summer. To stay up to date on Celebration Bowl announcements, sign up for updates on www.TheCelebrationBowl.com and follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, also manages the season-opening MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Labor Day weekend, another game that showcases these two conferences. The 2018 Challenge will be contested in Atlanta for the first time, featuring Prairie View A&M University from the SWAC and North Carolina Central University from the MEAC. The game is set for Sunday, Sept. 2, at Georgia State Stadium, and will be televised on ESPN2 at noon.

The Celebration Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (TBD); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

Two-Time Celebration Bowl Champion Brandon Parker Selected in NFL Draft

Two-time Celebration Bowl champion Brandon Parker was selected with the 65th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. The former North Carolina A&T tackle led the way up front for the A&T’s Celebration Bowl victories in 2015 and 2017. Aggies running backs earned Offensive MVP honors in both years, with current Chicago Bear Tarik Cohen running for 295 yards and 3 TD in the inaugural 2015 game and rising senior Marquell Cartwright going for 110 and 1 TD in 2017.

Parker earned MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year honors for three consecutive years from 2015-2017. He was also named to the STATS FCS All-America First Team in both 2016 and 2017.

Parker is the third Celebration Bowl champion to be selected in the NFL Draft. Cohen and current Arizona Cardinal WR Chad Williams (Grambling State) were both chosen in 2017. Cohen made an immediate impact in his rookie season with the Bears, logging 723 total yards (rushing + receiving) while also returning kicks.

NC A&T Scores Late To Beat Grambling 21-14, Win 2nd Celebration Bowl

ATLANTA — Lamar Raynard scored on a 1-yard sneak with 38 seconds left and unbeaten North Carolina A&T won its second Celebration Bowl in three years, defeating Grambling State 21-14 on Saturday.

N.C. A&T (12-0) won its fourth Historically Black College and University national championship. The Aggies claimed titles in 1990 and 1999 in addition to 2015, when they defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the first Celebration Bowl.

Raynard, one of four finalists for the Black College Hall of Fame player of the year, completed 23 of 43 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown and had 17 yards on eight carries.

The junior quarterback drove the Aggies 56 yards in seven plays for the winning touchdown, shaking off nearly throwing his third interception. Grambling (11-2) challenged, but the pass was ruled incomplete.

Grambling was trying for a second straight HBCU national title as the Tigers edged North Carolina Central 10-9 last year.

Grambling quarterback DeVante Kincade, also a finalist for player of the year, completed 19 of 36 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns while also scrambling for 93 yards on the ground.

Franklin McCain III ended a Grambling drive following the second-half kickoff with an interception at the goal line and N.C. A&T marched down the field to go ahead 14-7 on Marquell Cartwright‘s 30-yard run.

Grambling tied it early in the fourth quarter as Martez Carter teamed with Kincade on a 29-yard TD pass to cap an 80-yard drive.

N.C. A&T’s Lyndemian Brooks recovered a fumble at the Grambling 8 in the fourth quarter, but the Aggies came up empty when Cartwright tried to punch it in from a yard out on fourth down and was stopped by defensive end Brandon Varner.

Grambling went six plays on its final drive of the game but Kincade’s pass over the middle was incomplete as time expired.

THE TAKEAWAY

N.C. A&T: The Aggies became the first MEAC team to go undefeated for an entire season as they continued their run of success under coach Rod Broadway. N.C. A&T is 40-8 with two HBCU national titles in four seasons under Broadway.

Grambling State: The Tigers are back despite failing in their bid for consecutive HBCU national title. Grambling is 38-11 in four seasons under head coach Broderick Fobbs, a former Tigers captain who was hired after the team went 2-21 over two years amid player turmoil.

COACHING CONNECTIONS

Both head coaches have a deep connection with the other team. A&T’s Broadway spent four years at Grambling, leading the Tigers to the 2008 HBCU national championship. Grambling running backs coach Lee Fobbs, the father of coach Broderick Fobbs, was A&T’s head coach from 2006-08.

WATCH: Celebration Bowl Friday Press Conferences

Grambling State Players – Trent Scott, Darrell Clark, Marco Orozco, De’Andre Hogues, De’Arius Christmas

 

Grambling State player press conference at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

Grambling State Head Coach Broderick Fobbs

 

Grambling State Athletics Head Coach Broderick Fobbs press conference from Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

North Carolina A&T Players – Lamar Raynard, Elijah Bell, Jeremy Taylor, Darryl Johnson, Brandon Parker

 

North Carolina A&T Athletics player press conference at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

North Carolina A&T Head Coach Rod Broadway

 

North Carolina A&T Athletics Head Coach Rod Broadway addresses the media at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

Grammy Nominated Singer to Perform National Anthem

ATLANTA – Grammy nominated gospel artist and musician, Jekalyn Carr, has been chosen to sing the national anthem at the 2017 Celebration Bowl with a matchup between two defending champions, North Carolina A&T State University and Grambling State University. This game will kick off the college football bowl season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday, December 16 at noon.

Jekalyn Carr made her debut on the music scene in 2013 when her single Greater Is Coming reached the Top 5 on the Billboard charts. Her background as a singer, speaker and preacher has allowed her to reach new heights in her career.  In 2016, Jekalyn Carr release her album titled “The Life Project” which included her single, You’re Bigger. The Life Project went on to become her first Billboard #1 album.

Carr has also been seen in several television roles including season 2 of OWN Network’s original series Greenleaf and is currently preparing to release her first book, “You Will Win: Inspirational Strategies To Help You Overcome.” The release of her book will coincide with the release of her fourth album, One Nation Under God.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $50 to $175.  A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

For more information, visit www.TheCelebrationBowl.com, and follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.

About ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

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ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com

Grambling State Heading to Celebration Bowl For Second Consecutive Year

ATLANTA – The second invitation to the third annual Celebration Bowl – to be played on Saturday, Dec. 16, at noon ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta – has been extended to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) college football champion, Grambling State University. The Grambling Tigers defeated the Alcorn Braves 40-32 in Saturday’s SWAC Championship Game.  Executive Director of the Celebration Bowl, John Grant, was on-site at in Houston and presented Grambling State University Coach Broderick Fobbs with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to SWAC champion Grambling State for punching their ticket to the Celebration Bowl for the second year in a row,” said Grant. “We are excited for the Tigers to join us in this historic match-up against the North Carolina A&T Aggies and see which team will win their second Celebration Bowl in the past three years!”

For three years straight, Grambling has faced Alcorn State in the SWAC’s title game, and for the second year in a row, the Tigers won the conference title and all bragging rights. Grambling has won 11 straight after a season opening loss at FBS Tulane, rising to #12 in final FCS coaches poll in the process. Looking back further, the Tigers have won 21 straight games vs. FCS opponents, including the 2016 Celebration Bowl vs. North Carolina Central. North Carolina A&T comes into the game undefeated with an 11-game win streak, which earned the Aggies a #7 ranking in the final FCS poll.  The Aggies dominated the MEAC all season, earning 12 of 25 spots on the all-conference first teams.

Establishing itself as the first bowl game of the season, the Celebration Bowl is a postseason football game owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. The game features the MEAC and SWAC champions and will be televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with 100 Black Men of Atlanta to organize the game’s ancillary events which include a youth symposium, robotics showcase, gospel night, fan experience and more. North Carolina A&T defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the inaugural game in 2015. In last year’s game, Grambling State defeated North Carolina Central 10-9.  The two games have had more than 66,000 combined fans cheering their teams and conferences on.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $50 to $175 including taxes and fees.  A full list of events surrounding the game is available on the event’s website.

Fans interested in ticket and hospitality packages for the Celebration Bowl can also purchase packages and resell tickets through PRIMESPORT, the Official Ticket Exchange and Gameday Experience Provider of the 2017 Celebration Bowl. As the Official Ticket Exchange and Gameday Experience Provider, PRIMESPORT offers packages for the ultimate game day experience. For more information, please visit PRIMESPORT.com.

For MEAC fans, a special rate of $106/night is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

For SWAC fans, a special rate of $97/night is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Additional hotel rooms are available at the Westin Peachtree Plaza for $99/night and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Downtown for $101/night.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com

Black College Football Player of the Year Finalists Announced

***Courtesy of the Black College Football Hall of Fame. The Celebration Bowl will host the Class of 2018 at our Champions Circle on Thursday, December 14 as well the game on Saturday, December 16.***

Full article link: http://www.blackcollegefootballhof.org/releases/bcfhof-announces-2017-college-football-player-of-the-year-award-finalists

Atlanta, GA (November 30, 2017) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced today four Finalists for the Black College Football Player of the Year Award. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding football player from a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) that embodies the rich tradition of athletic excellence and integrity associated with HBCUs. Former North Carolina A&T State University, and current Chicago Bears Running Back, Tarik Cohen was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2016.

The 2017 Finalists include RB Trenton Cannon (Virginia State University), QB Amir Hall (Bowie State University), QB DeVante Kincade (Grambling State University) and QB Lamar Raynard (North Carolina A&T State University).

The Finalists were chosen by a five-member Selection Committee, which is composed of Black College Football Hall of Fame founders James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams, longtime SBN Broadcaster and Director of News and Sports for the Power News Radio Network Ty Miller, former USA Today sports writer Roscoe Nance, and ESPN College Football Analyst Jay Walker.

“The Black College Football Player of the Year Award showcases the immense talent of our HBCU student-athletes today,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee. “Each finalist has had an incredible season and we are excited to celebrate their success.”

The winner of the 2017 Black College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on February 10, 2018 at the Ninth Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta, Georgia. He will be presented with the Deacon Jones Trophy, named in honor of the football legend and inaugural BCFHOF inductee.

“On behalf of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Trustees, we congratulate the Black College Football Player of the Year Finalists,” said James “Shack” Harris, Co-Founder and 2012 Inductee. “These student-athletes represent the very best of HBCU football.”

The Finalists will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 16th, along with the BCFHOF Class of 2018, which will be televised on ABC.

PRIMESPORT, ESPN Events Renew Partnership That Includes Celebration Bowl

ATLANTA (Nov. 29, 2017) – PRIMESPORT, an industry leader in providing VIP access to the biggest sporting events in the world, has announced a renewed and expanded partnership with ESPN Events to remain the Official VIP Hospitality and Travel Provider for all of their college football games. PRIMESPORT will also offer fans the chance to buy and sell tickets through an Official Ticket Exchange service for many of the ESPN Events College Football Games.

PRIMESPORT will provide premium VIP ticket packages and fan travel experiences for the Birmingham Bowl, Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, Celebration Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Lockheed Martin Armed Services Bowl, Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, DXL Frisco Bowl and the 2018 Orlando Kickoff and Texas Kickoff game.

ESPN Events is a branch of ESPN charged with creating and organizing sporting events to be broadcast across ESPN networks. Over the years, ESPN Events has created and organized many high-quality bowl games and has become an industry leader in providing fans with great events and elite matchups in many of college football’s marquee bowl games.

As part of the renewed partnership, PRIMESPORT will continue to offer premium ticket packages for all of ESPN Events’ college football games that include college football tickets, plus VIP Experiences like pregame field passes or exclusive pregame party access. Choice Fan Travel Packages will also be available to include hotel accommodations, game tickets, official souvenirs and more. PRIMESPORT will further offer college football fans an officially designated and approved Ticket Exchange marketplace to buy and sell tickets in a convenient, secure and protected environment.

“We are thrilled to renew and extend our partnership with ESPN Events,” said Michael Huber, Senior Vice President for Business Development at PRIMESPORT. “Just as ESPN is one of the most recognizable name in sports, PRIMESPORT’s experiences are some of the most elite in the fan experience industry. Our top priority is to give fans the best experience possible when they enjoy premier events and this partnership ensures that quality.”

For more information on official tickets, travel packages or fan-to-fan ticket exchange to any one of the nearly 20 events, visit PRIMESPORT.com.

About PRIMESPORT

PRIMESPORT is an industry leader in providing direct access to the biggest sporting events in the world, offering tickets, travel, hospitality and VIP experiences on behalf of more than 25 bowl games and nearly two dozen universities. PRIMESPORT additionally partners with over 150 teams, leagues and events, including select NCAA Championships, NHL fixtures, 20 NFL teams, and many more. For more information, visit www.PRIMESPORT.com or call (800)591-9198.

About ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages. ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

MEAC Champions! North Carolina A&T Earns Second Celebration Bowl Berth

ATLANTA – The first invitation to the third annual Celebration Bowl – to be played on Saturday, Dec. 16, at noon ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta – has been extended to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) college football champion, North Carolina A&T State University. The Aggies have posted an unbeaten 10-0 record so far this season, including 7-0 in the MEAC. While one week of the season remains, the Aggies will be the MEAC representative in the Celebration Bowl regarding of the result of their game vs. North Carolina Central on Saturday.  Executive Director of the Celebration Bowl, John Grant, will be at the game in Greensboro to present North Carolina A&T Coach Rod Broadway with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to MEAC champion North Carolina A&T for punching their ticket to the Celebration Bowl for the second time,” said Grant. “We are excited for the Aggies to join us in Atlanta and look forward to finding out their opponent after the SWAC Championship game on Saturday, December 2.”

The Aggies 10-0 start is a program best and includes a win over FBS Charlotte. Quarterback Lamar Raynard is third in all of FCS in passing efficiency, while the defense ranks second in scoring, only allowing 12 points per game. The Aggies have risen to #7 in the FCS coaches poll heading into the final weekend of the season.

Establishing itself as the first bowl game of the season, the Celebration Bowl is a postseason football game owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. The game features the MEAC and SWAC champions and will be televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with 100 Black Men of Atlanta to organize the game’s ancillary events which include a youth symposium, robotics showcase, gospel night, fan experience and more. North Carolina A&T defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the inaugural game in 2015. In last year’s game, Grambling State defeated North Carolina Central 10-9.  The two games have had more than 66,000 combined fans cheering their teams and conferences on.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $50 to $175 including taxes and fees.  A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

For MEAC fans, a special rate of $106/night is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

For SWAC fans, a special rate of $97/night is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Additional hotel rooms are available at the Westin Peachtree Plaza for $99/night and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Downtown for $101/night.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.);  Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Texas Bowl (Houston); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (TBD); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com

Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Unveiled

***Courtesy of the Black College Football Hall of Fame. The Celebration Bowl will host the Class of 2018 at our Champions Circle on Thursday, December 14 as well the game on Saturday, December 16.***

October 25, 2017 (Atlanta, GA) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced its Class of 2018 today. Seven inductees were selected from a list of 25 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF Selection Committee.

The Class of 2018 includes Harold Carmichael (Southern), Raymond Chester (Morgan State), Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson(Langston University), Leo “Lincoln Locomotive” Lewis (Lincoln), Greg Lloyd (Fort Valley State), Everson Walls (Grambling State) as player inductees and Coach Bill Hayes (Winston-Salem State and North Carolina A&T).

“This class represents three Super Bowl rings, 18 Pro Bowl selections and several Black College Football championships,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams. “Take a look at what they’ve done off the field as well, and each has earned this incredible honor.”

Votes were tallied from the 12-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from previous BCFHOF inductees to determine the 2018 Inductees.

The Class of 2018 will be honored at the Ninth Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons on February 10, 2018. The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Inductees will also be recognized on ESPN at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 16th. For more information please visit www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org.

 

HAROLD CARMICHAEL (Player)

HAROLD CARMICHAEL

Wide Receiver … Southern University (1967-1970) … Began collegiate career as a walk-on … Member of the SWAC Hall of Fame … Selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in 7th round of the 1971 NFL Draft … Eagles (1971-1983) … Dallas Cowboys (1984) … 14 seasons … Four-time Pro Bowl Selection … NFL receptions leader (1973) … NFL 1970s All-Decade Team … Retired as the Eagles’ all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and total touchdowns (79) … Born on September 22, 1949 in Jacksonville, Florida.

RAYMOND CHESTER (Player)

RAYMOND CHESTER

Tight End … Morgan State University (1966-1969) … Member of Morgan State’s 1968 undefeated team, scoring the Bears’ only touchdown in their historic victory over Grambling at Yankee Stadium … Member of 1970 College All-Star team … Selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 24th overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft … Raiders (1970-1972; 1978-1981) … Baltimore Colts (1973-1977) … NFL Rookie of the Year (1970) … Four-time Pro Bowl Selection … Super Bowl Champion (1980) … Born on June 28, 1948 in Cambridge, Maryland.

THOMAS “HOLLYWOOD” HENDERSON (Player)

THOMAS 'HOLLYWOOD' HENDERSON

Linebacker … Langston University (1971-1974) … Started collegiate career as a walk-on … Led Langston to 11-2 record and NAIA playoff berth in 1973 … Two-time NAIA All-American … Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year (1974) … Selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 18th overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft … Cowboys (1975-1979) … Also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Oilers and Miami Dolphins … seven seasons … NFL Pro Bowl selection (1978) … Super Bowl Champion (1977) … Born on March 1, 1953 in Austin, Texas.

LEO ‘LINCOLN LOCOMOTIVE’ LEWIS (Player)

LEO 'LINCOLN LOCOMOTIVE' LEWIS

Running Back … Lincoln University (1951-1954) … Started every game and led the Blue Tigers to undefeated seasons in 1952 and 1953 … Still Lincoln’s all-time career leader in 4,457 rushing yards and 64 touchdowns … Selected by the Baltimore Colts in the 1955 NFL Draft, but elected to play in the Canadian Football League … Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1955-1966) … 12 seasons … Six-time All-Pro selection … Canadian Football Hall of Fame … College Football Hall of Fame … Born February 4, 1933 in Des Moines, Iowa … Died August 30, 2013.

GREG LLOYD (Player)

GREG LLOYD

Linebacker … Fort Valley State University (1984-1987) … Three-time All-SIAC selection … As a senior, was selected as the SIAC Player of the year … First Team SBN All-American … Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 6th Round of the 1988 NFL Draft) … Steelers (1988-1997) … Carolina Panthers (1998) … 11 seasons … Five Pro Bowl selections … Three-time All-Pro (1993-1995) … Two-time Steelers Team MVP … Member of the Steelers All-Time Team … Born May 26, 1965 in Miami, Florida.

EVERSON WALLS (Player)

EVERSON WALLS

Defensive Back … Grambling State University (1977-1980) … Named to Kodak 1-AA All-American Team and Black College All-American Team … Led nation with 11 interceptions as a senior … Signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1981 … Cowboys (1981-1989) … New York Giants (1990-1992) … Cleveland Browns (1992-1993) … 14 seasons … Four Pro Bowl selections … First Team All-Pro (1983) … Led the NFL in interceptions three seasons … Super Bowl Champion (1990) … SWAC Hall of Fame inductee … Born December 28, 1959 in Dallas, Texas.

BILL HAYES (Coach)

BILL HAYES

Winston-Salem State University (1976-1987), North Carolina A&T University (1988-2002) … Won four CIAA titles at Winston-Salem State … Ranked as the #1 team in Division II after consecutive undefeated regular seasons … As head coach of the Aggies, Hayes won three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) titles and made two Division I-AA playoff appearances … 1988 National Coach of the Year … Retired with a record of 195-104-2 … All-time winningest football coach at both schools … Born June 1, 1943 in Durham, North Carolina.

 

About the Black College Football Hall of Fame

The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October 2009 to honor the greatest football players and coaches from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Its trustees are football legends Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams. The Black College Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Shack Harris & Doug Williams Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.

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